Some days it’s hard not to take your work home with you, so here are some tried and tested tips to make sure you don’t.
If you’re caught up in the minutiae of work long after the day is done, try the following suggestions to help let go and find some peace of mind.
1. Be prepared
Going home starts at work. Dedicate the last hour of the day to sorting out tomorrow and either finalise or plan all the urgent things on your ‘to-do’ list. Our brains are wired to rebel against unfinished business, but it’s much easier to relax if there’s a plan in place.
2. Sweat it out
If you spend your days in your head, finish it by getting into your body. Twenty to thirty minutes of moderate to hard aerobic exercise such as a walk, ride or run resets your body’s stress levels and prepares you to relax.
It needs to be vigorous enough to get you breathing hard if you want to generate feel-good hormones that will make you sleep like a baby. So strap on your shoes, fire up a playlist that includes anything from Chariots of Fire to Rocky, and hit the pavement or gym.
3. Get with the present
You don’t have to be a cave-dwelling Buddhist monk or yogi to find a little peace. Just learning to be truly present in the moment can work miracles – benefits include stress relief, increased creativity and emotional calmness.
It comes down to what you pay attention to. You might not be able to stop your mind whirring, but you can choose how much attention you give it. By learning to focus on what’s happening in reality – the here and now – you can rediscover the wonder that children feel all day long. Once, we didn’t know any different either. Try to get back to that.
4. Accept your limitations
Most of us experience stress because we expect too much of ourselves. If you set a realistic goal and achieve it, you go home feeling like King Kong who just climbed the Empire State.
If you set unachievable goals, you go home feeling like sidewalk slime after being shot down. So be realistic about the expectations you set for yourself, and practice a bit of self love and compassion if and when you come up short.
5. The sound of music
Buy a relaxation tape or some music that you find soothing and take the time to listen to it. Even just 10 minutes can induce a sense of calm in mind and body. Surely the television, your family and the dog can survive without you for a short period time. The latter two will also be thankful when you return sane and happy.
What’s your secret to switching off after a busy day? Share your tips on the Optus Facebook page!