Properly relaxing has never been one of my strong suits – I have had to practice actually switching off over the years. So it’s safe to say I have built up a few tips over the years for having a more relaxing evening. I thought I would share them with you today – I’d love to hear yours too!
Plan for the week you have ahead
One of the ways that we can inadvertently create stress in our evenings is by not being realistic about what we have on. If you know you will have lots of activities on, or a particularly busy work-week you can plan accordingly. This might mean intentionally blocking out some time to ensure you can relax, thinking about your food for the week, or outsourcing some other part of your to-do list where possible. The more you are aware of the week ahead the more you can ensure you can handle it.
Meal Plan or Prep
Thinking about what to cook creates a lot of stress in lots of peoples days, and can get in the way of you having any actual down-time in the evenings. In order to ensure you can have a more relaxing evening I highly recommend getting into the habit of meal prepping, or at the very least meal planning. You’ll get quicker at it the more you do it, and the difference it makes to your daily mental load is absolutely worth it. No need for last minute trips to the shops means more time for relaxing activities!
Go for a walk
This tip has been particularly useful after spending so much of the last 18 months working from my apartment. Going for a walk at the end of my work day (even just a short one around the block!) is such a great way to mentally switch from work-mode to evening-mode and absolutely helps me be able to relax more once I get back home.
Choose a screen free activity
When I’m feeling particularly in need of a relaxing evening I prioritise screen-free activities as I find they help me unwind so much more. For me this usually means reading or doing a puzzle but crafty activities are equally excellent. In particular I find things that use my hands excellent as it stops me reaching for my phone purely out of habit!
Intentionally watch a show
If you do want to unwind by watching a show then that’s obviously totally valid, but try and do it in an intentional way. Rather than just popping on anything and mindlessly scrolling on your phone at the same time, if you choose something you’re invested in you’ll find it helps you not only enjoy it more, but it will be more relaxing too.
Prepare for the next day
This one might sound counterintuitive, but I promise it works! Carving out a little bit of time to prepare for the next day – things like laying out your clothes, ensuring you have what you need for breakfast, packing your bag – can actually help you relax more. It tells your subconscious that things are under control and helps switch your brain off a little, enabling you to actually relax. It doesn’t take long either – and you can use the time you have saved by meal prepping!
Make a to-do list
This is similar to the tip above – by making your to-do list at night you help your brain switch off from work mode, and from worrying about all the things you might forget the next day. It’s such a simple but effective habit to get in to – I actually did a whole post on it a little while back!
Get as comfortable as possible
This one might seem super obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. One of the absolute best ways to have a more relaxing evening is ensure you set yourself up for it with your choice of clothing and setting. This might mean changing out of structured work clothes into softer, looser fabrics with a pair of fluffy socks. It might also mean lighting some candles and adding a comfy blanket to your couch to snuggle up with – whatever works for you!