How to Unwind After a Stressful Day at Work

Taking the time to wind down properly after a long day’s work should be an essential part of your self-care routine. It can be all too easy to overlook your wellbeing during a busy period at work, but it is vital to reduce stress and unwind when you can to protect yourself in the long term. Here are some great ways to de-stress after a difficult day. 

Work With Your Hands

While work might be the last thing on your mind after a tortuous shift, doing something with your hands is a brilliant way to relax when you are on edge. Sitting down and simply focusing on a task after a busy day on your feet can make all the difference when the cortisol is pumping around your system. 

Simple repetitive tasks work best for this relaxation method, as they can become almost meditative once you get into the flow of things. Consider trying your hand at knitting, crochet, or simply colouring in to ease your mind when you get home from work. 

Play a Game

Whether it’s playing video games or board games with friends and family, playing something is a great way to distract your mind after a long day. If you are looking for a more relaxing experience, it might be best to avoid particularly competitive games or to take it easy on the competition if it’s unavoidable. 

A great game for a relaxing challenge is Scrabble. You can play this in real life or online, depending on your situation, but the great thing about it is that you can remove the competition by simply treating it as a team game. 

Try aiming for the highest overall score on the board rather than focusing on beating your opponent. This can remove the stress of feeling like you’re competing with a friend or family member as you play. However, competition might be inevitable if you are playing online, so consider using a Scrabble word finder like Scrabble Solver to help in difficult situations. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This relaxation method is a brilliant way of forcing your body to let go of the physical elements of stress. You can find various descriptions of the technique across the internet, but in short, it involves progressively relaxing each part of your body from your toes to your head. When you become more familiar with the practice, you will eventually do it without guidance. You will also develop a better understanding of where you carry stress in your body and ultimately the best methods for dealing with this. 


Smells can trigger all sorts of emotions in us. Research has shown that our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to our memory, so by finding a scent that takes you away to a more relaxed time and place, you can relieve stress. A great way of dispersing aromas is using an oil diffuser or by purchasing essential oils in a roller bottle. 

Some great smells that inspire feelings of calm and may promote better sleep include lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, rosemary and many others. Using aromas can be an excellent way of training your body to relax, as, over time, you will begin to associate the smells with a sense of peace and tranquillity.  

Write it Down

Journalling your thoughts and feelings might seem like a daunting task, but it can be an effective stress-buster. Getting your emotions out of your head and onto paper is an excellent way to declutter your mind and to avoid fixating on problems. 

Regular journaling can also be a brilliant method to practice being grateful for things and establish what brings you joy and fulfils you in life. Ritually logging how you have felt during the day, what is stressing you out and what you are grateful for is an excellent way to reflect on the day’s events and put them out of your mind. 

Get Some Fresh Air

Taking some time after work to take a walk outside or do some exercise is a brilliant way of relieving the stress from the working day. This is especially important for those who work from home, in office environments, or in places where you are indoors for most of the day. It doesn’t have to be a prolonged affair; in fact, simply taking a 10-minute stroll can significantly boost your mood if you have had a tough day. 

Be Kind to Yourself

Ultimately, all of these tips boil down to one thing: taking the time to care for yourself and your mental wellbeing during a particularly stressful period. While it is almost inevitable that you will deal with work-related stress at one point or another, there are steps that you can take to relieve this and decrease your chances of burning out. Building healthy habits and rituals to help you de-stress after a long day is essential for caring for yourself.

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.