In Practice

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5 Questions to Help You Relax After a Hard Day's Work

Questions to help you relax after work and enjoy your personal time.

After a Hard Day's Work of Fishmongering by mssmith1965
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57551628@N00/5069373216/
1. What would help you feel more relaxed during your journey home from work?

For example, buying some noise reducing headphones for the subway (to help reduce physiological over-arousal), or using you car commute for a humor break by listening to a comedy audiobook.

Or, eating afternoon tea/keeping a snack in the car so you're not irritable from hunger.

2. How long do you need after you get home before you're ready to chat?

Couples therapists typically emphasize the importance of a mindful moment when partners first reunite at the end of the day, and having a 20-minute stress-reducing conversation in the evening. (Source)

Many people don't want to have that stress-reducing conversation the second they walk in the door. When's the right time for you and your partner? You can give your partner a mindful hug, kiss, and greeting and then do the longer stress-reducing conversation later. Tip: Develop mutual trust that you will have this conversation later in the evening and that postponing it until later isn't an attempt to avoid it.

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3. What's your ideal weekday evening timeline for maximum relaxation?

What activities do you want to do, in what order, between when you get home and when you go to bed? What would help you feel rejuvenated, get a restful sleep, and give you a sense of having had enough personal time?

If you plot this out as an ideal evening timeline, is it realistic? Does it all fit in?

4. Do you have some time when you aren't requiring your brain to concentrate on an activity? 

Where do you like to do this? For example, it might be sitting in the window and gazing out at the cityscape, or sitting on your porch and looking at your garden.

5. What best helps you release physical tension from the day?

For example, dropping your shoulders, doing a few minutes of slow and mindful breathing, running,  walking, or getting a long hug.

If you liked this article

If you liked this article, you'll probably like this one on 50 Common Cognitive Distortions.

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photo credit: After a Hard Day's Work of Fishmongering by mssmith1965 

Alice Boyes, Ph.D. translates principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and social psychology into tips people can use in their everyday lives.

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