If your job leaves you stressed and tense you need to wind down on the way home to make the most of your evenings. We’ll show you how.

Here’s our guide to getting nicely wound down and chilled out by the time you arrive home from a hard day at work. It’ll make sure you’re ready to make the most of your evening, however much or little you decide to do.

Debrief your day

  • On the journey home it’s time to start to put all of those work thoughts aside.
  • Have a quick debrief - consider questions such as what you did well today, what didn’t go well, what changes you need make in the future, or what things you need to do tomorrow.
  • Don’t spend too long doing this though! Once you have considered all those things, do your best to forget about anything work-related.
  • In most cases, once you’ve left work there will be little you can do about any problems until you’re back there tomorrow — so don’t worry about it.

Switch persona

  • On your way there you will normally switch yourself into the work ‘you’ — so on your way home you should start to switch back to the non-work ‘you’.
  • If you’re necessarily a bossy due to your responsibilities at work, it makes sense to try and shake off this hard edge, so that you can become more laid-back at home or during your leisure activities.
  • Starting to think about what you want to do that evening can automatically draw your focus away from work and help this transition.

Be prepared

  • On your way home, think about those jobs that need doing when you get in - even if it’s just what you’re going to have for dinner or what washing needs doing.
  • There may also be other things that need organising, such as writing a shopping list or planning for the weekend.
  • You can start to prepare for these by using your thinking time on the way home wisely.

Learning and relaxation time

  • A good way of switching focus – if you’re not driving – is to engage in some learning or relaxation pursuits during your commute.
  • For example, you could try learning a new language while traveling home on the bus or train.
  • Other ways of winding down include doing a puzzle such as a crossword, word search or Sudoku; immersing yourself in a good book or just closing your eyes and doing some mind-relaxing exercises.

Music for the mind

  • Music can affect our mood. On your way to work you might like to listen to something a little bit more rousing to shake off your sleepiness.
  • And on the way home you might look forward to winding down with something a little more calming and relaxing.
  • Make it part of your routine so that you have music to create two distinctly different moods.
  • Listening to calming music on your journey back home should have the impact of shaking off any work anxiety.

Ease out tension

  • If you get the chance, you should ease out tension in your body by doing some simple exercises on the way home.
  • We’re not talking about star jumps and skipping on a packed train here. Simply clenching and then relaxing your muscles should have the desired effect.
  • Also, try concentrating on your breathing. A regular breathing pattern can have a calming effect on you and will help you shake off the last remnants of your work day.
  • You could even make a stop at the gym on the way home which would really help to release any tension from the work day.

Detach from your smartphone

  • Most people are constantly available via their smartphone, whether it’s taking calls or sending emails.
  • But if you extend your working day into your commute home, you’ll arrive tenser than when you left the office.
  • Instead, make a conscious choice to sign out of your work email account, or to switch your phone off on the commute. That way you can spend some time winding down, rather than extending the work day into your home life.

Enjoy your evening …

  • All that’s left to do now is enjoy your evening. Following our advice will leave you feeling far more relaxed and in much better shape to make the most of your time away from the office.
  • Make sure you forget about work once you’ve left and then think about what you’re going to do when you get home. That way you will be better able to enjoy the evening ahead.