by MARSHALL BONE
Have you ever found yourself laying in bed at 2 a.m. not able to sleep because the events of your workday keep replaying in your head? Or, are you laying there worried about what may be in store for you tomorrow? If this sounds like you, it may be time to adopt some natural ways to unwind after work.
For many folks, the stresses of work and daily life take a toll on their mental health and well-being. Finding some time for self-care can benefit both you and your family, and possibly others that you interact with throughout the day. Below are some ideas if you are looking for natural ways to unwind after work.
1. Spend Time With Plant Life
Spending time with plant life is one of the easiest ways to unwind after work, and you don’t need a full-on permaculture garden to reap the rewards. Researchers agree that plant-friendly activities can boost your mood and even increase longevity.
You don’t need much space to enjoy quality time with plants. Many individuals don’t have a backyard for plants or even a patio, for that matter—let alone the time it takes to keep them healthy and thriving. Here are some ideas for incorporating plants into your self-care routine:
- Try planter boxes or indoor plants if you don’t have space for an outside garden.
- To feel connected to plants, you don’t need to plant every genus of daffodils. Try a single potted plant or small herb garden and take it from there.
- Try plants that require minimal upkeep, like succulents or the infamous air plant.
- If you don’t (or can’t!) have plants in your home, try visiting a park or botanical garden after work to get some plant time.
2. Dust Off Your Yoga Mat
Setting time aside to practice yoga is undoubtedly one of the best ways to unwind after work. The therapeutic benefits of yoga are well known in both medical and holistic circles. While regular practice shows to be more beneficial, any amount of yoga can have a positive impact.
For many individuals, finding the time to attend a yoga class can seem impossible with their busy schedule, but luckily we have the internet. Plenty of yoga studios offer live online classes, and if that doesn’t fit your schedule, there are an infinite amount of yoga classes online that you can replay at your leisure.
3. Take A Sensory Walk
Researchers have long touted the health benefits associated with walking, but there are mental health advantages too. The key to getting the most out of your walk is sensory walking.
Going out there and pounding the pavement to get your steps each day is one thing, but what’s going through your head? Are you walking and brooding about that coworker that keeps asking for the same advice over and over, or replaying your boss’s brush-off response when you asked for a raise?
Replaying the past or worrying about the future during your walk may not leave you feeling as relaxed as you had hoped. Sensory walking lets you focus on your environment, letting those intrusive thoughts become a thing of the past. Actively pay attention to your senses while on your walk:
- Look carefully at the plants, animals, people, structures, and skyscape—look for something new and exciting.
- Listen to the sound of the birds, wind, traffic, or your footsteps; maybe you’ll hear some children laughing while playing.
- Smell the air; is it clean, heavy, or scented with flowers maybe?
- Feel the breeze or warming sun on your skin or the raindrops falling.
- Depending on your surroundings, try taking your shoes off and feeling the earth beneath your feet, or hug a tree.
4. Use Up Those Journal Pages
Nothing is more satisfying than getting something off your chest that’s been bothering you, particularly at work. Writing down exactly what is bothering you can help you let go of it or, at the very least, put things into perspective.
Depending on your line of work, setting a pen to paper may not be the most ideal way to unwind after a day at the office. Nowadays, we have everything from touch screen keyboards and voice to text to help us get our thoughts onto paper—or screen.
Using your journal for things like positive affirmations and words of encouragement to yourself is another way to use your journal. Also, you can use it as an outlet for self-expression with poetry, prose, and artwork.
5. Create Your Own Personal Self-care Spa
Nothing beats spending the day at the spa, except a spa day where you don’t have to fight traffic or make an appointment. If scheduling some me-time at the spa is more hassle than helpful, why not create your own personal spa at home? You probably have a lot of natural home spa supplies already. Listed below are some ideas you can incorporate into your home spa; designed by you, the ultimate spa experience is at your fingertips.
- Turn on some soothing music or your favorite genre for relaxation.
- Add some calming bath bombs with CBD oil to your bathtub.
- Use a natural diffuser or incense to add some aromatherapy to the mix
- Use those sheets or mud masks that your co-worker gifted you last year.
- Pour yourself a glass of fresh, clean water or make yourself a cup of herbal tea and just relax.
6. Unwind With A Few Minutes Of Meditation
Researchers have boasted about the benefits of meditation for health and wellness for some time now, and for good reason. A few minutes of meditation a day can improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and stave off depression, making this the perfect tool for unwinding and relaxing after work.
There are many different types of meditation like Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness meditation, and movement meditation like Tai Chi and Qigong. Start with finding a type of meditation that suits you and your lifestyle and go from there. You can enhance your meditation by using Kratom for relaxation or some essential oils to help you let go of the stress. Quieting your mind may seem difficult, if not impossible at first, but with practice, you will soon reap the benefits of this calming practice.
Keep Calm And Carry On
A little goes a long way when it comes to finding natural ways to unwind after work. Whether you decide to incorporate a yoga or meditation routine into your day, finding natural ways to unwind after work is essential for our mental health and overall well-being. Hopefully, you can add one or all of these suggestions to your self-care toolbox.
Marshall Bone is a writer, copy strategist and all-around stylish guy who has been following trends in GQ for more than two decades. Voted best-dressed both his junior and senior year, Bone has continued this legacy and can be found covering various topics from men’s fashion to self care and grooming. He enjoys reading and is based in the greater Los Angeles area.