How Do I Relax Before A Night Shift? Find Your Zen Now

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Relaxation, we all need it but very few of us truly get it. With so many unknowns in our current worldly state, juggling your work life, home life, and social life has become more difficult than ever. According to Science Daily, “If life feels more stressful now than it did a few decades ago, you’re not alone. Even before the novel coronavirus started sweeping the globe, a new study found that life may be more stressful now than it was in the 1990s.” There are added stressors for those individuals who work the night shift, so what can we do to place ourselves in a relaxed state before heading to the office?

Relaxing before your shift has many benefits, releasing stress, decreased blood pressure, and a boost of energy are just a few. There is also an assortment of ways one can relax before a night shift, which include meditation, journaling, and taking a bath; each promotes a sense of relaxation.

If you are looking for the best way for you to relax before the start of your night shift, this article is a great start. Keep reading for some inspiration and more calm in your life!

Benefits Of Relaxing Before A Shift

If you’re anything like me – stress somehow starts to creep its filthy little nose back into your business the closer it gets to work time. Then it just follows me the entire way to work and components tend to linger throughout my shift.

I’ve found that if I enact habits that soothe me before my work shift, I don’t suffer from the pre-work jitters quite as much. According to Wellbeing People, 2022, “Stress can affect our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing and how we act or behave.”

Below we will dive into some of the core benefits of spending time relaxing before the start of your shift.


We’ve all got mounds of stress built around us, though relaxing before a shift can impact your stress in a positive way. By learning to relax, which doesn’t come easy to a lot of us, you will be better equipped to cope with the stressors of everyday life. You may even dodge various health problems associated with stress such as heart disease and pain. (Mayo Clinic, 2022).

See, they kind of go hand in hand. Feeling stressed? Relax!

Decreased Blood Pressure

Hello health benefits! As I am sure you already know, being stressed can do some wonky things to your blood pressure. Relaxing actually has the ability to stabilize/decrease your blood pressure.

Our bodies natural reaction to stress is to skyrocket our blood pressure, as our body is in fight mode. Once we remove the stress from the situation, our blood pressure returns to its normal levels

Energy Boost

This one is my favorite benefit – a natural energy booster.

Forget energy drinks and coffee; try some relaxation instead! When you are relaxing, you give your body the “go ahead” to conserve as much energy as possible. If you are in a state of relaxation then you have no need to exert any extra energy. That energy that is being conserved and can be put to work when it’s time for your shift!

Clear Thinking

Your mind is a busy place. Thoughts upon thoughts, along with anxieties are constantly running through your brain. This can be both stressful and exhausting on your mind and body.

Relaxation promotes clear thinking, allowing you to work through your thoughts, rather than being overrun by your thoughts.

“It helps us to have a calmer and clearer mind which aids in positive thinking, concentration, and decision making,” says Wellbeing Health.

This can for sure come in handy when it’s time for your shift. Having a clear mind on the job reduces potential mistakes and allows you to maximize your output.

Related post: Brain Fog on Night Shift: Get Your Head Out of the Clouds

As you can see, there are many benefits that come with spending your time relaxing before your shift. All of which can lead to a healthy body and a healthy mind. Skipping out on relaxation too often can have some pretty detrimental blows to you both mentally and physically. So let’s take a look at what that can look like below. 

Downfalls Of Not Relaxing

So, we’ve talked about the abundance of benefits you receive just by finding time to relax day to day. What happens if you don’t get to relax? What are the negative aspects that come with it?


If you don’t find time to rest and relax before your shift, chances are by the time it comes for you to leave for work you are going to be riddled with stress.

Stress builds up over time and if you don’t find a way to relieve it – you become a ticking time bomb and who knows when you’ll erupt!

That eruption impacts both your personal and professional relationships, leading to outcomes you’d most likely not want to occur.

Increased Chance of Burnout

Burnout is rife throughout business currently. One of the main reasons for this is that employees are being forced to work so much that they aren’t able to find time to relax. This is bad for both the employee and the employer.

It’s mentally draining and taxing, which can lead to poor performance at work, and in turn, a loss of job which hurts the worker and company as they now need to find a replacement.

Lack of Energy

If you are constantly on the go and aren’t giving your body enough time to bounce back, to relax – you’re depleting your energy sources.

So, when it comes time for work, your brain and body are still exhausted from everything that it was dealing with previously. Now you are throwing a 8-12 hour shift in the mix, working against your typical circadian rhythm and your body is now severely lacking in the energy department.

