55 Ways to Relax After Work

Do you ever feel like a zombie after a long day at work? You feel so depleted and tired. You hardly have any energy left at all. The only thing you want to do is eat comfort food, pop open a brewski and watch television until bedtime.

We’ve all been there. Zoning out in front of the TV can be a great way to relax, but more often than not, it just makes you feel even more useless. Sitting immobile on the couch for extended periods of time can reinforce your own sense of helplessness and exhaustion, especially if it becomes your regular evening routine.

Although it can be difficult to rally enough energy after a tough day, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to get off the couch, turn off the TV and find something better to do (sorry to sound so much like your mother, but she was right). If you’re drawing a blank on what else to do with your time, don’t worry. We’ve got a few ways to relax that will help you feel less like a soulless blob and more like a happy, fulfilled human being.

  1. Just go to sleep.
  2. Take a bath, soak in a hot tub or relax in a steam room.
  3. Change into your comfiest clothes.
  4. Listen to soothing music.
  5. Cook one of your favorite recipes for dinner.
  6. Go for a walk in a park or take a short hike.
  7. Kick it up a notch and go for a run instead.
  8. Play a sport with friends like Frisbee golf, soccer or basketball.
  9. Try yoga or do some gentle stretches.
  10. Visit Oprah.com for guided meditation podcasts.
  11. Light scented candles.
  12. Look through old photo albums.
  13. Write in your journal, try art journaling or make a collage.
  14. Trade massages with your partner.
  15. Knit, crochet or sew.
  16. Bake cup cakes or muffins.
  17. Go for a drive in the country.
  18. Play with your kids (if you are a parent).
  19. Escape into a great novel.
  20. Take a bike ride.
  21. Sing karaoke.
  22. Cuddle with your cat or play fetch with your dog.
  23. Relax by the pool with a magazine.
  24. Play tennis, racquetball or squash.
  25. Spend time gardening.
  26. Sit on your front porch and watch the world go by.
  27. Brainstorm your “bucket list.”
  28. De-clutter, clean and make your living space as comfortable as possible.
  29. Start planning a vacation.
  30. Window shop in a new part of town.
  31. Play a musical instrument.
  32. Talk to your family.
  33. Invite a friend over to play video games.
  34. Go dancing.
  35. Play pool or shuffle board.
  36. Swim laps.
  37. Build your own community with a blog.
  38. Take an art class or a pottery class.
  39. Bead a necklace with chunky gemstones.
  40. Get ahead of schedule and make a Christmas gift for someone special.
  41. Pray.
  42. Write a letter or send a card…just because.
  43. Mail a bunch of photos of yourself to your grandparent or an elderly relative so they know what you’ve been up to.
  44. Make a cup of tea or warm up some hot apple cider.
  45. Enjoy some deep cleansing breaths.
  46. Sit quietly by the beach, a lake or a creek.
  47. Savor a meal in a local café or pub.
  48. Make plans for the weekend.
  49. Challenge a friend to a game of foosball or go bowling.
  50. Reconnect with a favorite childhood pastime.
  51. Volunteer.
  52. Call your funniest friend.
  53. Get your adrenaline pumping with a kickboxing or spinning class.
  54. Have a picnic.
  55. Watch the sunset.

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Sarah Nagel is lucky to live in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. She works as an editor by day and a freelance writer by night. Connect on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sarahnagel.


  1. Elise on the 10th September

    I feel more relaxed just reading this list! Simple ideas, but helpful nonetheless. Thanks 🙂

  2. Matt Clark on the 10th September

    Great tips to share, we all should relax after work and remember work is just that work and it should not define us. Do what you need to do to let the day go so you can enjoy what you are working for that is the experience of life. Work less and play more!

  3. Chad Kettner on the 10th September

    You forgot to mention that this post is for women 😉

  4. Michael Foreman on the 10th September

    I don’t see Irish Whiskey on that list. But I guess it depends on the client.

  5. Bret Juliano on the 10th September

    56. Do anything other than work. 🙂

  6. Bret Juliano on the 10th September

    56. Do anything other than work.

  7. John Sullivan on the 10th September

    Great list! What gets me relaxed and clears my head the most is going for a run during the middle of the day. There’s nothing like solitude to get your mind clear and focused. I always feel energized when I sit back down at the desk after a good run.

