how to unwind

Things to help me unwind and find balance

Since March 2020 I work from home. In the beginning, I was really happy with that because I always thought that it would improve my productivity. That happened, but what I forgot is that the balance I had with work and my private life got more complicated. I worked longer and had less casual time with my colleagues. When the gyms also started to close I was more at home, so I had to make some changes. The moment of leaving the office and go home was gone and that also happened to the moment to leave the house to the gym. I tried some things to get the balance back and to force myself to take time for myself. These are the 5 things that help me unwind:

1. Walk that walk

Together with a lot of others that work from home, I decided to walk more around the house. I live near a great park with a lot of trees. In the beginning, I tried to get the 10.000 steps a day, but now I limited myself to at least walk. This can be just a walk around the block or a walk to the park. I put on a podcast or one of my favorite playlists and just walk and enjoy my surroundings. Sometimes I go by myself, or with a friend or with my boyfriend. Especially during the weekends walking is one of my favorite activities. I meet up with a friend, bring my thermos, and walk. During the walk, we get a take-away sandwich or a nice coffee.

End of the day walk
I really started to appreciate my neighbourhood.

2. Dear Diary…

As a kid, I always wrote things in my diary after a long day. Now I do this in my journal. Not only at the end of the day, but also to start my day. I do this via the 100-day journal. Every morning I write down my affirmations and set my goals for the day. At the end of the day, I write down what I enjoyed and what I learned. This really helps me to start the day positively and ending the day by writing all my thoughts in the journal. You don’t need to do this via the journal I do, you can also do it in your notes or in a simple notebook.

100 day journal to keep you positive
Ending the day with my 100-day journal

3. Get in the right headspace

Another thing I do now is meditating with the Headspace app. You can also use other apps, videos, playlists, or just your breath. I started really getting into meditation during my yoga classes. After each class, we would meditate and do a body check guided by our teacher. It would really calm me down and get me ready for bed afterward. My first meditation was just starting to stay silent, but my thoughts would go everywhere. Thanks to a guided meditation I can focus on the voice of the narrator or teacher and really visualize what the person says. 

4. Start reading (or listening)

When I’m done writing in my journal or meditating I sometimes start reading a book or grab my Kobo. I really love reading, but I never made time for it, only during summer vacations I could find the time and read a lot of books. Reading makes me really happy. Especially Novels or Thrillers make me forget about everything. Lately, I’m also into self-help books. I started this blog after reading You are a badass from Jen Sincero. A very down-to-earth book with great advice! 

Is reading not your style? Audiobooks are also booming now. You have many apps with great narrators that will bring you into the books via audio. Not really my thing, but I might give it a try. Especially the Harry Potter books narrated by Stephen Fry are on my to listen to list.

Reading during lunch or after work on our sunny balcony

5. Minimize screentime

It’s easier said than done, but I’m trying to leave my phone out of the bedroom. I also set a sort of sleep mode: after a set time my screen starts to turn grey. No more exciting Reels or Instagram stories to watch after 11 p.m. So when that is happening I put my phone in the hall and leave it there after my morning journal. Leaving the phone there is like logging off from your PC or turning out the lights. When I’m still not tired I start reading or just chatting with my boyfriend. Sometimes I cheat and I watch some videos together on his phone. but hey, I’m trying 😛

I hope my things to unwind also will help you to do that a bit. It at least gave me a lot of peace and I’m also sleeping better now. When I do not do it and start freewheeling it goes ok, but after a busy day, I go back to it.