Looking for an after-work ritual that feels like a reward
February 1, 2021 1:18 PM   Subscribe

still adjusting to working from home

I'm looking for inspiration of little after work rituals I can do to close the work day. Im hoping this will help have some work life balance and clear my mind after work (even though I work in the same space I'm living in due to the pandemic).

Looking for ideas of luxurious and / or decadent ideas that are still not excessively unhealthy.
- Shot of whiskey and pieces of cheese
- a cigarette (obvi not very healthy)
- piece of dark chocolate

And yes I'm aware of things like going for walks, stretching, yoga, etc. I'm looking for something that I fully admit is an indulgence, but a moderate one.

posted by winterportage to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (40 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
I take a really long, good shower.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:20 PM on February 1, 2021 [11 favorites]

I'll be watching this with interest, because I'm pretty sure "make a martini straight out of the freezer" is becoming unhealthy, particularly as it's so often followed by another.

How about "shout exultantly?" That always feels indulgent to me. "Eat a piece of jerky" is another one I've been trying.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:21 PM on February 1, 2021 [8 favorites]

I do pet snuggles!
posted by wellred at 1:22 PM on February 1, 2021 [7 favorites]

Sometimes I light a nice-smelling candle!
posted by ChuraChura at 1:22 PM on February 1, 2021 [15 favorites]

Face masks (the beauty kind).
posted by carolr at 1:31 PM on February 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

I have also been seeking alternative rituals for celebrating the end of the day - it's so much harder when you're literally in the same room for 18 hours straight.

I've had success with putting on music and dancing around like a lunatic, having fresh citrus squeezed into seltzer water, and calling a friend to chat. But only as sometimes alternatives to having a cocktail or a glass of wine!
posted by mercredi at 1:32 PM on February 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

I’ve been trying to get into teas. Chamomile is what I have now because it’s supposed to be relaxing, have my eye on some others. (Ok what I have right now is a jack and coke... but what I’ve been trying to do more of is the tea...)
posted by one4themoment at 1:34 PM on February 1, 2021 [9 favorites]

While it was still warm, I would get a tasty beverage, sometimes beer, sometimes fizzy water with bitters, sometimes ice tea and sit out on my porch and read a short story. I like short stories because it made it easier to not get sucked into a longer book and it felt indulgent to wave at strangers and neighbors walking by. I will definitely watch what other folks say as my winter WFH transition needs work.
posted by Hopeful and Cynical at 1:34 PM on February 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

When we first started to work from home, I put on dance music at the end of the day and tried to get my partner to dance with me. That didn't work out for me but maybe it will for you?
My end of work ritual includes a small piece of fruit and 20 minutes of reading/napping/phone game time. When the weather is nice I try to step outside for a minute, even if I can't take a walk.
posted by The Devil's Grandmother at 1:47 PM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

This makes me sound so boring, but, reading a library book on my phone. I’m a working mom so it feels like a major indulgence to secretly read for ten minutes before I start cooking dinner.

I am also a big fan of taking an ENORMOUS exaggerated stretch, like a cartoon character.
posted by chocotaco at 1:48 PM on February 1, 2021 [7 favorites]

If it’s still light out when I’m done, I’ll take a walk around the block and try and catch the sunset and that’ll signal the work day is done. If my work day went long and it’s dark, I will play some Switch games or catch up with family with phone calls before I start cooking. I have the ring fit game and doing the victory pose unlocks some endorphins. (Now I do it when I finish something difficult when I’m alone...)
posted by buttonedup at 1:49 PM on February 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

Hot chocolate
posted by pinochiette at 1:54 PM on February 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I've either been doing a glass of absinthe (which I don't usually love but Tenth Ward out of Frederick, Maryland, makes one I really enjoy) -- absinthe with water poured over a sugar cube (I have an absinthe spoon for this because if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it right). When I forgot to buy absinthe one time, I started making Old Fashioned -- sugar cube, bitters, ice, whiskey. In both cases, it's about the drink itself, sure, but also the ritual of making it. It gets me out of the work headspace and into the relaxing headspace.

I also have a complicated hierarchy of loungewear so I'll change out of whatever I was wearing for work into my "relaxing" clothes (which are different than post-shower clothes which are also different than what I sleep in -- like I said, complicated).

When it's not dark out, walks (20-30 minutes) are good, too. Now that the days are getting longer, I hope to get back to that.
posted by edencosmic at 1:55 PM on February 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

Seconding a cup of tea. Having a special tea that you only make at that time of day, making a little ceremony out of brewing it, and then allowing yourself uninterrupted time to drink it (while maybe reading a book if you like, or while just sitting and focusing on the tea, if that's more of what you need at that time).
posted by darchildre at 1:55 PM on February 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

How about a Disco Minute? Or five?
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 2:00 PM on February 1, 2021

I usually switch to a specific type of music playlist I have on file, that I add to all quarter for new songs that I discover, or I watch a favorite K-Pop video (but I'm a big K-Pop fan and have favorites I go back to/a routine of checking out new songs). I find it indulgent because I can't listen to that music while working at all, it is way too distracting.
posted by yueliang at 2:01 PM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

YMMV on whether you feel like this is a reward, but I put on a daily podcast after work (my podcast of choice is PBS Newshour) in my headphones while I'm making dinner. The opening music calms me down and puts me in a different "mode". There are many daily semi-brief podcasts that you could pick if news is not your thing.
posted by rogerroger at 2:14 PM on February 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Simple is good. Change your outfit--even if it's your grey joggers into your black joggers. Splash water on your face. I like to take a tiny walk and go check my mail after closing my laptop.
posted by sleeping bear at 2:14 PM on February 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have a shower, with a fancy body wash I bought to spoil myself & change out of my work clothes into my nice new fancy pjs/lounging clothes. That's how I've been getting through the weeks.
posted by wwax at 2:27 PM on February 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

