Is it just me or do you also find it difficult to take your mind off work when you come home after a busy day at work?
- All the things that you should have done at work today but had no time to…
- That thing that your boss said to you – what did he/she mean by that…
- I’ll have to remember to do that tomorrow… Oh and that too…
That sort of things.
What you need to do is to simply find ways to relax, to just… let go. You do not want to think about work in the evening or during weekends.
Here’s what you can do:
How to take mind off work
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1. Be organized at work – write lists
Before you head home from work, write a simple to do list of all the things that need to be done tomorrow or in the next few days. Leave the list at work. Organize your desk quickly and go home.
You should not leave work while your head is buzzing with everything that needs to be done. Your desk looks a mess and you are wondering how you’ll make it through the week.
2. Take a nap
You come home and you’re tired. Take a nap, just 5 – 20 minutes.
You should not go straight to bed and sleep for a couple of hours. You’ll feel groggy for the rest of the evening and won’t get sleep at night. You will get stressed for not sleeping.
Go for a walk or do some other sort of exercise that you love. I know, you might feel that the last thing you want to do after a stressful day at work is to go for a walk but it will help you.
Don’t sit on the couch and watch TV all evening. Don’t get me wrong, this is great occasionally but if you do this every day after work, all evening, I’ve got news for you: You’re not living your life.
4. Take a bath and make yourself comfortable
Take a long bubble bath or a hot shower and make yourself warm and comfortable once you’re done.
You should not wear the same clothes you wore at work. Change to something more comfortable, it’s time to switch off the work mood.
5. Learn relaxation techniques
Close your eyes and just focus on your breathing for a while. A relaxation exercise can be as simple as this. Do not let your mind race, you won’t be able to focus on anything all evening.
6. Keep your home tidy
Keep your home clean and uncluttered.
You might not notice it but living in a messy cluttered environment makes you feel more stressed. You notice it once you clean your home – everything just feels a lot nicer, doesn’t it?
7. Create a relaxing atmosphere
Create a relaxing atmosphere by lighting some candles or playing relaxing music. Try not to pile a lot of chores for yourself for evenings.
8. Read a book
Read a book before bed time to relax.
Do not read your work emails even though your tempted. I know – you just want to check if there’s anything urgent or important. It really can wait until morning.
9. Have a hot drink
Have some coffee, tea or hot chocolate. It will relax you.
Don’t have a glass of wine to relax you. There’s nothing wrong with drinking wine, it’s good for you actually. But to drink wine to unwind can be dangerous. It will become a habit very quickly and you might find yourself drinking half a bottle each night. Wine will also affect your sleep.
10. Work first, then play
Do your chores straight away when you come home from work. Then you can relax.
It is very tempting to relax first and think that you can do the chores later in the evening. You won’t be able to relax as you’ll keep thinking about all the things that you’ll have to do later on.
11. Have a hobby
Do something else you enjoy doing: sew, knit, draw, paint or write a blog 🙂 It’s great if it’s something creative! Have you tried adult coloring books? I loved coloring as a child and I’ve noticed I still do. Make sure you buy quality colored pencils and off you go. It’s really relaxing – you’re focusing on something totally different than your job, and you won’t even notice it.
A friend of mine once said that her job is her hobby. Yeah, she thought it was sad too.
12. Cook delicious meal
Cook something really nice, your favorite meal.
Do not order pizza or other take away. It will just make you feel worse. It is obviously OK occasionally but it will very easily become an emotional eating habit – you’ll want to have something with lots of fat and carbohydrates every time you’re stressed out.
13. Unplug from work
Unplug from work by turning off your work phone. You do not need to be available at all times.
Don’t be tempted to check your work email when you’re on holiday – a lot of people do this thinking they’ll have less catching up to do when they get back. You’ll find it very difficult to switch to holiday mode (which your brain needs) if you don’t unplug.
In my opinion a holiday is not a proper holiday if you can remember the password to your work computer with ease when you return!
14. Write your thoughts down and sleep well
Before going to sleep write down everything that worries you. As soon as you think of them write them down and say to yourself ”I will think about that tomorrow.” Either things that you need to do tomorrow or just things that you feel upset about.
If you feel upset about someone, write them a letter telling how you feel. You don’t have to give the letter to them, but you’ll feel better after writing down your feelings.
Stress at work
It seems that our lives are getting more and more stressful. You might be working long hours and (at least occasionally) from home so it can be difficult to properly define the time that you spend working and the time that you spend ”living your life”.
Sometimes when I’m working late in the evening and I send a lot of emails I find it quite shocking that I get an instant reply to at least 50 % to those emails. People are actually reading their work emails at 9 or 10 pm!
Do you find it difficult to take your mind off work?