• Nisha Willis

10 Ways to Relax and Recover After a Long Work Week

Updated: May 22

After reserving 40+ hours of our week for professional growth, twice that for full-time students, we look forward to those precious off days. We live for the days that our planners are empty, opening room for some much-needed personal attention. Balancing work, studies, family, and a social life can become daunting. It is important to dedicate time to yourself to refresh and rejuvenate your mind, body, and energy to recover from your long, active week and prepare for your continuous fight toward a healthy work-life balance.

Here are 10 ways to spend your precious free time relaxing and recovering from your weekly grind.

1. Mani/Pedi

Looking to pamper your troubles away? Try making that appointment with the nail technician you’ve been following on social media. Treat yourself to a relaxing hour or two at a nail salon. Sip some wine, gossip with your girls, or maybe bond with your significant other over warm foot bowls, electric massaging chairs, and the strong scent of acrylic.

Salons not your thing? Try caring for your nails at home. Learning to care for your nails is merely a kit and YouTube click away. Dabble in acrylic application and wow your friends with your DIY nail art. Mix and match colors in your own unique way!

2. Facials

Remedy those worry lines, bags, and dark circles you may have developed throughout the week with a relaxing facial. Spas are expensive, but you can bring some of that magic into your own home with some affordable scrubs and masks. To save even more money, try using items in your kitchen such as eggs, mayonnaise, and bananas. Simply apply, set for around 20 minutes, and rinse the stress away with cool water. Always be sure to test a patch of skin on the side of your neck, below your ear, before trying any mask or scrub to observe product reaction with skin.

3. Soak/Bath

Relax and unwind in a nice warm bath. Soothe your energy and moisturize your skin with the help of your favorite bath bomb, or try making your own. Consider adding things like Epsom salt and essential oils to encourage relaxation. Oatmeal, milk, and honey are wonderful additives to soothe dry skin. Ambiance goes a long way, so don’t forget to light your favorite candle or stick of incense. Grab a book, a glass of wine or speakers (preferably a great distance from the water; you wouldn’t want electricity to ruin your recovery) and allow your body to be encompassed by the healing properties of a relaxing soak.

4. Wash and Style Day

After a busy week, chances are your tresses have been through some serious stress. Harsh ponytails may have snatched your edges a bit more than you would care to admit. The amount of sweat and product that may have built up during your weekly workouts, is borderline embarrassing. All of this can be fixed by dedicating some free time to care for your hair. Liven up your wash days by trying new products and testing new conditioning recipes. To stimulate hair growth and leave a lasting shine, try mixing lemon juice with fresh aloe vera gel. Apply to shampooed hair and rinse with warm water after 5 minutes.

5. Shopping

What better way to recover than to reward yourself for all your hard work? The power of retail therapy is underrated. Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, that game you’ve obsessing over, or that scent that only your significant other can pull off. You’ve grinded all week for that check, might as well put it to good use.

Have bills stolen your check for the week? Window shop instead. Give yourself something to work towards or build that list for your next shopping spree.

6. Hobbies

Hobbies are a great way to distract your mind from the stresses of the week. Have fun learning a new skill like hiking, painting or knitting. Brush up on your old skills in basketball, cooking, or creative writing. Are you a self-proclaimed expert in pottery? Share your expertise with your friends or significant other. Bond with yourself and your loved ones over shared interests and embrace introductions to new forms of entertainment.

7. Sip and Paint

It is no secret that alcohol releases your inhibitions and boosts your mood. Indulge in a classy way by hosting your very own sip and paint gathering. Spend a few dollars on some cheap wine, watercolors, and printing paper, or go all out with a nice bottle of champagne, acrylic paint, and easels. Whatever your style may be, you don’t have to be a professional artist to enjoy this gathering. Have fun painting to your heart’s drunken content while enjoying the company and laughs of your inner circle.

8. Exercise

Channel some of the stress or anger of your week into a healthy workout. Consider using that gym membership a bit more often. Not a fan of gyms? Calisthenics at home is a great way to stay in shape and control any stress and anxiety you may feel throughout the week. Invest in some home weights or resistance bands to give yourself a challenge. Find a nice walking or biking trail for some activity with beautiful scenery. Solicit a partner to make your workout more fun and bearable.

9. Lazy Binge Day

What better way to relax, than to do absolutely nothing? Grab some snacks, a blanket and the remote and enjoy a lazy day of binge-watching your favorite TV shows and movies. Invite your friend over and indulge in the wacky and slightly inappropriate adventures of Rick and Morty. Give yourself a bit of a fright by checking out both installments of IT. Curb your Marvel appetite by re-watching the Avengers: Endgame. All available through Amazon Prime Video.

10. Massages

Grab your significant other and get intimate with a couples massage session. Skip the spa and grab some jojoba or coconut oil and offer your special person a nice rub down. Connect and unwind through some sensual skin to skin contact that will leave you both ready and eager to cuddle up for the night. Not too good with your hands? Fear not. Invest in a nice electric massager to help you get the job done.

It is important to wind down and refresh yourself after a long work week. What are some ways you like to relax alone or with friends? Share them with us in the comment section.

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