An orgasm.
posted by mcduff at 2:45 PM on February 1, 2021 [8 favorites]

When my husband turns on the music in the house, the switch from headphones to shared soundscape means it's time for quittin'. And a bong hit if I need to forcefully put an end to serious work for the day.
posted by Freyja at 2:48 PM on February 1, 2021 [5 favorites]

For the last few weeks I've been marking this transition by changing from my work blanket to my couch blanket which is heated.
posted by phunniemee at 2:49 PM on February 1, 2021 [24 favorites]

Bath with fancy bath bombs and candles (and maaaybe an occasional glass of wine)
Changing into cozy socks and soft clothes if you have to dress for the camera for work
posted by honeybee413 at 2:53 PM on February 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Catch up with favorite webcomics.
posted by humbug at 2:53 PM on February 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have different clothes for work and lounging around. My work clothes are well-worn and comfy jeans and cargo pants and company vest over my shirt. While my after work clothes are sweat pants and a different vest. So, at the end of the day I swap one set for the other.
posted by chiefthe at 2:59 PM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Silk pajama pants. In ridiculous prints. I have two pairs that I got while jcrew was having a summer of fire sales.

Then I light a candle that smells really good and put on music that makes me feel great. Right now it’s the James Baldwin channel on Spotify that is a collection of music that Baldwin owned and listened to. I listen to different music when I’m working so the after work shift is a nice transition.
posted by bilabial at 3:42 PM on February 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

On the whiskey cheese tip, sipping a shot of vodka while nibbling caviar off a small spoon is delightful
posted by nouvelle-personne at 3:55 PM on February 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

I pour a glass of prosecco or mix a gin and tonic, move to the couch, and complete a sudoku, to signal my brain that it’s time to shift gears.
posted by ejs at 4:40 PM on February 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I change into even comfier clothes. Sometimes this is just swapping my WFH leggings and knit dress for joggers and a t-shirt, as others have said, but it makes a difference to me. Clean fluffy socks are also nice. And laying down for a bit to do nothing but stare into space and pet any cats that wander over to sit on me.
posted by esoterrica at 4:57 PM on February 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'm currently taking a 6-week mindfulness course, and twice a week they schedule after-work breathing practice times as a group. Sometimes we do a body scan, sometimes it's just diaphragmatic breathing, etc. but I've really started looking forward to these no matter what we're doing. On the days the class isn't scheduled I've started doing my own 10-ish minute breathing exercises (my course provides guided meditations, but otherwise there are plenty online) and it feels deeply luxurious to me.

(also nthing changing out of your work jammies/sweats into your even comfier jammies/sweats - that is definitely a thing for me, too)
posted by DingoMutt at 6:51 PM on February 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

I like to ease into the after work hours with something low proof and a snack that pairs with it. That means vermouth, sherry, or an aperitif, and olives or almonds or maybe some appropriate cheese, and then I’m not so tipsy I can’t be trusted with a knife to make dinner. Also I try to make sure I’m not just looking at a different device, so no phone or tablet if I can help it.
posted by fedward at 8:48 PM on February 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have been watching Little House on the Prairie while doing a jigsaw puzzle, which was my after school habit when I was six so it feels cozy. YMMV.
posted by metasarah at 5:01 AM on February 2, 2021 [4 favorites]

Smoke a bowl? Instant relaxation!
posted by sickinthehead at 5:01 AM on February 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

i change out of my jeans and "work hoodie" into my lounge pants and "home hoodie."
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:43 AM on February 2, 2021

Oh! We also have a soda stream and I make simple syrups. It takes such a tiny amount of home made simple syrup to make a lovely non alcoholic drink. During the day I drink water or snapple, in the evening it’s soda stream which feels FANCY. I love lavender, have made a lot of mint, and when we had the CSA lemongrass was a big hit in syrup. Ginger is very nice and so is basil. Simple syrup is usually a one to one mix by volume of sugar and water, boiled until it’s all dissolved, but you can play with that ratio to make it sweeter or less sweet. Or just use more or less of the syrup in your drink.
posted by bilabial at 10:10 AM on February 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

A few non-indulgent rituals that work for me:

I turn off the dedicated work laptop so there is no temptation to keep working or respond to notifications and pack it & any other work notes away and stow them somewhere where they aren't visible (firms up the barrier between work & life).

For a while I started meal prep to cook dinner. Not an immediate indulgence but dinner is often pretty tasty & meal prep is a very different kind of activity to my work, so it can serve as a contrasting ritual.

For days where I can wrangle a 1 hour lunch break: break up the day by going for a jog outside for an hour. Jogging ain't necessarily fun but it's almost always more fun than my job & leaves me feeling much healthier at the end of the work day.
posted by are-coral-made at 11:45 AM on February 2, 2021

A walk, a 10-minute meditation app, and then reading an actual book for a half hour or hour. I don't know why but reading feels really restful and indulgent after a day online.
posted by Miko at 11:46 AM on February 2, 2021

Tenth Ward out of Frederick, Maryland, makes one I really enjoy Holy crap that reminded me that I have a half a bottle of this stashed away - perfect!
posted by aspersioncast at 2:11 PM on February 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

Many indulgences pair nicely with a hot foot bath.
posted by i_mean_come_on_now at 2:37 PM on February 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Go for a walk.
posted by Lady Li at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2021

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