Your essential 10-step guide to unwinding after-work

Whether it's important meetings with new clients, key presentations to your team or just keeping on top of your email inbox, we all have action-packed days at work. Busy days are exhilarating, but there's no denying that you can feel worn out afterwards. Following a relaxation ritual each evening will help with stress management, lowering your adrenaline levels while ensuring you're well rested and ready to whip through your to-do list the next day. From switching your phone off to using lightly scented lavender products for a relaxing ambience, we've put together some tips on how to reduce stress each evening. Try one or two of these healthy habits or incorporate them all into a calming ritual that will leave you feeling blissfully relaxed.

Exercise

Exercise provides natural stress relief, boosting your feel-good endorphin levels. If cardio is your favourite way to unwind, lace up your trainers. Prefer something gentler? A yoga session has the same mind-soothing effect.

Some people find intense exercise in the evening has the opposite effect and can invigorate them. If you relate to this but you don't want to give up your runs or HIIT classes, try some progressive relaxation after your session. Tense every part of your body in turn – your face, your shoulders, your hands – before relaxing them. This helps to release unwanted tension you weren't even aware of.

Light some fragranced candles

Scents have a powerful effect on the brain. They can evoke happy memories or send a signal to relax. A distinctive fragrance like lavender, which blankets Provence's rolling hills with its purple hue and fills the air with a herbal aroma, has a calming effect on the central nervous system. It creates a feeling of well-being, instantly whisking you off to those French pastures.

You can set the mood for your evening with a Lavender Scented Candle, accompanied by soothing ambient sounds or your favourite music.

Bath with essential oils for natural stress relief

Run a bath or step into the shower and wash your cares away. Our Relaxing Shower Gel – part of the Aromachologie range – is infused with soothing essential oils such as bergamot and mandarin. Silky and sumptuously soft on skin, this product has a blissful effect on the senses.

For a special treat, take it one step further and schedule an appointment at your nearest L'Occitane spa. A ritual such as the Sleep & Reset Massage will guide you through soothing breathing techniques for the ultimate relaxation during your massage, and is proven to help improve sleep quality.

Pamper your face and nails

Taking off your make-up is symbolic: it indicates you're winding down for the evening. Our 3-in-1 Cleansing Water contains shea extract and aromatic orange blossom water, and melts away makeup to leave your complexion feeling fresh.

After washing your face and enveloping yourself in a fluffy robe, reach for your nail polish. Concentrating on this repetitive task can help to take your mind off the daily challenges of work. For added pamper points, use Shea Nail & Cuticle Nourishing Oil first, which is rich in vitamin E for a naturally conditioning finish. It helps to strengthen nails and leaves them feeling nourished.

Create a soothing atmosphere

Tidy your devices away. Blue light – the light that emits from your phone, laptop or tablet – can hamper your sleep, so although it's tempting to check work emails one last time, you'll sleep better if you switch it off an hour before bedtime and pop it in a drawer until morning.

Spritzing your bedroom with Lavender Pillow Mist will also help you to relax and ease into sleep. Close your eyes and imagine strolling through the fields of Provence, with the warmth of the sun falling on your skin.
These stress management techniques involve healthy habits that help to reduce any work stress you're feeling, leaving you refreshed and raring to go again.