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Finding the balance between work and well, everything else, is something that a lot of us struggle with. If you’ve had a particularly busy or stressful day at work, trying to switch off at the end of it can sometimes be impossible if you aren’t taking any steps to try and calm your mind.
Your natural first point of call might be flopping down on the sofa to watch some TV (and that’s fine) but there are also some other great tips that we want to share! These can help to really ensure that you’re de-stressing and switching off properly after a manic day.
Try to leave work at the Office.....
This is, of course, easier said than done if you run your own business, work from home or if you have a demanding job! But so many people struggle to relax because they take their work home with them and never truly switch off.
Physically leaving the office is pretty straightforward, but now that we have phones, laptops and social media, it can often be hard to stop yourself from checking emails or texts or going through your work to-do list.
If you work in an office, try leaving your laptop there and not taking any work documents home with you. If you have a home office, try and create a space for yourself in your home away from your desk where you won’t be tempted to turn on your computer (more on this in the next section) and try to create a bit of a line between work and home.
Create a relaxing space in your home!
This is particularly important if you have a home office or run a business from home, as trying to ‘relax’ in the same room as your work equipment might tempt you back in to finishing off some tasks or checking your inbox.
Try and make a conscious decision to leave your stress at the front door (or in your home office) and create a space for yourself where you can have some quiet time. This could be by creating a zen space with candles or plants or allocating a space in your living room for things like reading or listening to music.
It’s also important to create the right atmosphere - dimming the lights actually sends your body a signal to wind down, so instead of keeping the bright lights on all evening, dim them when you get home and light some candles!
Allocate relaxation time (yes, you do have time)
You may of course have a string of other obligations when you finish your work day. From getting in your food shopping, picking the children up from school and cooking dinner – you may feel like there’s simply no time to relax.
This is why you need to push yourself to allocate some relaxation time, even if it’s only a quick chunk of time that you take for yourself to have a relaxing bath, listen to some music or reflect quietly – this will do wonders for recharging your mind and body.
Even a few minutes of meditation will work wonders to help you switch off (we’ll talk about that one shortly).
Take a Walk...
Walking is a great stress-buster, especially if you’ve been sitting in an office all day or if you’ve been hunched over your desk for hours on end.
If it’s not pouring with rain of course, try and get in a short walk in the fresh air before you stop for the evening to clear your mind and stretch your muscles.
And did you know that apparently an hour of walking can cancel out the negative effects of sitting all day? Interesting. Talking some time away from screens and noise to walk can be really refreshing and can help you to blow away the cobwebs and try to shed some of the stress of the day away!
Try Yoga or light yoga stretches...
You really don’t have to be a yoga pro to feel the stress-busting benefits of yoga themed activity!
Simple restorative yoga poses, and light stretching will help your body wind down from the day. A great position for unwinding is ‘child’s pose’ (lie face-down curled into yourself on the floor. Expand your breath into your rib cage and your back for a sense of relaxation. You can finish this wind-down by lying down on your yoga mat – or somewhere comfortable - with some deep breathing.
Just taking some time to move your body and stretch is great for taut muscles, especially if you carry your stress in your body. This or a hot bath will work wonders!
Without a doubt, meditation is a fantastic stress-buster and way to relax, even if you haven’t got much time. Even just a few minutes of stillness will help you ease the transition between work and home life. Think of post-work meditation like a reset button to create some separation from your different roles in life, work and home.
Certainly, if you’re looking for great work-life balance, taking time to consciously let go of whatever may have happened during the day and re-focus your attention and energy on things away from work is a great first step.
Post-work meditation will help you take control of your personal time—and will benefit you tremendously. If you don’t know where to begin, try an online video guide or an app like Headspace to guide you.
Make time for your hobby!
Having a hobby is a perfect way to unwind after a busy day as you’ll be doing something you love, and this is a great way to distract your mind. If your work is office based, then you could choose a physical hobby, such as running or going to the gym.
Equally, you could try things like writing, photography or painting. You could join a class, meet new people, or even just read at home, cook, create – whatever gives you enjoyment!
Because a hobby is more than just an activity, it’s a way to learn something new and it’s a great alternative to what you do as your job.
The more you can recharge and relax at home, the more refreshed you’ll be for the next work day!
So when you feel the need to relax after a long, busy day! Remember these little tips!