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“How I de-stressed my evenings.”

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“I can’t wait for the weekend” has become the mantra of the 9-5er. After slogging it out during the working week, it’s no wonder so many of us are looking forward to the chance to have some down time.

But stress-free living shouldn’t only happen on the weekend.

While it’s often difficult to get the most out of the daylight hours due to the pressures of work and family, there are a few ways to help yourself unwind at night that will leave you feeling calmer and more refreshed every. single. day.

Here are five ways I’ve taken the stress out of my evenings.

Tune in on the ride home.

 5.30pm rolls around and it’s out of the office and off to the train for me – but what to listen to on the way home? My commute takes me at least an hour both ways, and lately I’ve been finding that listening to music isn’t all that exhilarating. Downloading podcasts for the trip home has really helped turn peak hour into a more enjoyable experience. With addictive murder mysteries like Serial, or laugh-out-loud TV recaps like the Binge, I’ve turned what was once the low point of my day into an hour of entertainment that I actually look forward to.

 "I’ve turned what was once the low point of my day into an hour of entertainment". Image: iStock.

Sweat it out.

 Nothing helps me release all my pent-up tension like a great sweat session. Boxing, yoga, pilates – whatever your preference, getting your body moving will allow you to get rid of excess energy and feel calm and at ease.

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While I usually prefer to head to the gym in the morning, if I’m working out at night, nothing beats a run around the block. There’s something very satisfying in lacing up my sneakers and turning on an upbeat playlist and letting my legs do the rest.

"Getting your body moving will allow you to get rid of excess energy." Image: iStock.

Not much of a runner? A solo walk will also get your blood pumping and allow your thoughts to slow as you enjoy the crisp night air.

Take a bath.

 After a workout and a good stretch, I can’t wait to get into the bathroom and immerse myself in a stream of hot water. While I’ll usually jump straight into the shower, on days where I’m feeling a little more stressed (or just feeling a little fancy) I’ll opt for a bath instead. Light a few aromatic candles, put on your easy listening music of choice, and you’ve set yourself up for one relaxing evening.

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Take the time to actually enjoy a bath. Image: iStock.

Skip the meal prep.

Who wants to cook dinner after the 9-5 grind? Not me.

For too long I would come home exhausted, but still feel guilty if I didn’t spend my down-time slaving over the stove. While delivery seemed like the easy option, the 30-minute wait didn’t do much to keep the hanger at bay, and after inhaling a tub of takeaway, I often felt more lethargic than invigorated.

Pre-prepared meals became my saving grace. Weight Watchers’ range of frozen meals are a great option for anyone who is looking for tasty and nutritious meals without any hassle. Just pop them in the microwave and they’re ready for you to enjoy within a short few minutes.

Pro tip: best enjoyed curled up in a blanket on the couch, with a rom-com playing in the background.

Ways to de-stress
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Tasty and nutritious meals without the hassle? Try Weight Watchers Frozen Meals today. Image: supplied

 Unwind with a good read.

When was the last time you read for pleasure? As a kid, I used to devour books, and while reading is one of my favourite holiday hobbies, it seemed absurd that I never made any time for novels in my everyday life. Every reader will know the feeling you get when you immerse yourself in the world of a great book, and leave all your worries behind: one of pure bliss.

 Reading lets you leave all of your worries behind. Image: supplied.

Reading before bed also means that you’re away from your phone and laptop, and reducing your blue-light exposure before bed will help you get a better night’s sleep. You’ll wake up the next morning calm, collected and ready to take on the day.

What are some thing you do to relax after a long day?