6 Ways to Make The End of Your Work Day Actually Feel Like The End of Your Work Day

In quarantine times, it can be really hard to distinguish your work space from your living space and your work day from your night. Before, we had commutes – sitting in traffic, riding the train or walking across the city – but now, the only thing that separates work from relaxation is closing your laptop, which makes things a little more blurred. Sometimes it can be hard to log off and feel like you’re able to take time for yourself away from your email and Slack notifications. After six months of working remotely, I’ve figured out some of the best ways to separate the end of my day “at work” from the start of my relaxing night. 

Related Article: Still Stuck Indoors All Day? Here's How to Set up a Healthy Regimen
  1. 1. Close your laptop, and actually get offline

    women with mug and laptop

    As soon as I'm done with my work for the day, I make a point to close my laptop – and ignore my email and Slack – and take a break from staring at the screen by doing something off of the computer.

    Meanwhile Noelle, a graduate of Bryant University, finds that having her work in another room helps her make this distinction. “I turn my monitor off, close my laptop and shut the door to the office so that work stays defined to one room and doesn’t follow me into my home life,” she says. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have this option (#studioliving) but I love the idea of separating out where you're working from playing.

    It’s also important to make sure you aren’t still checking in on work from your phone. Don’t get me wrong, I'm definitely  scrolling mindlessly through social media on my phone, but it's my time now – don't switch from one device for work to another, just keep it away for the night.

  2. 2. Get some fresh air and go for a walk

    Photo of young brunette woman wearing a backpack and walking down a street alone shot from behind

    At the end of the day I like to get up and get moving, and so does Abby, a Skidmore University graduate. “Not sitting at my desk anymore is how I end my work day,” she says. I usually sit in the same spot throughout the workday, so it really helps me feel like I’m transitioning into my night routine by getting fresh air, moving my legs, and going for a stroll around the block.

    Danielle, a graduate of Bryant University, agrees on this one. She also loves taking her dog for a walk to wrap up her work day. A long stroll is a great way to be able to keep up with the podcasts I used to listen to on my commute, too! 

  3. 3. Do a quick workout

    indoor yoga

    When I’ve had a stressful day at work, sometimes one of the best ways I unwind is by doing a yoga video. Molly, a graduate of Villanova University, always tries to end her work day with a quick sweat. Whether that’s YouTube videos like Yoga with Adriene or a 20-30 minute walk around her neighborhood, getting a sweat in definitely helps to shut your mind off and start to relax for the night. ​

  4. 4. Take off your makeup and change into even comfier clothes

    girl lounging relax 2

    Although I’m dressing comfortably during the work day while at home, I like to change my outfit into something even more comfortable once I’m done and no longer have to look presentable for Zoom calls. Usually that means taking off my makeup and changing from leggings into sweats or athletic shorts into sweat shorts.

    Alex, a graduate of Colgate University can relate. “[I refer to that as] changing from my business athleisure into my lounge athleisure,” she says. Although it’s not much, I always used to change when I’d get home from the office, so continuing this routine into quarantine has helped maintain the same feeling of starting my evening. 

  5. 5. Cook a yummy dinner – or order in – and pour yourself a glass of wine

    Friends Eating Fries and burgers

    During quarantine, cooking has definitely become one of my favorite ways to unwind at the end of the day. I usually plan my dinners ahead so I have something to look forward to at the end of my work day, but Alex suggests knowing when to indulge. “Every now and then I like to treat myself to a glass of wine, and order in sushi at the end of the work day,” she says. 


  6. 6. Put on one of your favorite shows, or take the time to read that book you’ve been meaning to start

    woman reading a book on a window seat

    After a lengthy day of working, all I want to do is tune out and watch an easy show. Making the switch from my laptop to my TV is a huge indication that I’m done working and can settle in to relax. Lauren, a graduate of Bryant University, loves to end her work day by reading. For her, reading is the perfect way to step away from all things work related and enjoy time to herself. 

Related Article: How to Get Back Into Reading Again

My night routine has become one of my favorite parts of quarantine. Without my 45 minute commute, I have so much more time to myself to relax and unwind. I really treasure the different ways I transition out of work mode and into my night. If you’re still struggling to turn off work mode, I hope these things help you too.