As fulfilling as work can be, it can sometimes also be incredibly tiring — some days more than others. Maybe you had to deal with an unreasonable customer, or maybe you've just been reprimanded by your boss. Or maybe you just had an endless stream of tasks throughout the day that really exhausted you.

No matter what it is, if you find yourself completely drained of all energy as you clock out, then you might be in need of some unwinding.

The importance of unwinding

woman holding a cup of coffee at right hand and reading book on her lap while holding it open with her left hand in a well-lit room

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

After a long day, you may be tempted to simply go home and go right to bed. However, it's important to go through the process of unwinding, especially if it's been a stressful day! Here are some reasons why you should go the extra distance to decompress.

1. Detach from work

Have you ever gone home still occupied with thoughts about work? Maybe you're still thinking about a mistake you made at work, or already making plans for the next day. However, this means that you're not really resting! You're still in "work mode".

An unwinding process will help you detach from "work mode" and transition into "relax mode". This means that your mind and body can properly rest and decompress.

2. Get better sleep

white cat sleeps under white comforter

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

When you go to bed stressed, you may find it more difficult to fall asleep, and you may even end up having a restless sleep. On the other hand, when you're completely relaxed after an unwinding routine, you'll find that sleep comes easier and quicker to you!

And when you get a good night's rest, you may notice an improvement in your performance the next day!

3. It's good for your health

Too much stress too frequently can negatively impact your physical health. Increased blood pressure, heart problems, digestive problems, weight gain… the list goes on. So it's important that you leave any work stress and worries at the office, and not bring them home! Unwinding will help keep your body in better shape.

What are some ways you can unwind?

1. Take an evening walk

A woman walking through a forest in the afternoon

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

One of the best ways to come out of "work mode" and transition into "relax mode" is to go on a nice evening walk. The fresh air and sounds of nature can really give you that mental reset and distract you from your troubles.

So go outside, take quick 15 minute stroll through a nearby park or just around the block. Breathe in the fresh air and concentrate on the feeling of the wind on your face, the sounds of the world winding down around you. Bonus points if you have a furry friend to take on a walk and distract you from your troubles!

An evening walk is particularly helpful if you've been working from home as well! Working from home blurs the boundaries between work and relaxation, so it's all the more important for you to get out of the house!

2. Relax with some (decaf) tea

white ceramic cup on white ceramic saucer beside stainless steel spoon

Photo by Jasmine Huang on Unsplash

The last thing you'd want at the end of a stressful day is a caffeinated drink. Caffeine will only amplify any stress and anxiety you're holding in your body, and may even keep you up at night.

Instead, invest in some decaf teas to both hydrate and relax you. Some teas with calming properties that you might want to try include:

  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Valerian

Make a cup of hot tea as you settle in for bed or while you're reading a book, and let it work its magic!

3. Read a book you love

white opened book beside tray

Photo by Olesia Buyar on Unsplash

If you're feeling up to it, why not put all your electronics aside and pick up a book? It can be a comfort book that you reread in stressful times, or a new one that you've been eagerly waiting to get started on. Either way, fiction is a wonderful escape from the troubles of real life.

You may even want to start building a list of feel-good books for when you need a nice pick-me-up. Books with happy endings, an inspiring message or simple slice-of-life plots are balms to a bad mood!

4. Watch some animal livestreams

If you're an animal lover, what better way to destress than with some adorable animal videos? But to save yourself the trouble of scrolling through your social media timeline to search for animal videos (we told you to disconnect!), why not watch some animal livestreams instead?

A simple search on Youtube will unearth a whole list of adorable animal livestreams. Otters, rescue kittens, golden retriever puppies and even hens -- you'll be spending the night "aww-ing" endlessly. It's a guaranteed mood-lift.

5. Play some mobile games

man using smartphone

Photo by Daan Geurts on Unsplash

Video games have a reputation of being stressful, intense and competitive, but that's not always the case! In fact, there are many who play video and mobile games as a form of stress-relief, and there are many games that are designed to be relaxing.

Games like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Stardew Valley are free, simple to play, and you will be able to escape to a world where farming, fishing and crafting are your only responsibilities. Plus, since these games are available on mobile, you'll be able to relax while playing. A cup of hot tea, blankets and a mobile game — what's not to love?

6. Journal your thoughts

pen on white lined paper selective focus photography

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Everyone needs a place to vent, and journaling can be that place for you. Putting down your thoughts on paper can really lift a weight off your shoulders after a long, stressful day. The best part? Your journal can't judge you or give you unwanted advice!

Alternatively, writing down a daily list of things you're grateful for, or a list of things you're looking forward to at the end of the week can help significantly lift your mood. This is a great way to look on the bright side and to continue to motivate yourself.

Journaling your thoughts with Journey App

On bad days, however, you may be bursting at the seams with negative emotions, and you just can't wait till you get your notebook at home. When that happens, why not use a digital journal app like Journey?

With Journey's cloud sync feature, you'll be able to create journal entries on any device you own, wherever and whenever you feel the urge to vent your worries and frustrations.

Journey's cloud sync feature across mobile, iPad and web app

Plus, vent journal entries can be incredibly private, and your journal entries should be a safe space for yourself. At Journey, we want to make you feel secure about your journal entries, which is why we have several security functions to keep prying eyes away.

Journey's security and privacy features on Apple iPhone
Journey's security and privacy features on Apple iOS

From passcodes to Apple Face ID, Apple Touch ID and Android Biometric, you'll feel safe and secure using Journey.

At the end of the day, our mental and physical wellbeing should be our top priority. These 6 tips are only a handful out of the many different ways to unwind, so you can create a routine that works best for you!