The Modern Mom
September 17, 2012
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We all know the feeling. You struggle to make it through the day, fighting fatigue the whole way. You can’t stop thinking about how great it would feel to go home, crawl in bed and just sleep. So, why is it when you finally make it home and bed time approaches, your body wants to fight the one thing you’ve been longing for all day – sleep? Why is it so hard to wind down after a particularly long and difficult day? It’s actually pretty simple. Your body needs to be told it’s time to disengage from the work day. Just because we are aware it’s time for pajamas and relaxation, doesn’t mean our bodies are aware. By maintaining an end-of-day ritual, you can train your body to realize when it’s time to wind down and call it a day. Try some of these ideas.

Mood Music
On the commute home, try to avoid music that’s too loud or lively. Calm, soothing tunes will help you relax and let go of some of the stresses from the work day. Music truly does have the power to shape your mood. Always remember this when you’re trying to relax.

Go for a Walk
After a long day at the office, your body needs to transition. There’s no better way to clear your mind and switch gears than to go for a leisurely stroll. Take the dog along. You’ll find yourself looking forward to your peaceful, outdoor routine.

Change Your Clothes
Nothing compares to the relief of shedding your work clothes for the day. It doesn’t matter what you wear to work. Your body learns to distinguish your work clothes from your leisure clothes. This is the reason people always feel sluggish and lazy on “casual Friday.” By changing your clothes when you get home, you’re letting your body know work is over.

Take Time
Allow yourself fifteen to twenty minutes of nothing when you get home. Don’t rush right into preparing dinner or getting the kids in bed. Change your clothes, and sit down. Take a few minutes to relax. It’s amazing how big of a difference this small amount of time can make.

Read
When it comes time for bed, your body needs to make another transition – relaxing evening at home to bed time. If you can manage to get into the habit of reading before bed every night, your body will start shutting down the minute you begin reading. After a while, you’ll find it hard to make it through more than a couple chapters before your eyelids become heavy.

If you adopt a routine for post-work wind-down, you’ll find it much easier to relax and enjoy your evenings. Also, you can say goodbye to tossing, turning and waiting to fall asleep at bedtime. Not only will you fall asleep faster, but you’ll be able to truly rest and get the most out of your sleep. Now all you’ll have to do is figure out a routine for waking up in the morning.

Author Pam Johnson enjoys meditating and blogging. She is a contributing writer for grouphealthinsurance.org.

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