It’s so important to have a 5 o’clock ritual after a long day at work that calms me and helps me decompress for the night or weekend. It can be difficult to turn your work-brain off when the days are heavy and full, so coming up with a schedule that helps to do that is ideal. Today I’m sharing what my ritual consists of, as well as some tips for separating yourself from your work and transitioning from work-life to personal-life with ease when 5 p.m. rolls around.
Below is a loose schedule that can be adjusted based on your commute, after work activities, etc.
5:00 p.m. — Take time for yourself.
This can be difficult for me to remember sometimes because most days I’m working alone at my desk, so I’m eager to talk and get my social release as soon as I get home. However, I notice that I’m a better version of myself when I allot time to be by myself outside of work to decompress. I like to listen to music and so something that I enjoy, which is typically tidying up, watching YouTube videos or doing something creative, which is typically blog-related for me.
5:30 p.m. — Stretch.
If you aren’t very physically active at work and sit at your desk most of the day like I do, make time to get your blood moving and release any built up physical tension you may have. Stretching or going for a walk always makes me immediately feel 10 times more at ease, so I try to do this whenever I can. Feeling stiff and rigid is the worst!
5:45 p.m. — Talk to a friend, family member or spouse.
Now here’s when you can be social. I think it’s important to talk about your day with someone you love, but don’t let the day’s woes and frustrations consume the conversation, because chances are that’s what’s on your mind. Take time to talk about the good and not so good parts of your day, what you enjoyed the most and what you learned. Work talk shouldn’t extend past this conversation — you’re at home now, so focus on transitioning back to your personal life.
6:00 p.m. — Incorporate relaxation time.
This goes along with alone time and stretching. For me, I like to take a shower for relaxation because it helps to wash the day away and allows me to have a fresh start to the evening. I always like to light a candle or two around the apartment before I get in so I can come out to a calming space, and I usually leave them lit all night until I go to bed. I like to exfoliate or self-tan every few days when I get out of the shower, as well as apply lotion on my face and body (let me know if you’d like me to go into detail on these products in a blog post). Self-care is so important, so don’t neglect it!
6:30 p.m. — Take care of your body.
Eat a healthy dinner! I’m the worst at this, but I’m always trying to remind myself that it’s so important to give my body what it needs, especially after a day of snacking at my desk. Sometimes I like to make myself a smoothie after dinner to sip on throughout the rest of the night and to help me get in some extra vitamins and nutrients. All of my smoothies are orange juice based with a mixture of various fruits because that’s what I like most.
Before bed — Journal, plan or make lists.
I feel at ease and that I have my life together when I’m keeping my thoughts organized, so my planner is seriously my best friend. List-making helps me jot down any pressing things I have on my mind so I can feel ready to take on the day the next morning without feeling pressured to remember everything. With the wedding coming up so quickly, my to-do list has been quite hefty lately, which can feel overwhelming when time is limited — so I like referring back to my list and updating it daily so I can stay on track and super motivated.
Before bed — Unplug.
This is a difficult one for many of us, because down time often means social media time. I suggest unplugging yourself from social media and TV at least 20 minutes before bed to help you get into a nightly routine. You can use this time to journal and make lists as I mentioned above, talk to a loved one, read, etc. I like to use this time to settle into bed with Justin and discuss what we each have planned for the next day and simply chat about anything we have our minds.
What is your 5 o’clock ritual and how do you decompress after work? I’d love to know! Also, please let me know of any blog post requests you have. Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day in advance, everyone. 🙂