Healthy Living

10 Things the Healthiest Women Do to Reset After a Long Day

Source: Polina Tankilevitch | Pexels
Source: Polina Tankilevitch | Pexels

If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced what I call the “after-work slump,” or that feeling when you feel completely depleted of all energy and just want to park it on the couch. After spending eight hours staring at a screen, it can be hard to feel motivated to do anything else. But just taking a few minutes to reset and unwind after I’ve called it a day can majorly set the tone for the rest of my night. If you’re looking for ways to relax after work, look no further. Read on for 10 ways healthy women refresh their minds and bodies after a long day.


1. Physically separate yourself from your workspace

Whether you’re working from home or in an office, it’s important to create physical space between your workspace and home life. If you commute to your workplace, the travel time itself can serve as a physical buffer. Take it one step further by listening to your favorite podcast or calling a loved one. If your commute is five steps from your couch, create a boundary by having your workspace in a separate room or packing up your computer at the end of the day. If this isn’t feasible, consider covering your workspace with a blanket to create a visual reminder that you are done for the day.


2. Practice breathwork

If there’s one thing we can control in life, it’s our breath. And after a long, stressful day, taking a few (or many!) deep breaths can be just what we need to reset and re-energize. Breathwork not only helps with de-stressing but can also elevate your mood and even help lower inflammation. When it comes to resetting after work, try taking long, deep breaths with your chest and stomach expanding when you inhale. Repeat this for 1-2 minutes and you’ll feel more relaxed.


3. Try a mindfulness activity

One of the best things to do after a long workday is to focus on the present moment. When you’re bouncing from task to task and constantly being interrupted by email notifications, it’s easy to feel overstimulated. A quick and easy mindfulness practice is checking in with yourself. Think about your physical, mental, and emotional health and what you need. This brief pause can help prioritize refocus and set intentions after a long day of work.


4. Head outside

Spending time in the great outdoors has been shown to have many positive benefits for overall health, including reducing stress, boosting your mood, and supporting your immune system. And nothing quite resets your mind and body like a breath of fresh air. When the work day is over, consider it your sign to step outside (weather permitting) to reap the benefits of nature. 


5. Eat a nutrient-rich snack

If the time between when you finish work for the day and dinner is more than an hour, you may benefit from fueling up with a post-work snack. As a dietician, I recommend combining slow-digesting carbs, protein, and healthy fats for a nutrient-rich snack that will jumpstart your evening. We all know cottage cheese is having a *moment*, and I can’t deny it’s also my go-to. If that’s not your thing, my other personal faves are fruit and nut butter, yogurt with berries, and veggies (or whole grain crackers) with hummus.


6. Enjoy a hydrating beverage

My hydration goals often fall by the wayside during the course of the workday, especially when I’m caught up completing various tasks. Pouring yourself a large glass of water can help serve as a reset at the end of the day. For an extra twist, try infusing your water with lemon, berries, or fresh herbs, such as mint. Enjoying a nice cup of (decaffeinated) tea can also signal that the workday is over and it’s time to unwind.


7. Take your eyes off screens

Staring at a screen for hours on end can lead to symptoms like dry eyes, eye strain, headaches, and tech neck, just to name a few. For an instant boost after work, try to engage in something that doesn’t involve a screen. It can be anything from simply taking the time to look around outside or completing a household task, like finally getting to that pile of laundry. Whatever you choose, your eyes will thank you. 


8. Make time for movement

Sitting for long periods of time (as many of us do at our desks all day) has been linked to many health conditions (think: obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol levels). Consider the end of your workday a good time to get moving before you carry on with your evening, even if it’s just a few minutes. Try these stretches, book a workout class, or—our favorite—go on a Hot Girl Walk.


9. Journal

Journaling has been shown to reduce stress and help you process your emotions, which means making time to jot down a few thoughts or something you’re grateful for at the end of the day can help you decompress. If you’ve never journaled before, don’t fear—here are some prompts to get you started. 


10. Engage in a stress-reducing hobby

If there’s one surefire way to take your mind off of work, it’s doing something that you truly enjoy. Hobbies allow us to de-stress while giving us a creative outlet. An added bonus is that they can even help you perform better at work and connect with others who have shared interests. Spend a few minutes post-work engaging in something you love, whether it be calligraphy, gardening, or cooking!