ProductivitySelf-Care

7 Ways To Relax After Work (& Make The Most Of Your Free Time!)

Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax!

Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax! Here's how to relax & unwind after work to make the most of your free time!

Do you ever have those days where you plan to be mega-productive when you get home from work but instead you spend the whole night watching Netflix and scrolling through blog posts? Welcome to my life, friends. It’s either that exact situation, or I’m 100% focused on my blog and forget to do all of the other things I planned to do.
Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax! Here's how to relax & unwind after work to make the most of your free time!Sometimes we get so tired from the workday that all we want to do when we get home is mind-numbing activities in an attempt to give ourselves a break, but that just becomes an endless cycle which leaves us feeling burnt out and unfulfilled.

There are also those times when you can’t switch out of work mode, so you end up stressing yourself out about unfinished work and what’s to come tomorrow. Those time are the worst.

I’ve realized that I don’t really want to be stuck in this cycle anymore, so I’ve started making a few changes in my after-work routine that make me feel more productive and pumped to get home from work. If you can relate to any of the above situations, give these tips a go and start making the most of your free time!

7 Ways To Relax After Work
1. Go for walk (and don’t bring your phone!)

Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax! Here's how to relax & unwind after work to make the most of your free time!One of my monthly goals for August was to go for a walk after dinner, and I seriously never expected to love it so much. My boyfriend and I really appreciated the time to wander around our neighborhood and not worry about anything for 20 minutes.

You’ve probably been sitting in an office all day, so some fresh air and a little exercise is going to lift your mood dramatically. Leave your phone at home, and let yourself zone out away from Netflix and social media notifications.

2. Turn off email alerts.

Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax! Here's how to relax & unwind after work to make the most of your free time!Here’s my number one piece of advice for letting yourself relax: don’t check your work email. I haven’t set up work email on my phone because I know it will only cause me unnecessary stress if I’m getting email alerts after I’ve left the office. It’s really important to set boundaries with your time because otherwise your work life will just blend into your personal life. If you’ve got a particularly stressful day coming up, here are 10 ways to relax beforehand.

3. Schedule fun into your weekdays.

Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax! Here's how to relax & unwind after work to make the most of your free time!Most of us schedule fun outings and activities on the weekends, but there are five other days of the week that you could be having fun, too! Schedule in a few mini-adventures during the week and make them a priority.

Maybe plan a froyo date with a friend, try out that new kickboxing class at the gym, or schedule in a manicure. Do something that gets you excited about the weeknights!

4. Start a new hobby or revisit an old one.

22 (2)I’ve always cringed when people ask me what my hobbies are because, like most millennials these days, I don’t really have any. I have, however, started teaching myself to play piano, and I’d love to get to the point where I could call it a hobby of mine. It’s important to work towards something you can take pride in, but doesn’t consume all of your time. Think of what you loved to do as a kid (dancing, playing tennis, painting), and see if you can get back into it again, or try something completely new like photography, salsa dancing, or calligraphy!

P.S. If you think blogging is your only hobby, Daisy has a great post about why you need a true hobby and not just a side-hustle.

5. Make a dessert.

Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax! Here's how to relax & unwind after work to make the most of your free time!What better way to enjoy your evenings than with some delicious homemade brownies? Exactly, there is no better way. Making something with your own two hands is a great way to relieve stress and take your mind off your to-do list, and you get to enjoy your creation afterwards – aw yeah!  If you’re feeling healthy and don’t want to bake anything, these Raw Brownies are absolutely incredible. But if you want something indulgent and naughty, try these Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (you’re welcome for that recipe).

6. Take a (free) online course.

Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax! Here's how to relax & unwind after work to make the most of your free time!Take advantage of the free and inexpensive online resources out there! I took a free online nutrition course through Coursera, and while it might seem stressful or boring to take a class during your free time, it’s a great way to learn about a new subject or further your learning in something you already enjoy.

I’ve also started to learn French using Duolingo because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and now I can do it for free (although I’m pretty sure I’m terrible at it).

Skillshare is another great tool for learning about creative subjects like design, photography, and blogging – although it’s not free, they’re currently offering 3 months of Premium membership for $0.99!

