Do you ‘switch off’ after work?
Whether you work from home, find yourself slogging away on projects far into the early hours, or you’re still dealing with work emails on your smartphone instead of reading the kids a bedtime story – there comes a point in the day where you need to switch off from work activities and make room for personal/leisure time.
Now, this time can vary wildly, depending on whether you’re the boss, a 9 to 5’er or a freelance night owl. For those in ‘work mode’ 24-7, there are no brownie points – only burnout, most probably.
In today’s society, the power of ritual is often vastly underestimated. Start creating a few of your own to prevent blurred lines between work and play.
Here are five ideas to help you transition into that post-work period:
- Hit the gym – A popular method with those chained to a desk most of the day, physical exercise is great for giving you an early evening energy boost and working through any stresses brought on by work. You don’t have to go at it hammer and tongs though – yoga is also a fantastic method for grounding and relaxing you.
- Have a shower – As part of the work-at-home brigade, I love this one. This works well for me because I often forget to actually get ready some mornings, and find I am still in my dressing gown at lunchtime. There’s something very soothing and clarifying about standing under the flow of the shower. If you work in Kendal too, you can wash your troubles away without the expense of a water meter, by simply standing outside. This works for most days of the year, except maybe a couple in July/August.
- Meditate – The rule is, if you don’t think you have time to do this – you’re one of the people who needs to do it the most. Meditation can be done in a group, or you can find somewhere quiet to listen to an audio version. You don’t have to sit there for hours either – even 5 minutes can make a difference. Go! Declutter your head.
- Get out in nature – Hug trees, take a short walk, throw some stones in the river. See the importance of the issues raised in that last meeting diminish as you immerse yourself in our bloody amazing planet.
- Switch off…your electronics – Ooh, I bet this is difficult for some of you! Workflow is like a river, so you’ll inevitably burnout before you ever dam the flow. Realistically, very few emails are so uber-urgent that they cannot under any circumstances wait until tomorrow. Additionally, the blue light emitted from our devices has been proven to affect the quality of our sleep.
Notice here I didn’t mention post-work wine/pints/whiskey… the tips above can be used as healthy habits, which don’t tend to include a skinful of vino tinto. I found that drinking after work made me feel sluggish for the rest of the night, wasting my precious me-time! Alcohol doesn’t really help you switch off, rather it puts you ‘on hold‘.