High Performance

How to Relax at Home (Even When You Don’t Have Time)

BY Laura Bartlett

woman leaning on bed to relax after work

Nobody wants to walk in the door after a long day of work and be met with more of what you just left. Responsibilities to your family and home can easily trump your own needs making it hard to relax after work.

Instead of winding down for the evening you may often find yourself working hard right up until bedtime. If you are fighting mental and physical exhaustion throughout the day, it might be more than just a lack of sleep.

Finding the time to care of yourself once you get home might sound like an impossibility, especially if you are raising a family. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult to relax after work. Once you decide to make time for yourself it is easier to incorporate it into even the busiest of schedules. There are a variety of things you can do to relax after work as explained below.

Are You Really Taking Care of Yourself?

The benefits of taking time for yourself are many. It allows you to reflect on your own self-awareness, problem-solve, and improve concentration. Letting your body and mind settle after a long day can influence a more productive effort the following day, and help you organize and tackle the tasks that need attention. 

You shouldn't allow guilt to invade on your own solitude either. Whether you are busy with family and career choices, or simply feel like your home and yard needs more care, allowing guilt to interrupt your needs is counterproductive to your own well being. Although it may be a challenge at first to find time for your own relaxation, it is worth the influence it will have on your overall health and stress levels. 

How to Make More Time for Self-Care

There is no doubt about it, finding time to relax after work is definitely a challenge. It can seem especially hard at first to incorporate this time, but if you seriously consider a few of the following suggestions you may find it easier than you first imagined. Small steps can easily add up to larger amounts of time than you ever thought possible for yourself. 

1. Disconnect from technology

Social media, television, and computer browsing are all mindless ways to pass the time, but they rarely stimulate thought or leave you feeling relaxed. Disconnect from your devices unless necessary during work hours and create rules for your household to follow concerning use as well. 

2. Wake up earlier

Get up earlier and make time to yourself. This is especially important if you have family members that take up your time while awake. Make a point to get to bed a little earlier so you can take advantage of morning solitude. 

3. Consolidate or delegate chores

If you find your time at home is taken up by constant chore responsibilities, then maybe it's time to see what you can put to the side for a time, consolidate, or even delegate to other household family members. Children can take on simple jobs even at a young age and only require a reminder every now and then and will free up time in the long run as they become more adept at their expectations. 

4. Set specific bedtimes

Have a set bedtime, not only for yourself but for your children as well if you have them. Children require a lot more sleep than adults to support their growing bodies and brains, and catching an extra hour (or two) of sleep can be highly beneficial for them. 

5 Effective Ways to Relax at Home

Once you’ve managed your time to include some for yourself, you can start to unwind and focus on you- even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes to give yourself a massage.

1. Diffuse essential oils

Many essential oils have strong relaxing properties that can stimulate the brain to allow the body to unwind. Diffuse oils up to 30 minutes a day 3 times a day to get the maximum benefits. You also can take advantage of this in a car or at work.

2. Learn to meditate

Meditation can take 5 minutes or 30 (or more) depending on your mood, and state of mind. Even a 5-minute session can help clear your mind, slow your breathing, and allow your body to relax. 

3. Take up journaling

Write! Write down your feelings, letters to people that you won’t send, your goals, prayers, wishes, hopes, and frustrations with your day. Writing helps release tension and clear your mind, allowing you to commit feelings and thoughts to paper so they don’t clutter up your thoughts. 

4. Soak in a tub

Do yourself a favor and take a bath in detoxifying epsom salts and oil bath to help rid your body of physical stressors and let your mind follow suit. Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine (or whatever!) while you’re at it!

5. Self-massage

Who needs a trip to the spa when you have two perfectly good hands? Help unravel the tension from the day by giving yourself a massage to relax after work. Use your favorite lotion to work out knots in your neck and shoulders. Alternately, pick up a foam roller and use it to release fascia that tightened up when you were sitting at your desk all day.


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