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10 ways to detach from your workday (and enjoy stress-free evenings)

Relaxing - it's easier said than done, especially as we go about our daily life. But having a clear break from work is vital to a happy and fulfilling personal and family life.

By Joe McAvoyPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 5 min read
10 ways to detach from your workday (and enjoy stress-free evenings)
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

In today's stressful and pressurised work environment it's becoming critically important to learn to completely 'switch off' and do things that build inner harmony and mindfulness. This way we can head off things like burnout or depression before they happen. And we can live a happier existence, being kind to ourselves, our family and others.

In this endeavour, we do not need grand gestures nor do we need to theorise endlessly about zen or states of being. What we need is small things done well and daily and by exercising a little consciousness. Ultimately, this is what will make us grow. Success is measured in days, not in years.

With that said, here's 10 ways to draw a line under your workday and enjoy stress-free evenings that will recharge your mental and physical batteries rather than drain them.

1) Unplug to really disconnect

In order to fully disconnect from a busy day at the office the first priority is 'unplug' your life. Turn off your phone alerts, close your company laptop, and don't even think about reading email - personal or professional.

The aim here is to have a clear break in your day. You may have to spend some time finding the best way for you and it will be a case of trial and error. But stick with it! Doing so will allow you to fully immerse yourself into a different environment and allow your mind to process the day properly.

Think of it as closing a chapter of a book, putting it down and thinking about what you have read for a while, then picking the book back up again.

Buddhist monks are known to bathe in the morning after staying up all night in an effort to calm the mind and keep it clear. But you don't need to go to this extreme. Go for a short walk or take your dog for a run. Have some tea and look at the changing seasons outside your window. It is much easier to detach when you are doing something you enjoy.

2) Have a family moment

Make your kids/wife/husband/partner your main focus, after your workday, and focus on enjoying some quality time together. They will feel appreciated. And you will feel appreciated and relaxed. It is important to let go of the negative thoughts and pressures in your mind, and this requires a real connection with family. So, as you become more and more connected with your family, your mind will be more and more relaxed. Make yourself available. Your family will also feel that you have a lot of time. So, the more you do this, the more time you will have. And you will truly unwind.

3) Read something

It can be a book, a short story or poem, or a children's story. It doesn't matter, just something. It will give you a break from the stress of the day and help you to relax and unwind. Also, if you get lost in a novel or poem, you may not even notice that you are unwinding. You get lost in the story, you connect with the characters, and your pressures just slip away. You should really read something you truly love or that challenges you, but without overstimulating your mind.

By Brad Neathery on Unsplash

4) Write something

If reading is not your thing then try writing. The cathartic benefits of writing are enormous and life-changing. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Write down your hopes and dreams. Your goals and ambitions. Fears and worries. Write out the things you are grateful for. Write down your dreams. Write down the things that you want to do. Spit it all out. Some of what you write will seem crazy and out of the norm. But don't worry about that. The important thing is to get it out. It will help you to realise that you are not crazy with work-related stress, and that you are not alone. After all, we are all human, and we all have feelings, so why shouldn't we be able to freely express them? Writing truly connects: you to your emotions and to others.

5) Pamper yourself

After all, you worked hard today, and it is important to reward yourself for all of your efforts. Don't wait for a special occasion. Do it now. It could be a massage, a facial, a nice pastry or a manicure. Whatever it is, treat yourself to something that you really deserve. And remember to not over indulge. It is important not to fall into the trap of over doing it, such as eating too much, as this will in time add to your stress levels.

6) Remember your why

How do you know your job is meaningful, if you don't have meaning in your life? You need to remind yourself, and your family, friends, and colleagues, on the reasons why you do what you do. When you are stressed and feel that you are not making a difference, remember that you are making a huge difference to the lives of people, all around the world, even those you do not know. And it is this that makes your life meaningful. So, never forget. This will put a real smile on your face. This will make you feel happy and purposeful. And your life will be less stressful. It really will.

By Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

7) Be grateful

Thank your lucky stars for what you have and don't focus on what you don't own or feel. Be thankful that you have a job. A family. Even be thankful for the challenges. The problems in your personal of professional life. Your life is a privilege and a great opportunity. And it is short. So, say thank you often, to yourself and to your family, colleagues and even strangers. Acknowledge the good things that happen while you are busy and it will help in those moments of relaxation.

8) Meditate in any way

There's no need to be a guru or monk to meditate and you don't need special poses or incense sticks. Meditation can be done sitting in an armchair, or walking in the forest. Even on public transport, you can carve out some headspace to chill the mind and relax after work. Use a mindfulness app or just learn to close your eyes and enter into a meditative state. It's easy to do this once you have the habit of doing. So cultivate a habit. Now. There is no excuse not to.

9) Sleep

Forty winks. It sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but it really is. Get some sleep. The sleep that you get before and after work is good for you. It helps with your mental health, your memory and your creativity. So, get your beauty sleep. You deserve it. We are starting to know so much more about the life-changing effects of sleep. So get yours. Sleep is vital and you need it. Sleep is when your body does its best work. It is when you are most productive. It is when you are at your happiest.

10) Repeat

Consistency is key. Do a little of all of the above every day and you'll soon see progress. When you are going about your day repeat this phrase wherever and whenever you can:

'I am safe. I am loved. I am happy. I am okay. I am strong.'

These are the key words that will keep you grounded. Once you have said that, you have done everything you can. You have done all the right things and you have made a difference.

So, keep going. Keep moving. Keep learning. Keep working. Keep being kind. Have fun. Enjoy the ride. It is yours and no-one else's.


About the Creator

Joe McAvoy

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