Feeling tense and worn out is common to many people who don’t spend a lot of time relaxing. Without taking time out for yourself, the stress gradually builds up. Instead of getting frazzled and run-down, have a break and seek a few quick, tried and true pick-me-ups.
Take a hot shower or bath
Warm water helps relax your muscles and increase circulation. It therefore offers some of the same benefits as getting a massage or exercising can, but is low-cost and won’t risk ramping you up for a couple hours like intense exercise can. Light some candles, play relaxing music and soak in the tub for at least ten minutes.
Change into your most comfortable clothes or pjs
Get out of those stuffy work or school clothes and put on something comfortable and soft, like cotton or linen. You will feel instantly more relaxed.
Get some light exercise
It may sound counterproductive to relaxation, but exercising helps you clear your head by burning off all the mental energy saved up during a long day at work or school. Regular exercise also helps your body feel more relaxed and stress-free overall, making the next long day easier to get through. Try going for a walk outside, doing yoga or stretching for at least 20 minutes.
Listen to some soothing music
Any type of music you enjoy will work, as long as it promotes peaceful feelings and happiness. If rock is your favorite genre, you might try slow ballads or some classic rock over more dissonant, heavy sounds.
Read a book or magazine
Reading is a great way to unwind and stop thinking about all the things you did or didn’t get done during the day. It’s also a wonderful way to get ready for bed, since a book doesn’t require screen time. Pick a novel you want to read and set aside 30 minutes before bed to read a chapter, or save up your magazine subscriptions for this time of day.
Lay of sit comfortably in a calm environment. Play some relaxing music if you like, or open the window to listen to the sounds of nature if you live near a lot of trees. Light some scented candles. Focus on the sounds, scents, and sensations you notice and enjoy each moment as it passes.
At this hour, you cannot do anything to change, so rest instead.