There’s nothing like leaving work at the end of a long day, especially a particularly stressful one. However, it can be challenging to leave your work at work— especially when working from home.
So, how do you leave a stressful day at work behind so you can enjoy your evening? Here are four practical ways to unwind.
Create a De-Stressing Commute Routine
While we tend to think of commuting as a negative experience, this transitional period offers several benefits. Many workers were surprised to find how much they missed their morning and evening commutes during the pandemic. That’s because commutes play an important role in our psyche, helping us detach from our work or home life, and transition into the other role.
Make the most of your commute by optimizing it for stress relief. Enjoy the ride and create a playlist of your favorite music or podcasts. Incorporate a reward, like an iced coffee or soda water to sip as you head home. Use stress-reducing strategies like aromatherapy or the Hapbee wearable to soothe your body as you travel.
If you’re working from home, create a faux commute. Schedule 20 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to tune the world out and engage in an activity that helps you de-stress. This activity could be a nice walk outside, sitting and listening to music, or reading a book.
Make Time to Move
Physical activity can help burn excess stress and release endorphins for an instant mood boost. We tend to consider exercise as another chore to get done at the end of the day. However, reframing it as “movement” can take off the pressure to perform. You don’t necessarily have to hit the gym every day for 45 minutes – movement can be an intense 5-minute exercise or a gentle walk with your dog; it can be whatever you make. However, it’s crucial not to skip workouts, even on your busiest days.
Avoid intense exercise within two hours of bedtime, as the energy boost might make it difficult to sleep. If you lack motivation, plan to move right after work, before anything else. This strategy will help you avoid distractions so you can get it done.
Unplug and Reconnect
Modern jobs keep us plugged in, both literally and figuratively, with numerous social interactions and hours spent on technology. The best thing you can do to help reset after a stressful day is to unplug from digital devices and reconnect with the world around you.
Put your phone away for an hour after you get home, focusing on time in nature or with family. Scrolling and engaging will keep your mind in an active, heightened state. Unplugging will help you calm down and de-stress.
Wash Away the Day
There’s something powerful about taking a shower after work and changing into different clothing. While it seems symbolic, you can wash the day away. Showering is similar to commuting, as it allows for an unplugged and unengaged transition from one experience to the next. An evening shower can also help you unwind and feel ready for high-quality sleep.
Remember that a bad day doesn’t equal a bad life. Practice mindfulness and remind yourself that the stressful day is over; tomorrow has the potential to be great.
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