Being an adult is hard. When I was a kid I don't think I quite appreciated the stress and tiredness that would come with going out to work, paying bills and running a household on top of everything else that we as adults do.
Although the vast majority of us need to work in order to be able to support ourselves, have the things that we want and do the things that we want to do, I think that its important that we remember that we are working so that we can live, not living so that we can work.
There are lots of arguments to suggest that working less ours could benefit us all in the long run as we would be able to more productive while at work as we would be more well rested from having more time off, our relationships with family and friends could become stronger particularly when family time with children is concerned, we may eat more healthily and have time to exercise more.
However its not just me who has been thinking about this lately as Go To Meeting have too. They have created their own infographic that details how a four day week could improve our lives and the pros and cons surrounding the argument.
In the meantime though, it looks like for the majority of us, a 5 day week, and sometimes more, is here to stay. While we're busy working all the hours God sends, I do think that its important to know how to relax and chill out after a long day at work, particularly if it has been a particularly stressful day.
Learning how to relax and unwind is really important for your well being. It's all about finding out what works for you. I've really been trying to work on my stress levels and learning how to control worrying recently and one of the things that I have found that really helps is to learn how to let go of the things that I can't control. At the end of the working day, if I have some things on my mind then I will write a bullet point list of the three things that I need to do or that are worrying me the most. Then, if I need to, I'll break those three things down into a further three things as to how I can tackle them, etc and I find that it really helps me to focus and cope a lot better. Then I set them to one side and move on. If I can't deal with it there and then, there's no point in worrying about them.
I then switch off, relax and chill out. I have found five different things that really seem to work for me and I wanted to share them with you all.
1. Have a relaxing bath with a good book and your favourite pamper products
|The Bath Relaxer pillow* and A Man Called Ove book|
We have a huge two person jacuzzi tub which looks fantastic but its so big that it is very easy to slip around in. Feeling comfortable plays a huge part in being able to relax in the bath. Since I got my first Bath Relaxer, sliding down in the bath hasn't been an issue for me.
The Bath Relaxer is a multifunctional bath pillow that takes seconds to blow up and sticks tightly to the bath with the three suction cups that are on it. It can be placed half way down the bath as a wedge under your bottom to stop you from sliding downwards which is such a simple yet genius idea that really works. It can also be placed at the bottom of the bath to rest your feet on or at the top of the bath as a cushion. Many of you will know that I suffer from neck pain so when my neck is really sore, but I'm still able to get in and out of the bath, then I'll use the Bath Relaxer as a pillow and it really helps me to be able to relax in he bath.
My baths can be as elaborate or as simple as I like; sometimes I'll pop a face mask and a hair mask on, I'll often use a body scrub and add a Lush Bubble Bar to my bath water, other times I'll simply read whatever book I'm enjoying at that moment. Sometimes its good to be able to escape into someone else's world for a little while. The book that I'm currently reading is A Man Called Ove. I'm not that far through it yet but so far it is a witty and moving read in equal parts.
2. Give yourself a pedicure a spa would be proud of
|Scholl Express Pedi*, Nails Inc and Models Own Polishes|
I take my nail polish off my fingers and toes and then get to work on smoothing out my feet. My nails are always in pretty good condition so its just a case of painting them in my current favourite colour but I do suffer with dry, hard skin on my feet which needs a little extra TLC.
The key to chilling out after a stressful day is to not do anything too time consuming that's going to mean that you end up wasting a lot of time doing one thing and then stressing about the time that you could have spent doing something else. That's why I can't be bothered to use a manual foot file these days, that and because battery operated ones are so much more effective.
To get rid of dry, hard skin on your feet, the Express Pedi is brilliant. Its by the brand Scholl who are known for making the most effective foot care products. I was suffering from extremely dry, cracked heels a few years ago. They were bleeding and so sore when I would walk. When we were at the airport going on holiday, I picked up a tube of their Cracked Heel Repair Cream and I was amazed at the results. I applied it at night and by the next day, there was a marked improvement in my feet and by the day after, my feet were heeled. Total wizardry.
The Scholl Express Pedi works as an electrical foot file that you twist to turn on which activates the coarse roller to spin round at a rapid speed. You then apply a light to medium pressure as you roll it across your feet, paying particular attention to the areas of your feet that are very dry or hard. For me thats my heels and the ball of my foot. The Express Pedi itself is so easy to use and comfortable to grip and hold. While it does feel quite heavy, once you turn it on, it seems to feel lighter and it effortlessly buffs and files away the hard skin from your feet.
After you've finished, paint your toe nails in your favourite nail polish colour and your fingernails too, I always find that I feel better when they're matching! Apply some foot and hand cream too to keep your skin moisturised and hydrated. A quick and easy at home mani pedi will not only save you a lot of time and money compared to going to a salon but you'll find that you've forgotten about the stresses of the day by the time you're finished. Plus you'll get that same smiley feeling that comes with having your fingers and toes match... Surely I can't be the only one that feels like this?
3. Give your skin a sun-kissed glow
|St Tropez Gradual Tan*|
I always feel better about myself when I have a bit of colour on my skin as I'm super pale. Like with painting my nails, when I get home from a stressful day, I like to pamper myself so that the next day I wake up feeling transformed and like a better version of myself than I was the day before. I know it sounds quite superficial but when I feel like I look good on the outside and I've got my game face on, it reminds me to reconnect with my inner confidence and I feel like I can tackle the day that little bit better because I feel so much more put together when I've taken care of my appearance.
