After a particularly hard day all anyone wants to do is take the day’s events off their mind and put their feet up. Lately I’ve been having days like this more frequently – there have been a lot of changes at work and in my home-life which has definitely made me feel a little grouchy! So I’ve made to list a few things that help me relax after a particularly hard day in the hope that some of these tips might help anyone else who just needs to breathe. So make a cup of tea and grab the fluffiest dressing gown in sight – this one is about “me-time”.
#1 – Face mask
I believe it is an unwritten law that to pamper oneself you must have a face mask at the ready. Taking care of your skin is so important, especially if you feel you’re beginning to look a little tired under the eyes. Besides, who actually doesn’t love a good face mask, right? They’re a great remedy for your skin and you look hilarious whilst wearing one. What’s not to love?
#2 – Have a bubble bath
Being the complete and utter hygiene freak that I am, I’ve found that the best way to unwind is to run myself a bubble bath. It’s a good way to get some of that ever-elusive “me time”, especially if you leave your phone in another room so you cut out the temptation to check your emails entirely. It’s also a great time to practice mindfulness, too. Bubbles are definitely a must in this case! I also suggest purchasing a few soaps and bath bombs from Lush Cosmetics because they smell and look amazing. They are literally worth every penny.
#3 – Watch your favourite film or TV show
Sometimes connecting with an old film or TV show you love can make you forget about whatever is worrying you. I love being so into the story that’s being told on the screen that I forget what was even bothering me in the first place. My go-to film is How To Be Single because it’s hilarious and it reminds us to look after ourselves which is you know… the whole point of this article. I’ve also listed some other recommended films and shows below that vary in genre:
- Step Brothers
- Harry Potter (any of them are worth a watch, but why stop at one when you can have a marathon instead??)
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Lilo & Stitch
- Mean Girls
- Fargo (TV show)
- American Horror Story (TV show)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV show)
#4 – Call a friend
Everyone has that one friend that they’ve known so long they can’t even remember how they met in the first place, but they’re in your life for good and you wouldn’t have it any other way. Calling a friend just for a catch-up can be really helpful if you need to destress. It’s just nice to hear a familiar voice sometimes and maybe even get their opinion on whatever is bothering you. Sometimes someone else’s attitude can help you feel better about things that are going on around you. Whenever I feel worried I always turn to one of my best friends who is one of the funniest guys you could ever meet. He also has a really laid-back attitude towards life that I’ve frankly always envied him for. If you have someone who never fails to make you laugh, call them. It will make you feel so much better.
#5 – Paint your nails (or alternatively get them done at a nail salon)
I gave the alternative suggestion here of getting your nails done at a salon but if you prefer a low-cost method of pampering yourself then stick with painting them yourself at home. This also means you haven’t got to leave the house, you can enjoy the rest of your day in your little nest of tv shows and face masks. I love painting my nails because it makes me feel feminine, and I find that painting them is oddly therapeutic. My nails are however really short, so I’ve started getting mine done at a salon. I think this tip is totally down to your own preference, (and in my own experience how much you’re willing to pay and whether or not you can be bothered to leave the house.) but I myself have started getting them done professionally. It literally makes you feel like Beyoncé and if you feel like Queen Bey you can conquer anything.
#6 – Write down your thoughts
I’m a writer in my spare time. I’ve written this article and I’ll write countless more in the future. I’ve actually found a lot of therapy in writing down my feelings and my experiences, and I will continue to use writing as a way of letting go of my stress. You don’t have to write anything publicly, in fact there are still things that I write about that are for nobody else’s eyes but my own. I have found that writing down anything that is bothering me is a great way of unloading it. Try keeping a diary if you’d like it to stay personal, but if not then why not start a blog?
#7 – Get under a blanket
This is one of my favourite items on this list purely because I love nothing more than being tucked up and cosy. Grab yourself a hot beverage and snuggle up under a blanket for a little while, let your body rest after a hard day! I love doing this when I feel cranky or a little under the weather. There is usually always an opportunity for a cat nap too, so you can’t go wrong there.
#8 – Play a video game
Similar to watching a film or TV show, I find that playing a game can take your mind off things because you’re immersing yourself in another situation and in another world. I personally play Red Dead Redemption because I love the storyline, the gameplay and the game itself is beautiful. It’s now 7 years old and I still think it’s one of the best games you could ever play. I’ve written a list of some other games I also enjoy below:
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Final Fantasy XV
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- The Sims 4
#9 – Dye your hair (or book an appointment at a salon)
Sometimes it’s the constant sense of the same daily routine that can leave you feeling deflated. I know from personal experience that doing the same job over and over again can become just downright boring so why not change something small that you can control. Whenever I dye my hair I feel like I’ve had a complete makeover. I literally am obsessed with dying my hair. The thing is, you can’t always necessarily change the tedium of your work routine, so doing something different with your hair is a small start to changing things up. Plus it is so fuuuun to change your hair colour! I personally love the whole procedure, and I love seeing how it turns out afterwards. I’m more of a box-dye type of gal, but you could always book an appointment at the salon if you prefer having someone do your hair for you. Also, if you’re a lucky devil like me, you can dye your hair any colour under the sun and your boss won’t bat an eyelid (believe me when I started my job I think I had a different colour for every day of the week!) at what you do to it. Just be mindful that if you are bleaching your hair it can really damage it so make sure you give your hair some loving afterwards. I personally recommend Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Treatment, which retails at roughly £4.99. Coconut oil is also your hair’s best friend, so don’t forget to use it often whether you’re dying your hair or not!
#10 – Get a good night’s sleep
This is the most difficult one for me mainly because I often work later shifts then have the commute home afterwards. If you have an evening free then I would definitely recommend getting into bed a little earlier so you can make sure you’re well-rested the following morning. What I do when I’m trying to have an early night is make sure I have fresh linen on my bed and that I minimise how often I look at my phone. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in social media before bed-time, so I would suggest setting an alarm (if you need one for the following day.. if you don’t then you’re a very lucky person and I’m slightly jealous..) and putting your phone out of reach. Staying up on your phone in a dark room can cause eye-strain and your brain will continue to be active, thus making it harder to get that well-deserved sleep.
I hope that my tips have helped you guys! If you have any suggestions for that precious self-care time then let me know in the comments! Xoxo