Easy Post-Work Rituals to Help You De-Stress
A full day at work, whether you are sitting on a desk or up on your feet, is taxing on the mind and body. Then you come home and you realize, your mind is still running. You can’t relax. You can’t switch off.
Technology is a major part of this problem, too. Pings from emails and messages, new notifications and likes keep your brain tuned into your different gadgets. Work emails hound you even when you’re home.
So what happens is you get cranky at your family because you still have to make dinner or you zombie out on the sofa and binge on screentime and unhealthy food in a misguided sense of winding down. More than mindlessly zoning out, what people who work hard all day need to do is learn to transition from work to home. From stressed to relaxed. From wired to free.
The trick is to create a ritual that will signal your brain that work is done for the day and it’s time to relax and tune into life. Find what it is that works for you and do it every day to create a habit that will in turn be seen by your mind as its switch off button.
Here are some short and easy rituals that might work for you.
1. Instead of commuting or driving home, cycle or walk home.
This is great especially if you are glued to a computer screen all day. The abrupt change in activity will make it easier for your brain to shut off work.
2. Take up a hobby.
One that you enjoy and keeps your hands busy with repetitive motion, like knitting, painting or pottery. Repetitive motions soothe anxiety. Set a time for this when you get home, as a reward and a way to unwind.
Or just sit in a quiet corner. Count your breaths and think of nothing. If your mind strays, don’t stress, just gently bring it back to your breaths. Do this for 5 minutes as soon as you get home.
4. Take a shower.
Water is healing to the body and mind. The cleansing of the day’s toil form your body is also a great signal to your brain that the day is done.
5. Make tea.
Many herbal teas are calming, like chamomile. They’re also hydrating and will provide added energy. But it’s not just the drinking of the tea that’s relaxing. The whole ritual of patiently waiting for water to boil, steeping your leaves and waiting, again, that’s key to making this ritual even more de-stressing.
The rituals above are just 5 of hundreds of other possibilities. There are many other ways to train your brain to transition from and let go of work. Light a candle, put on some music, get grounded by taking off your shoes and letting your barefeet touch the ground, stretch, list three things you are grateful for to end your work day on a positive note, eat a piece of chocolate. It could be anything. The point is to make it your own and do it consistently so the act will train your brain to switch off. When you find it, treasure it and respect it. This can have life-changing effects that not only you, but your family as well, will feel.