Now that January is drawing to a close and work is returning to its usual pace following the post-Christmas lull, it’s easy to forget to take time out and know how to switch off after work. If you find yourself spending your evenings worrying about work problems or just dreading the next day, we’ve got the advice to help you unwind.
There’s a time and place for everything
If you already feel stressed about work before you get there and you spend your commute to and from dwelling on issues, learn to change this behaviour. Yes a long train or bus journey can be a good time to look over emails or think about a meeting later in the week, but if it’s not essential it can wait until you reach the office. Commuting can be stressful enough with traffic and transport delays, so try and cut out extra stress where you can.
Do something you enjoy in this time like reading the paper, listening to the radio or reading the next chapter in a book. This will help you to start the day in a calm state with a clear head and will help your brain to associate the days end with relaxation mode.
Unplug to unwind
According to a Deloitte survey, more than 45% of people between 16 and 75 years of age feel the need to constantly check their phone, and collapsing on the sofa only to scroll through social media for an hour can leave you feeling more switched on than switched off. Not only can social media feel you feeling blue due to fake or filtered content showing everyone else seemingly having a happier and more fun time than you, but you’ll also find that you waste your valuable evening essentially doing nothing.
Decide on a time to put down all devices and disconnect from the outside world, whether that’s while you make dinner and eat, in the hour before you go to sleep or just as soon as you step through the front door.
Hobbies make you happy
If your usual routine is getting home and just spending the night in front of the TV then it’s time for a change. One of the top ways to switch off after work is to do something completely different that makes you happy and keeps you focussed on something other than the 9 to 5. You can take up an instrument, learn to draw or paint, write, cook or do just about anything you want to. Not only does this boost your skills and could even benefit your CV (you can check out our advice about this here,) but it gives you an outlet that is a complete change of scenery.
Run for your life
If you’ve had a particularly stressful or busy day, an excellent way to switch off after work is to channel that energy into exercise. Exercise releases feel-good hormones meaning not only will you benefit your body physically, but you’ll improve your mental state and find it easier to relax after your workout.
Meditating is one of the easiest ways to relax after a long day and is free and can be done anywhere meaning it’s a great go-to for getting rid of stress. You also don’t have to surround yourself with candles and crystals to do it. Just pick a quiet spot in your house that isn’t too cluttered as you may end up focusing more on the mess, sit down or lie down with your eyes closed and breathe slowly, imagining that you’re gathering up any stress or worry and then expelling it.
You’ll feel much calmer when you’re done and if you want to follow a proper meditation routine there are hundreds of videos, apps and podcasts out there to help you.
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