6 Winding Down Activities to Do After a Long Workday

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Apr 2, 2024
Explore 6 soothing activities to help you unwind and rejuvenate after a busy day, including mindful exercise, creative hobbies, and digital detox.
A woman with a facial mask sitting in bed, reading a book, and winding down in a peaceful bedroom environment.

Looking to unwind after a long workday? Each of these activities offers a unique way to let go of the day’s stress and prepare for a restful evening. Choose what resonates with you and make it part of your daily wind-down routine.

Encourage Your Day With Winding Down Activities

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1. Engage in Light Physical Activity

After a long workday, it’s a good idea to move a bit to help your body and mind relax. You could take a short walk, do some easy yoga, or dance to your favorite songs.

Doing some winding down activities related to light physical activity after work is helpful since it gets you moving, so if you’ve been sitting all day, moving around can help ease tight muscles and make you feel less stiff. A quick walk or some yoga can get your blood flowing.

It also makes you feel good,  walking, dancing, or stretching can make your body release endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel happy. This can help shake off the day’s stress by giving your brain a break

Some easy ways to get moving after work involve walking around your block, trying 10 minutes of easy yoga, and even dancing to a few of your favorite songs.

Just remember, the point is to move a little, not to tire yourself out. Listen to what your body wants and take it easy.

2. Practice Mindfulness or Meditation

Feeling stressed after a long workday is normal, and your mind might be buzzing with thoughts. Taking a little time to practice mindfulness or meditation can help you calm down.

Winding down activities to add mindfulness to your day can be done by finding a quiet spot where you can sit comfortably for 5-10 minutes. Close your eyes and take deep breaths slowly. Pay attention to how your body feels and try not to judge it. This helps you focus on the now.

Use apps like Calm or Headspace for a short guided meditation. These apps have sessions that help you relax your body and quiet your mind with different techniques. You can complement this with taking a walk and noticing what’s around you – the sights, sounds, and how it feels to move. This is called a mindful walk.

Trying out any of these mindfulness practices can make a big difference after a busy day. The key is to find one you like and stick with it, even if it’s just for a few minutes. It’s a great way to deal with stress.

3. Unplug with a Creative Hobby

Two people lying down with cucumber slices over their eyes, relaxing.

After a busy workday, it’s good to step away from screens and try something creative. Winding down activities that involve art, crafts, or music can help you relax and feel better. You can try:

  • Arts and crafts – Try painting, drawing, working with clay, or making crafts. These activities let you use your imagination and express yourself. They also take your mind off work and worries.
  • Journaling – Writing down what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling can help you understand your emotions. Making your journal look nice with drawings or stickers can also be fun.
  • Learning an instrument – Picking up an instrument like a guitar, piano, or ukulele makes you focus and can be satisfying. Playing music helps release happy feelings.
  • Baking or cooking – Following recipes to make something tasty or healthy is a great way to relax. The process of measuring, mixing, and decorating can be calming.
  • Photography – Taking photos gets you to focus on finding the right shot, which can help take your mind off work.

Finding a hobby that you really like can help you forget about work for a while and recharge for the next day. Doing something creative without screens can give your brain the break it needs.

4. Enjoy Quality Time with Loved Ones

Spending time with your family and friends after a busy day at work is important. It helps you feel connected and happy. Winding down activities to do with your family include having dinner together, while you’re doing it, you can try talking about your day and keep the conversation light and positive. Make sure there are no phones or tablets at the table.

Playing board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Chess are fun ways to spend time together. Enjoy the laughs and the playful competition. Watching a movie or TV show or baking something sweet can help you relax after a long day.

5. Create a Relaxing Evening Routine

After a long workday, it’s nice to have a simple evening routine to help you calm down. Take a warm bath or shower. Warm water can help relax your muscles and make you feel more at ease. Adding Epsom salts or a few drops of essential oils can make it even better.

Winding down activities embrace doing gentle stretches or light yoga. Doing some easy stretches can help get rid of muscle tightness. Try some simple poses like bending forward or lying with your legs up. 

You can try reading a book you like, listening to soft music, or writing down your thoughts. The main thing is to let go of the day’s stress. Find what works for you and try to do it every evening.

6. Digital Detox

After a long day of staring at screens for work, it’s a good idea to take a break from all the digital noise. Put away your gadgets for a while, and decide on an hour or two in the evening when you won’t use your phone, computer, or any other device. This helps your brain chill out without distractions.

Get outside, winding down activities always encompass taking a walk in the evening or just sitting outdoors and listening to the sounds around you. Being in nature without tech can help you feel more peaceful.

Clean up your digital space. Take some time to organize your computer files, clean out old emails and photos, or unsubscribe from emails you no longer read. Getting rid of digital clutter can make you feel more organized.

Conclusion

Making a conscious effort to include these activities in your daily routine can transform the post-work hours from periods of continued stress and fatigue to moments of joy, relaxation, and meaningful engagement. 

Whether it’s the physical relief from a gentle yoga session, the mental clarity gained through meditation, the joy of creativity, the warmth of family connections, the peace of a night-time routine, or the freedom from digital overload, each activity contributes uniquely to winding down effectively.

It’s crucial to recognize that the art of unwinding is deeply personal. What works for one may not work for another. Therefore, the journey to discovering the most effective wind-down routine is iterative and requires patience and openness to experimentation. 

The goal is to create a space and time that allows you to step away from the demands of work and immerse yourself in activities that replenish your energy and enhance your well-being.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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