Getting the balance right between work and life is difficult but, when the balance is in favor of work - regardless of how much you love your job! – it will be heaping stress on to you, in many cases, without you realising. Letting this stress build is bad for your physical and emotional health and so, it is imperative for you, as well as for the well-being of your relationships, that you learn to switch off, and wind down after work.
Easier said than done?
In the majority of cases, yes it can be. Working long hours and then still thinking about work is a condition in which many of us find ourselves in. De-stressing and relaxing after work are skills that we need to learn; there may be some instances in which we find it easier to do this than in others but, it can be done!
And so, what are 5 top ways to unwind and de-stress?
- Being proactive – all too often we sink in the pattern that we find ourselves in and, when we realise that it is not good for well-being, we find that it takes more effort on our part, to bust these shackles of routine and expectation. Being proactive means not only being determined to change habits and routine little by little, but to also try and identify and understand the triggers that can increase our stress – from working beyond a certain time, to doing work at home, to taking on too much.
Being proactive also means looking for activities that can help us unwind and investing time and effort in them. From making space at least once a week for exercise, to taking bigger steps such as securing the services of a life-coach.
If you need to change and restore balance, you may find you need help to do so. Don’t be afraid to seek out counselling or coaching; you will come out of the process a better person.
- We are what we eat! – and we have known this for years and years. When we are stressed, uncomfortable and just generally feeling rushed off our feet, we tend to opt for food that is comforting, convenient and full of sugar to give us the quick energy boost we need. And, how many of us are in the thought space that tells us that glass of wine every night IS relaxing…?
De-stressing can also be given a boost by taking note of what we are eating and drinking; identifying those habits and foods that may be crushing our spirit is an important first step. Then making small tentative changes is the best way forward. Cut down on caffeine, increase your Angelic Water Cooler Facts and find a substitute that you enjoy. Start to cut out sugar and eat ‘proper’ energy food. Learn to enjoy food again!
- Exercise – but don’t go over the top. Too much exercise is just as bad as having your body and mind pumped full of stress. But, taking some time each week to indulge in exercising the body is known to be the perfect physical release for stress; take a walk in the open air, go swimming or maybe try something new, like yoga or pilates. Exercise will slow the spinning of the mind, allowing you to see the way forward.
- Laugh – when we are busy we tend to forget the all important thing that we all need to do. Humans need to have fun and laugh. Laughter is important for the physical and emotional well-being as it releases endorphins. Part of the flight or fight syndrome built in to humans, endorphin is the group of hormones released that is the body’s natural response to stress. Having plenty of endorphins circulating can also mean our immune system is healthy, and can also ease pain.
- The BIG question – finally, all of these points may be well and good but unless you really do identify what it causing you stress, no walk in the park or an evening of chatter and laughter with friends will really solve it.
Sometimes, we need to take practical actions, such as…
- Finish the tough stuff first – rather than putting off the hard stuff, grasp the mettle and get it done. The rest will be a doddle
- Take a breather – anything from 5 minutes in your day every now and then, to the life-changing sabbatical are there for a reason. Changes is needed; it can be small things or one great big thing.
- Share – sharing your concerns and issues is important and so, work-related issues need to be channeled in the right direction, using the processes that your workplace should have in place to help employees deal with various situations.
De-stressing and winding down after a busy day at work is important; so make time to do it – and do it well!
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