7. Pamper yourself.

Spending all of your free time watching Netflix? There are way more productive ways to relax! Here's how to relax & unwind after work to make the most of your free time!You gotta give yourself some love now and again. Most of us reserve Sundays for a nice pampering sesh, but it can be just as important to treat yourself on a weekday. I love running a bath, lighting a soothing candle (this one by Illume is bae), slapping a face mask on, and digging into a good book. Schedule a pamper sesh into your calendar during the week and make sure you treat yo self!

+ Bonus tip for all my blogger friends.

Most of us are working 9-5 jobs which means we only get to work on our blogs when we get a spare moment (aka in the evenings). I’ve found that if I don’t set specific times to work on my blog, I stay up way too late because I haven’t set boundaries for myself. Now, I dedicate 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening to hustle out the most important tasks for my blog, and work on less important tasks when I get a free moment during the work day.


Want some more tips on relaxing? I’ve got you covered, bud!

How do you relax after work? Leave a comment down below!

Main Photo Credit: Nicola Holtkamp

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Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! The Blissful Mind is your guide to being the calmest, healthiest, most productive version of yourself. Whether you're trying to slow down, de-stress, or feel more content, I’m here to help make life a little less complicated.
  • I definitely need to timebox blogging a bit more, it does tend to take over my life! I do love a good walk though, it is ideal after work to listen to some podcasts! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • It’s so easy to get sucked into blogging once you finally get into it! I just wish I could get myself to start working sooner instead of procrastinating haha xx

  • Making dessert is the perfect way to unwind! I find reading to be a great de-stresser too! Such lovely tips from a lovely person hehe, wishing you a beautiful day! xxxxx

    http://www.romantiquely.com

    • Reading is such a good way to relax, I always try to squeeze in some reading time before bed!

  • So, about a week ago I decided to go for a walk on whim, just to get away from my looming to-do list for a few minutes. Honestly, it was SO relaxing and I came back ready to tackle the rest of the work I had to complete that evening, and ever since then I’ve made it a point to schedule some time to just walk around for half an hour before dinner. It’s always lovely to get some exercise and a breath of fresh air, I think! x

    • That’s awesome to hear, Topaz! Walking just gets you into a different mindset and instantly makes me feel less stressed! xx

  • rae

    Some of the things on this list are def. great way to unwind but i think that other things like baking and taking an e-course can also end up turning stressful because it still is a form of work. I think taking a walk is a great thing to do after work because it can really clear your mind. Your tips for bloggers are def. good ones – we really need to know how to set boundaries in order for blogging not to take over our lives aka freetime!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

    • I guess it really depends on what you find relaxing! Some people really love baking to de-stress (I usually stick with really simple recipes so I don’t end up getting frustrated when it doesn’t turn out right haha). And the e-course if more of a ‘make the most of you free time’ thing, but it can be really helpful if you need to get your mind off your job!

  • Shirria @GDTH

    These are ALL great tips!. I really appreciate the tips for bloggers. As a new blogger I have spent a lot of late nights working on my blog and then being less productive due to fatigue from the night before.

    • Thank you, Shirria! I think we’ve all spent those late nights working on blog-related things! I just know that if I let myself work on it for too long, I’ll end up not being as productive as I could be if I give myself a stricter deadline/time limit.

  • I seriously want to start all of these! I do swear by sitting down and just reading with a cup of tea, but I love your idea of a set time limit for blogging. I always end up staying up sooooooo late and then regretting it as soon as my alarm goes off. xo

    Kelsey | http://www.abalancingpeach.com

    • Reading with a cup of tea is such a good way to relax! I love making chamomile tea before I go to bed :D

  • Going out and getting fresh air helps me relax, too. Other than that my daughter forces me to take my mind off work and blogging for a few hours.

    Linda,
    Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Fresh air is so important, especially when you’ve been sitting inside all day! I can imagine that she’d easily be able to distract you from all that ;)

  • I totally agree on taking a walk without phones. I’m so attached to my phone, Caleb has to remind me to not bring it and spend time with him and enjoy our walk together. Great tips :)

    • Same here! Nick is always so annoyed when I’m on my phone all the time haha!

  • Great post! Very informative, pictures nicely taken and most importantly, I feel you girl. Thank you for sharing :) :) :)

    RLN

    Real Life Nerd // http://www.vivienekok.blogspot.com

  • I’m a big proponent of hobbies. My go to hobby is knitting, when I’m fried I tend towards patterns by others, but when I feel inspired I love creating patterns from scratch.
    I’m also big on reading, wether it’s fiction or non-fiction, the written word is a powerful drug. You can become entirely absorbed and enter a world you had no idea existed or become inspired and leave a reading session feeling empowered.
    And then there are days where I just let it be and enjoy some potato time on the couch snuggled up to hubby watching netflix – those moments can be precious too.

