10 Ways to Decompress at the End of the Day

By Karen Pohl

October 6, 2020

The days are long but the years are short. You’ve probably heard that phrase; I know I have quite a few times, usually from a well-meaning friend of older kids or my own mom. I’m in the trenches with you. I have three kids 6 and under plus we added a puppy to the family a couple of months ago.

By the end of the day, I am done. I am touched out. I am mom-ed out. I have a running list of about 847340 things that need attention in one way or another. On top of the regular mom stuff, Coronavirus has added a whole other level of stress.  Letting go of some of that stress and unwinding at the end of the day is so important for our mental health. How you decompress is personal and some days you may need one thing, and others something else. Here are a few different ways to decompress at the end of the day:

  1. Go for a walk. Since our puppy came home, I’ve been walking more frequently. He needs the attention and to burn off his puppy energy, and I enjoy the time alone taking in the sunset. Maybe you meet up with a neighbour or friend to have a socially distanced stroll around the neighbourhood, maybe you like a solo walk on a nearby trail or maybe it’s a family walk and everyone burns off a little bit of energy before bed.
  2. Watch TV/Movie/Netflix. This is typically my go-to. I fall into the rabbit hole of youtube until I fall asleep or binge-watch shows. It’s so easy to just jump into bed and stare at a screen and zone out. If you’re having trouble sleeping, I suggest avoiding screens too late in the evening as it can disrupt your melatonin and throw off your sleep cycles. 
  3. Warm bath. One of my favourites! Running a warm bath, with a book and a glass of wine. 
  4. Intense workout. Sometimes the best way to clear your head is an intense workout. This isn’t for everyone but give it a shot! A good intense workout can make you feel like you did something great for your body. 
  5. A hot cup of tea or wine. Maybe you enjoy hot tea or a glass of wine. Maybe you curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good book while sipping your favourite beverage. 
  6. Meditation/breathing exercises. Practising meditation can be a great stress reliever and a great way to decompress at the end of the day. One of my favourite breathing exercises is box breathing (you might have heard of it referred to as square breathing or 4×4 breathing). You inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, rest for 4.  Maybe grounding exercises like 5,4,3,2,1 is more your style. Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. I find this one takes my mind off of my to-do list and makes me more present. 
  7. Music/podcast. There are so many great podcasts and musicians out there these days! The topics and genres are endless, there’s something for everyone. Check out Making Sense of Motherhood Podcast by The Mama Coach Sandra Everets! 
  8. Reading.  A good book can transport you to a different world. 
  9. Puzzles/games.  The challenge of a puzzle or brain game can be the mental stimulation you need to turn off all your stress. Or maybe you like a good old fashion board game like Monopoly. 
  10. Crafting/knitting. Sometimes the best way to unwind is to get creative. Painting, crafting, knitting or crocheting can be a satisfying way to unwind.

At the end of the day, we need to take care of ourselves. We matter. You matter. Make a point to do one thing each evening before you go to bed to decompress and unwind so that you can have a good sleep with a clear head. What are some things you like to do that help you decompress at the end of the day? 

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