Lately I've been applying the St Tropez Gradual Tan which is available in two shades; Light/Medium which I have as naturally I'm very pale and Medium/Dark. This is a gradual tan that you apply over the course of several days to build up to your desired sun kissed effect. It has the benefit of lightly moisturising your skin with the Vitamin E that it contains, while gently tanning it which will save you time as well because you can apply it before you go to bed, leave it to develop and you don't have to wash it off the next day like you do with most false tans.
The gradual tanner has a light, lotion like texture that moisturises into the skin well and dries relatively quickly, no sooner or later than a regular body lotion. It has a beautiful floral fragrance that lasts on the skin. I find that I don't tend to get the typical false tan scent with this product unless I go to the gym and build up quite a sweat.
It leaves my skin with a gorgeous sun kissed glow, even after the first use which is perfect for a pick me up when you've been feeling stressed out at work (who wouldn't rather be sun bathing in the Caribbean getting a gorgeous glow that working in the office?!) and although it doesn't have a guide colour, the application is pretty even and streak free. As the formula is so moisturising, I find that as long as I have exfoliated my elbows, knees and heels, it doesn't cling to the dry areas of my skin.
I used to use the Garnier Summer Body all of the time but the St Tropez Gradual Tan has by far surpassed the Garnier moisturiser as the colour is much more natural, it doesn't smell bad and it absorbs so quickly that it is definitely worth the extra pounds.
4. Take care of your skin
|Jurlique Nutri-Define Rejuvenating Overnight Cream*|
I suggest to give your skin a good cleanse and tone, apply your serum and eye cream if you use them (and I suggest you do... wrinkles are real, people!) and then take your time massaging in your night cream. There are plenty of tutorials online that will guide you in how to do this but essentially, facial massage will help you to relax as it relives tension and increases circulation, it helps the product to be absorbed into the skin and keeps you looking youthful.
The night cream that I am using at the moment is the Jurlique Nutri-Define Rejuvenating Overnight Cream and it is a total delight to use. It comes in a pot with a little spatula which is great for those who don't like to get product under their nails or for those who are concerned about hygiene when dipping their finger into a pot. You simply scoop a little out and massage it into the skin.
The cream is rich and intensely hydrating yet it massages into the skin really well and doesn't feel too heavy on the skin at all. It has a really light, none offensive scent that doesn't linger on the skin either.
I love this moisturiser because it has such an impact on how hydrated my skin looks and feels. My skin is very dehydrated and it really takes a good product to perk it up. I drink so much water but that doesn't cut it completely, I need the boost of a rich night cream like this Jurlique one to ensure that I wake up looking and feeling rejuvenated each morning.
Even though it is very thick and I do have oily skin, as this is a night cream, it doesn't matter if it takes a little longer to absorb into my skin because Im only going to bed and it doesn't matter if my pillow sees me looking a little shiny! The Nutri-Define Rejuvenating Overnight Cream works while you sleep to nourish the skin with its unique Biosome5 technology that contains lots of anti-ageing ingredients to restore your complexion to its natural radiance. It contains cupuacu seed butter, chosen because of its super hydrating, softening and smoothing abilities and artichoke leaf extract that helps to strengthen and define the skin.
I love the way that my skin looks and feels after using this cream and it certainly helps me to feel more relaxed at night!
5. Have an early night
|1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm*|
I suffer from anxiety after an accident that I had a couple of years ago and it makes sleeping quite difficult as sometimes I can get very nervous at night. As I've been dealing with the symptoms for ages now, I've started to work out what works for me at night and a lot of what I go can really help those who are feeling stressed out after a day at work as well.
I like to use either a pillow spray or a sleep balm before I go to bed. The one that I'm using at the moment is the 1001 Remedies Good Night Sleep Relaxing Balm which contains a whole host of natural ingredients that are known for helping to relieve stress, anxiety and worries.
It is best to apply a balm like this as the last step in your routine before you go to bed so that you can associate the scent with going to sleep. It has a very soothing and calming effect which I love. The balm itself is 99.96% organic and contains 10 pure, natural and organic essential oils including Saint John's Wort oil which has been using for thousands of years as a treatment against depression, Neroli which has long been used against stress and anxiety and Melissa Oil which is one of the most rare and expensive essential oils in the world. Melissa Oil helps to calm the body and it relaxes the heart and the nervous system which helps to facilitate a deep sleep.
Even just smelling this balm makes me feel relaxed. There is a strong scent of lavender and other essential oils which immediately feels calming. I tend to apply this to the hollows of my chest and on the inside of my wrists before I go to sleep. Only a tiny amount is needed and I just warm it between my fingertips. It gives this overwhelmingly calming and relaxed feeling to my body and mind and I really do associate the scent with drift off to sleep peacefully.
If I'm having an early night, I'll often use an eye mask to block out any extra light and most of the time I'll set my Calm App up on my phone and play some relaxing music for 20 minutes. I like to set the timer so that I know that it is definitely going to turn itself off as I'm usually completely asleep before its finished. I've been doing the guided meditations on the app as well which are fantastic if you need to control your breathing and clear your mind to help with stress and anxiety.
So those are my top 5 ways to relax and pamper yourself after a stressful day at work. I'd love to hear what your top tips are in the comments!
*This post has been written in collaboration with Go To Meeting. The post idea itself and all opinions are, as always, my own.