I always used to struggle to switch off from work. I’d be thinking about what had happened, what I should have done differently and what I needed to do the next day.
And over time, this contributed to my rising stress levels and near-burnout – because I wasn’t able to switch off and recharge like I needed to in the evenings.
I realised that things had to change.
Over time, I’ve come up 5 things that work for me and have also worked for my coaching clients:
Ritual – create an end of work that signifies the start of your evening or weekend – get changed, put on some music, pour a cold drink – this signals to your brain and your nervous system that it’s time to switch into evening mode.
Body – do something that gets you out of your head and into your body, so you can close the stress cycle and feel more present: exercise, walking, yoga, or having a bath all work for me – choose something that feels good in your body.
Joy – making yourself do chores if you don’t enjoy them isn’t going to feel particularly relaxing and makes it more tempting to turn your thoughts to work. Having something fun to do helps to positively distract you from work thoughts, increasing positive emotion and helping you to feel calmer and happier. I like to watch a juicy box-set, settle with a good book, or catch up with a friend, or get outside in nature at the weekends.
Compassion – if work thoughts pop in, welcome them kindly rather than try to make them go away (as this never works!) I quickly jot anything important down in my notes app to look at the following day and then take my attention back to what I’m doing right now.
Mindful tech – turn off work emails in the evenings and at weekends and leave your work phone turned off if you have one. (This is a big one for me – it makes such a difference, yet is perhaps the most challenging!)
- Tune in and notice which of these you feel like you want to experiment with?
- Which ones are you doing already?
- How can you be kinder to yourself if you’re finding it hard to switch off?
- How are they working for you?
- Is there anything else that you would want to add to the list?
If you would like some support and practical tools to help you switch off and relax, then feel free to contact me here