Most of us, even those of us who love our jobs, work to live rather than live to work. With that being said, it’s easy to feel like there is never a chance to truly relax, unwind, de-stress and otherwise check out from the daily grind.
Mental health is of the utmost importance, and kicking those work thoughts to the kerb may be the one thing that keeps you happiest-at work, at home, and everywhere in between!
Switching off at the end of the day is just another way to clear your head and make the most of those precious hours outside of the office. If you find switching off at the end of the day to be easier said than done, here are some tips to help you along the path.
Take regular breaks throughout the day
Studies have shown that people who take lunch breaks, at least twenty minutes away from all technology, score higher on cognitive performance tests. So take a short break, aiming for once every 90 minutes, and walk around the office, do some stretches, and take your eyes off that screen. And in that vein-leave work when you’re supposed to! The occasional late evening at the office is okay, but don’t make it a habit.
At the end of your workday, jot down what needs to be done the next day. Then leave that piece of paper on your desk, turn off your computer, and leave. Just the act of writing down your to-do list for the following day will signal to your brain that your day’s work has ended, and your free time is beginning. And hopefully, this exercise will put an end to finding yourself going over tomorrow’s to-do list while in bed, which is a good thing.
Take a few moments on the train or even while walking home to be mindful of your breath. Calm your mind with a series of deep breaths in the nose, then slowly exhaling out through the mouth. You’ll be surprised at how this little simple task can lower your blood pressure and close the door on your workday self while creating an important transition between work and home life.
Get physical with an evening walk around the neighbourhood, or a Zumba class with friends. A yoga session to limber you up or a half-hour on the treadmill are all ways to get a bit sweaty, take care of your health, and clear your mind of all work-related thoughts.
Embrace slow living
Manage your stress by being mindful of what is causing it, and working around that. A big part of switching off is actually slowing down and letting go-letting go of thoughts of work, of the need to know your friends’ latest Facebook updates, and of the desire to go go go. Switch off, relax, and draw the line between work and home life. Your body and mind will thank you for it!