I used to be terrible at relaxing.
(TBH, I still am)
Like, the literal worst.
I would have weeks at a time with non-stop deadlines, extra work projects, and constant nagging from my cats (who seem to think that a half empty dish means they're starving).
And still, after long, frustrating days, I would have absolutely zero motivation to take any time for myself.
There was always more to do.
Whenever I did find (make) the time to relax and take time for myself, it was really tempting to just spend the evening binge watching Netflix or vegging out in front of the tv.
Because sometimes I needed that.
Even though there's nothing wrong with sitting in front of a TV or laptop all evening, there are other ways to unwind. And there are plenty that are just as entertaining.
And some you can even do while you binge Netflix.
Ok, ok, I know that's not the point. Ultimately, you want to be able to unwind without the TV. But I'm all about the baby steps.
Diffuse essential oils
This is really the simplest way to help yourself relax.
It takes hardly any time at all to pick and oil and turn on the diffuser, then you can go about doing whatever you want!
There are lots of diffuser options out there, too. I use a mist diffuser in the evenings, and typically pair it with a stress relief oil blend or just plain ol' lavender.
I also make oil blends that I can use on my skin and keep a diffuser necklace with me on busy days. There are so many options.
Take a bubble bath
To me, this is an obvious one.
But maybe that's because I love bubble baths. They are my go-to relaxation method.
Some people out there may think baths are boring. I used to be one of those people! You just soak there, right?
Well, my friends, that is not the kind of bubble bath I'm recommending you take. I'm going to teach you how to bubble bath like a champion.
First, get yourself some nice bubble bath. The nice stuff. Something that makes you feel like you're being super fancy. And while you're at it, light a few candles. You really want to set the mood here.
While your bath water is filling up and getting all bubbly, go pour yourself a glass of wine, or make some hot chocolate, or brew up some hot tea.
Whatever your beverage of choice is, your favorite drink, you need it.
But don't stop there! Bath time is snack time!
I usually grab some cheese to go with my wine. I've also gone really extreme and made nachos for my bath time snack before.
That was tasty, but ended in disaster.
Choose your bath snack wisely.
One last thing and then you're ready for your bath. Grab your laptop and a movie, or you can use your phone and put on some music. Watching Netflix while I'm in the tub has got to be the best idea I've ever had.
So now you've got a movie, a snack, a drink, and you're warm and cozy.
Trust me. If you weren't already a bath person, you will be after taking one of these ultra relaxing baths.
Make a cup of hot tea
Or coffee. Or hot chocolate. Really, any hot beverage will work.
I don't know what it is, but there is just something about having a hot drink that instantly calms me down.
And because of that, I am a tea addict. I love all kinds of hot tea and like to try new kinds all the time. I love tea almost as much as I love coffee.
My favorites for unwinding after work are chamomile tea (the kind I get has roses in it!) or a green tea with ginger.
There is a trick, though, to making your tea super relaxing: slow down.
Don't microwave your cup of water, put the kettle on instead. Sit and wait for the water to be ready (and don't do anything while you're waiting). Let your tea bag steep the whole 3 minutes. Add some honey.
Sit and savor your tea. Slow is what we're going for here.
Absolutely nothing you do is going to calm you down or help you unwind if you're still rushing around while you're doing it. Slow down.
Practice Yoga or Meditate
It shouldn't be any question that meditating or stretching is relaxing.
Being quiet for an extended period of time? Yes please!
Meditation comes in many forms. It can be quiet time, yoga, centering yourself, reciting mantras, or focusing on your blessings. You need to do what works for you.
One thing to remember is that you don't need to clear your mind. When we start thinking that mediation means we can't think about anything, that's when we get frustrated with ourselves and stop trying.
Let your mind wander.
The point is to be present.
After spending some time centering yourself and focusing on good things, I promise you'll be feeling more relaxed in no time.
Read a book
This is, by far, my favorite way to unwind.
I am a ferocious reader and I devour books weekly.
(Wow, I just sounded really scary...)
There is nothing quite like getting lost in a book. The right book can transport you to another world, another reality. Sometimes reading the right book is the best kind of vacation.
What kind of book you read is entirely up to you, obviously.
I prefer to read fantasy fiction if I'm trying to relax, because that reality is so different from mine.
While I do enjoy realistic fiction and horror fiction from time to time, I get really invested in what I'm reading. So those genres stress me out more than real life.
(In a good way though... I think)
And that's it!
Those are my favorite ways to unwind after a long day. Obviously, this isn't an exhaustive list, just my faves. But I am always looking for new relaxing things to try.
So I'd love to hear from you! How do you unwind and recharge when you get home from work? Let me know in the comments!