Monday, March 9, 2015

Living Small // Tips for a Pleasant Evening after Work

Recently, Apartment Therapy shared this post, which inspired me to think about the things I like to do as soon as I get home from work.

Too often, it's easy to stomp in from the cold, toss my coat onto the coach, and grumble about the day's tribulations. In my current line of work (assistant director at a college's financial aid office), there is a lot of number-crunching and telephone-talking that results in a grumpy headache once the workday finally ends. However, I'm learning to drop those troubles at the door, shrugged from my shoulders like an over-weight backpack. After all, who wants to greet a grouchy bear walking into their home?

As a new workweek begins, I want to focus more on improving and valuing my evenings at home so that I'm not just living for the weekends. Maybe you can benefit from these tips as well!

Put away my work and cold-weather gear.
Winter comes with so much gear: gloves, scarves, salt-spattered boots, a hat. Sometimes I'm so tired after a long workday that I just want to toss everything on the dining room table and forget it, too lazy to walk up a flight of stairs to tuck everything away. But I've realized that staring at my winter-work gear--tote bag, boots, purse--just makes me dread the brief hours until I have to don it all again. Taking a few minutes to put things away not only helps deactivate "work mode" but also keeps our home looking fresh, clean, and tidy.

Connect with my little family.
Of course, our bouncy pitbull pup tends to greet us right at the door, all tail-wag and slobbery-grin. His cheerful, energetic welcome helps dispel any lingering workday gloom. In addition to patting your pooch, I feel its important to take a moment to connect with your family. I love falling to Mark's hug, but often find myself complaining about the not-so-great moments of my day rather than asking how his day went. In the coming workweeks, I want to make more of an effort to ask about his day and to not dwell on the hard parts of the workweek but rather focus on the happier moments at the office. Even if the only happy moment was my caramel macchiato.

Take time for the gym.
As hard as it is to drag myself to the gym after a long day, I always feel better once I do. Mark and I love working out together, It not only keeps us in shape (duh) but is an activity we can enjoy together. Sometimes we talk back and forth between sets; other times, we both choose to be quiet, needing a few minutes to defrag and expend some energy. Either way, working out always puts me in a better mood and helps me get a better night's sleep. If hitting the gym isn't your thing, just take a quick stroll around the block.

Do one load of laundry.
I know. I know. This tip is so boring. However, doing one load of laundry a couple nights a week keeps Mt.St.Smelly-Clothes from building up in our bedroom. Plus. it prevents my Saturday morning from turning into one, great laundry chore. Usually, I toss the load in before running to the gym, run the dryer during supper, and then fold the clothes while watching Netflix before bed.

Spend a little me-time on a hobby, habit, or goal.
Now, this "tip" isn't something I currently do. However, after reading this suggestion in AT's post, I want to make a personal effort to take even just 20 minutes in the evening and devote it to writing. Most likely with pen and paper since the thought of looking at another computer screen makes my eyes want to cross. Carving out some me-time during the week nights will probably do wonders to elevate the post-work mood.

Prepare for the next day.
Every night, right before bed, I prep the next evening's supper and set out the next day's clothes. Taking just a few moments to prepare for tomorrow makes the next day run smoothly and sets me up for another pleasant evening at home.

What are your favorite things to do after a long workday?
Any suggestions or tips? Share in the comments below!

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