Tips to help you unwind at home

by Maria-Dominique Illes

It is the most wonderful time of the year, and honestly, I agree with that. Even if I miss those sunny evenings with a glass of wine on the terrace of a nice restaurant, winter has its charm. This year wasn't the easiest, and in these dark evenings, we can feel stressed and lonely, but here are some tips that will help you relax at home. You need a few minutes a day, and you can easily slip in some of these strategies.

Change clothes and take a break

I have some friends who asked me that if no one sees them, why would they put on business clothes? I replied that it helps you get in a different mood, and it's a sign of respect for yourself. After waking up, put on some make-up and some nice clothes before getting to work. After closing the laptop, take time 5-10 minutes, and relax with a cup of tea, a slice of chocolate, and change your clothes again. If you work from home and you have a family, how  will be the play with your kids if you are still wearing your business outfit? You may be comfortable in lounge wear with your family, but remember, work is a both a state of mind-.and a state of dress. So, remember, even at your-you are still at work and  meeting with your boss or colleagues virtually. So, approach it professionally and that includes your attire. Do you want to charm your partner? How would you like to do that, in yoga pants? Changing clothes helps you separate the roles in your life: working, mommy, wife etc.

Journaling: write down your thoughts

Journaling allows people to clarify their thoughts and feelings. It is also a remarkable problem-solving tool. I remember back in France, we talked about it with my uncle. He explained that he grabs a paper and a pen every time he has difficulties sleeping, writes down everything in his mind. He can hash out a problem, and the solution comes more easily on paper. Journaling can help you in releasing emotions. When you feel angry or sad, take a pen, write down all your feelings, you will feel relieved.

A hot bath with some aromatherapy

There is nothing better than a hot bath with some candles, a good book, and some aromatic essential oil after a long day at work. Aromatherapy is to promote health and well being by using natural plant extracts. Just put a few drops in hot water and relax for 15 minutes. If you want to choose some aroma that reduces stress, use lavender or chamomile. Both have a calming effect.

Colours: connect with nature

Did you know that every colour is has its effect on us? Let’s take a look on black, for example. "The little black dress" is classy, mysterious, but also a symbol of tragedy and loss. The energy or effect of the colour depends on you and your mood. What is the relation between stress and colours? Look at the shade of red. Red is energy, power, and force, but it can make you feel aggressive, like a bomb that will explode when you are nervous. If you need to relax, choose a colour that is related to nature as green (forest) or blue (ocean, sky). Both relieved tensions, and helps you feel calmer.


There are a lot of great studios in Ottawa that offers online classes. I am a huge fan of Anne Wanda Tessier restorative yoga class. It is a very relaxing style of yoga. According to Anne, "Restorative Yoga is a style of yoga that focuses on the use of props, blankets and bolsters to fully support the body so that the body can relax." I would recommend it to anyone who needs some "me-time" at home.

So, put on some excellent holiday spirit music (Mr. Bublé, for example, is a good choice) and let the home relaxation party begin.