  8. Wills Bithrey on the 10th September

    Frisbee golf, Now that’s an awesome sport ;)!

    Great suggestions 🙂 Thanks 🙂

    • Darco on the 15th September

      Agree about frisbee golf – now with PlayStation Move you can play it without leaving your home 🙂

  9. inspirationfeed on the 10th September

    You missed the most important one! Play Xbox Live!

  10. Rondal on the 10th September

    A very nice list indeed, but how do you prevent yourself from becoming too dependent on any one thing to escape?

    I only ask because I find consistenly find myself caught in a situation in which relaxing becomes escapism.

  11. Thera on the 10th September

    > 55.Watch the sunset.

    More like “watch the sunrise” personally 🙂

  12. Thorsten on the 11th September

    Nice tips. But I’m missing pumping iron (Bodybuilding). 😀

    57. Pumping Iron (Bodybuilding)

  13. Yoosuf on the 11th September

    50. Watch the sunset. mean go home very soon 🙂

  14. Yoosuf on the 11th September

    Watch the sunset mean, go home so quick, that never happens for me 🙁

  15. Janes Oosthuizen on the 11th September

    @inspirationfeed Cant believe they missed xbox 😛

    Great post guys will definitely use some of them.

  16. saravana kumar on the 11th September

    First one is the best one.

  17. agirlmanager on the 11th September

    the second one is my favorite, but I usually think about work while I’m taking the bath! (Nice post) 😉

  18. Mushfiq-E Mahabub on the 11th September

    Interesting,some of the points are exclusive.But some time when I want to relax(after finishing any project)I feel really gloomy and sad,quiet depressed also.I dont know “Is it only true for me?”.

  19. Bob Belderbos on the 11th September

    I will paste this post in my Evernote and check it on working days around 6pm.
    I bet I will go offline more often this way 😉
    thanks for reminding us there is more than work

  20. dapas on the 11th September

    Agree. Sleep is number 1

  21. MundoCaco on the 11th September

    I feel really good playing music with my dj equipment 😛

  22. j on the 11th September

    hmh, book reading is not included..

    • Grace on the 16th July

      Yes it is…

      19. Escape into a great novel.

  23. Jeprie on the 13th September

    Yeah. Sleep is always number 1 relaxation. I guess I’m going to do that now.

  24. aslam doctor on the 13th September

    You didn’t include “call your GF 😛 “…

  25. Josh on the 13th September

    I like #43, very thoughtful

  26. Luce on the 14th September

    Great list!
    Instead of watching regular tv, I like watching a movie on weeknights. (When the weather’s no good and I really feel like just chilling ;D)

    Or wander in one of the city’s library. Very relaxing.

  27. Stephanie on the 8th October

    This is a super feminine relaxation list. I can’t imagine my boyfriend, guy friends or father doing a number of these things. Of course chosen methods for relaxation are quite subjective, but still… it’s more of a chick’s list. Finish it off with a rom com and call it a day.

  28. daniel on the 30th November

    Great article.
    When I’m in hurry at work and I want to relax I used to hear http://relaxingnature.com
    Great and simple site with natural sounds (waves, rain, forest and night)

  29. J on the 30th March

    If you have a partner: Alternate days for that person to have pleasure only and then just zone out!!

  30. Ursula from Great Relaxation on the 18th October

    One of the best relaxation technique is deep breathing. You can use it right after you have left the office. In addition, it is free and you can practice it almost everywhere. Take couple of really deep breaths and you will feel how stress is melting away and energy is coming back.

  31. weight loss on the 7th December

    I am no longer certain where you’re getting your information, but good topic. I must spend some time studying more or understanding more. Thank you for wonderful information I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  32. heidy bekdash on the 11th March

    i need to know the relaxation techniques thanks

  33. Amberr Meadows on the 12th March

    I’m a community manager and have to write tons of content. Thank you for this great post that gave me inspiration for 9 posts last week. I appreciate it and just wanted to pop in and say thank you!

  34. Way Tu Lo on the 17th July

    Most relaxing after work activity by far is having a smoke at 4:20

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