Spending an adequate amount of time relaxing allows you to replenish enough energy for you to successfully make it through your night.

No Motivation

Eventually, if you go too long without sufficient rest and relaxation, you’ll begin to lose all motivation.

You’ll have no motivation to go to work, spend time with your family, or simply do things that you enjoy. Your body will get to a point where it just wants to sleep. It takes a toll on you mentally and physically.

If your day just consists of you getting up, going to work, and going to bed just to repeat it again, chances are you’ll experience lack of motivation quicker than you think. You’ve got to find time for yourself and do things you enjoy – have an outlet!

As you can tell, there are some serious pushbacks when it comes to a depletion in the rest and relaxation area of your life. Don’t become too complacent in your job and life where all you do is work, sleep, repeat. This can lead to serious mental and physical health issues – depression being at the very tip top of the list. So, what are some great ways to get quality relaxation in before your shift? Let’s explore your options!

Ways to Relax Before a Shift

No matter where you work, we can make a fair assumption that there is at least one area of your job that you’d consider stressful. That’s why you don’t want to start the day stressed out and tense.

Stress has the tendency to build up pressure over time and likes to release itself at the most inconvenient time; we don’t need that in the workplace. Plus, night shift just has stressors that most shift workers do not have to endure. That’s why I always suggest getting in some quality relaxation before a night shift.

So, what are our top 5 tips?


One of my favorite ways to relax before a shift is to meditate. Meditation gives you a way to break away from the negative thoughts and stress that plagues your mind.

“During Meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress”

Mayo Clinic, 2022

This is a great way to prepare to go into your shift in a positive headspace, along with a clear view of what you are going to achieve from your job today.


This doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s a great way to put your stress onto paper.

Write down your feelings and the events that led up to those feelings. This helps you sort out exactly what happened, work through a strategy and find some peace and comfort within it. This can be very therapeutic for some people, especially those who love to write.

You can journal on your phone, a blog, or using a traditional pen and paper. This helps get your frustrations out before the start of your shift and not carry those frustrations with you to work.

Take a Bath or Go Outside

There is just something about drawing a hot bath – it just brings so much serenity. Take it how you like it! Light a candle, play some music, read a book – whatever works for you. Take this time to distress and connect with yourself. It’s time to relax!

“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them” – Sylvia Plath. I think Sylvia and I would get along just fine!

If you’re not a bath person, simply going for a walk outside or spending some time outdoors may be as equally therapeutic.

Spend Time with Family

Spending time with those you love and those that love you is a great way to relax. Spend some time with your kids, spouse, friends, or family. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time spent, but try and spend time with those in your life who make you happy.

Your family is meant to be your safe haven, where you can let go and just be yourself. Most can’t really do that in a work environment, as you are looking to be constantly professional or we all have that one person who just grinds our gears.

When you are with your family members, they don’t expect the same out of you that your workplace does (or at least they shouldn’t). Even just a little quality time can drastically help your mood, making you feel relaxed and at peace.

Take a Nap

Video – Napping When Not Tired: How to Fall Asleep Quickly

I’ve never really understood why I ever turned down nap time as a child because as an adult I can never get enough naps in! Especially as a night shift worker. Taking a nap is one of the best ways to relax. It doesn’t have to be a long nap, as we don’t want to get into the mode of work, sleep, repeat, but something that gives you an extra shot of energy.

“Naps increase energy, improve reaction time and reduce daytime sleepiness. They lower stress and help to regulate mood, reducing anxiety and depression and inducing relaxation (LandMark Health, 2022).

If you’re looking to power up your nap, we recommend these sleep aids below!

There you have it, relaxation in all its glory – the good, what happens when you don’t get it and how to achieve it.

The main thing that I want you to get out of this blog is to dedicate time to care of number one, especially as a night worker. When you are on night shift, you are forcing your body to work against its natural rhythm, so you are consistently adding mental and physical stress. That’s why we’ve got to do everything in our power to combat this. Finding time to rest and relax isn’t an option, it’s a must!

There are plenty of other ways to relax that we’ve not listed here – it’s just a starting point.

Find what works for you, as you know you best. If your relaxing is reading a book, going for a walk, cuddling with your dog – whatever it is that relaxes you, do that!

I promise you will NEVER regret taking the needed time for yourself. I’ll leave you with this quote by Bill Murray, “The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything; the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”



Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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