I have a hard time finding things that help me relax. What are some suggestions you have for winding down after class or at night?

9 Answers
I find that doing word search puzzles is relaxing and getting into a series on Netflix and watching until you fall asleep. My favorites are detective/crime/medical type TV shows.
I love writing in my journal at night. It definitely helps me relax and unwind from a busy day!
I keep a gratitude journal and write in it every night before I go to bed. I usually try to focus it on any good things that happened to me that day, and I've found that going through all of the bright spots of my day helps me to relax and unwind. When I'm stressed, I also like to take a moment to reflect on the friends and family who make up my "support system" to remind myself that any problems I might have, they'll always be there to help. It definitely helps me calm my mind after a long day and to go to sleep feeling content, rather than unable to stop thinking about all of my worries.
I find that watching a movie or an episode on Netflix is the best way for me to wind down after a long day. Find something that you enjoy doing that doesn't exert a lot of energy. Whether it be reading, writing, watching television, doing a puzzle, or painting your nails, these are all things that can be relaxing and calming before going to bed at night.
While others might mention reading or listening to soft music (both extremely great activities for winding down), if you're crafty, you might consider hand sewing to be an activity you engage in before bed. Cross stitch and embroidery are quite soothing (once you learn how to do them) and they cause you to focus on the project at hand--this can be great for folks who have trouble staying in the present (most of our worries come from being preoccupied about the past or the future). If sewing isn't your thing, "adult coloring books" are pretty trendy right now because they actually do help. Coloring doesn't have an age limit or expiration date! :) You might also consider other activities you can do with your hands, like trying origami or even braiding some yarn together.
This may not work for everyone, but something that helps me is writing in a journal every day, but not in the conventional sense. For the past nearly three years, I take time before I go to sleep each night to write down the good things that happened during the day. They aren't long or drawn out, usually just a few bullet points. For example, they're usually something simple like "got ice cream" or "complimented by a stranger." It really forces me to reflect on all the good that happens in my life despite the everyday struggles.
There are some great meditation and deep-breathing apps for smart phones that are extremely helpful when trying to relax. I love to unwind and watch Netflix as much as the next person, however Netflix does not necessarily slow my thoughts down. I would suggests trying meditation, deep-breathing, and/or yoga and then watching Netflix. Also, a hot shower after a long day really helps to calm me down.
It's taken me a while to realize/grasp what truly calms me down. For a while, as a freshman, I fell asleep to Netflix every night. I couldn't fall asleep without it. But then I started reading about screen time before bed and realized that I wasn't sleeping very well. Then I found Sudoku, and I started doing those puzzles every night before bed. It not only relaxes my mind, but stretches it and makes me tired. When I'm done with my puzzles, I'm exhausted and I sleep much better. But I'm a numbers person. I enjoy math and logic puzzles. I would suggest finding something that truly stretches your mind and relaxes you all together. Best of luck!
Taking the time to relax after class or a stressful day is super important -- so figuring out what will help you do so is a priority. Try different things -- like reading for pleasure, watching a TV show, cooking, drawing, meditating, going to the gym, doing yoga, writing in a diary, etc., until you find something that helps you wind down and get out of your head. What works for you and makes you feel relaxed won't necessarily be what other people find relaxing or do to wind down, but you have to find what works for you -- and the above-listed items are a good place to start!

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