    • Reading is the perfect way to relax! I tend to reserve 20 minutes before bed to read, although I should probably dedicate more time to it! Absolutely, you gotta be a couch potato sometimes (but not ALL the time haha)

  • I’m currently at home looking for a job, but when I was interning, I also thought about all the things I wanted to do after work. Then I would get home quite tired and it was a bit harder to find the motivation to do all I had planned.
    I love going for walks, it’s a great way to switch off (and yes, I had an idea you would enjoy that post haha) but I wish I did it more frequently, though. I don’t think I have a hobby apart from blogging. I really want to learn how to play the piano, too! And maybe to experiment more with photography and calligraphy. And those Nutella chocolate cookies are delicious, indeed, I had to try them as soon as I watched the video haha :) x

    • Haha so true – while I’m at work, I imagine all of the things I could get done when I get home…and then none of it happens. This picture sums it up perfectly!

      I think it’s so common for our generation to not have hobbies anymore, which is probably why the rest of the world thinks we’re lazy haha. I did dance in high school and that was it, but I’d really like to get back into that xx

      • Exactly – love that picture haha! I did dance too, hip hop, and even though I don’t believe I have the skills, I think I would enjoy to give it another try, just for fun. x

  • Sometimes I feel so bad because I have to schedule in time to have fun and I have to plan in advance if I want to go out or go shopping or even pluck my eyebrows in between school, work, blogging and being a wife & mom, and my friends who aren’t married can just drop everything and go hang out. It’s good to know that other people have to think about taking breaks in advance too!
    Morgan | theradwife.blogspot.com

    • Oh, totally! If I don’t schedule it in, I will completely forget to take care of myself haha. You are not alone!

  • yes to turning off alerts. actually, yes to silencing your phone and getting off the internet!! sometimes when i pick up an actually book and just sit and read, i realize how much i miss that type of calm life where I’m not ‘plugged in’ all the time.

    • Yes, yes, yes! It really does help to zone out with a good book and forget you even own a cell phone haha

  • Hahaha. Watching netflix and scrolling through blog posts is my life. Really good info! I definitely need to be more conscious about setting aside time to blog erat her than allowing it to rule me.

    • I feel like I’m always thinking about my dang blog even if I’m not working on it, so it really helps to have those chunks of time to give it your undivided attention haha

  • SUCH a needed post for me!! Thank you so much for sharing these tips! I love the idea of going for a walk without your phone. I’m going to try that next week after work! :) I have a bad habit of checking email constantly, but I have turned notifications off for email, which does help, you’re right! Have a good weekend, my friend!

    • I’m so glad this was helpful, Gina! Hope you have a lovely week and that you get a chance to go for some walks :D

  • This is such a good piece, Catherine! :) Walking without my phone is a great way for me to actually relax… detached from the things that usually fill my mind!

    • Thanks, Daisy! Half the time I spend walking with my phone, I don’t even look up once and I feel like it was a waste of a walk haha.

  • Veronica

    Catherine, thank you soooo much for writing this!!! I’ve done quite a few of these and I totally forgot how liberating #1 is especially. I looooveee your site and am so grateful you’re writing about this! What I am starting to do now is get away from technology an hour or two before bed, works wonders when I wake up the next morning!

  • Emily Rose

    These are fabulous ideas on how to relax. Love it!

  • John Nonemaker

    I think #3 can also be applied to Sunday evenings. I love doing something fun on Sunday evenings to end the weekend on a good note instead of sitting around the house and moaning that I have to work tomorrow. Thanks for the tips!

  • Ahmed

    Thanks for the article Catherine. I tried my hands on cooking, as well as tried taking a course, but they didn’t help. But your number #1 idea worked amazingly well for me. So these days, I take regular walks in the evening, and boy it de-stresses you.

    Thank you again for the writing.

  • Catherine! I love this post and these tips so much! I just shared them in my recent blog post :). Just wanted to give you the heads up!
    xo
    Ali (punchdrunksoul.com/take-a-break/)