5 Ways to Switch off After a Busy Day
5 Ways to Switch off After a Busy Day
No matter what kind of a day you have had, whether you have been on your feet for hours or have been sitting for long stretches, it is so important to find ways to switch off after a busy day. Allowing yourself psychological detachment from the workplace can help you to fully relax, let go of any stress and allow yourself to start the next day with focus and positivity. Research has shown that “employees who experience more detachment from work during off-hours are more satisfied with their lives and experience fewer symptoms of psychological strain, without being less engaged while at work.” So on that note, here are some of our favourite methods to wind down after a busy day.
1. Stretch to Switch Off
After a long day it is important to nurture your body and stretching can be incredibly beneficial. You might like to find a clear space, lay down a yoga mat and allow yourself some time to work out the mental and physical stresses that have built up throughout the day. If you spend lots of time sitting at a desk, you may find that you struggle with lower back problems. In which case, the reclining spinal twist is an excellent way to look after your back. This pose lengthens and realigns the spine whilst encouraging blood flow to your digestive organs. Also, the child’s pose is excellent for promoting calm whilst elongating your arms and spine. For an extra bit of relaxation, add a touch of lavender oil to your yoga mat or a tissue and enjoy some aromatherapy whilst in this pose.
If you have been on your feet all day, you might find that your muscles may have become stiff and painful, causing the soles of your feet to feel tender and sore. Calf raises help to pump blood out of the foot and back to the rest of the body. Practising some yoga for your feet along with calming stretches allows you to focus on taking time for yourself whilst you ease into your downtime.
You may be surprised how much focused breathing can support our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Breathwork can leave us feeling calmer, especially right before sleep. The 4-7-8 Breathing Method, derived from an ancient yogic technique called pranayama, can help some people fall asleep more quickly.
To do this, inhale deeply through your nose for 4 seconds and then hold your breath for 7 seconds. Following this, exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds whilst making a ‘whooshing sound’ and repeat up to 4 times. This method is thought to release stress and increase oxygen in your bloodstream. Breathing exercises can be great after a workout, practising yoga or just on their own to relieve stress and the weight of a long day. To feel the full impact of breathing exercises, make them an activity by sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat and allowing yourself at least 5 minutes to fully immerse yourself.
3. Venture outdoors
The importance of spending time outdoors and amongst nature is something that we have spoken about on our blog and social media before. No matter the weather, taking the time to breathe the fresh air and walk outside is brilliant for relieving stress. When taking a walk outside in the sunnier months, you will be basking in Vitamin D. This can regulate your mood and improve resistance against certain diseases. In the winter months, spending time outdoors is still essential whilst there are other ways to get sources of the vitamins you need.
4. Put the electronics away and give yourself permission to daydream
When was the last time that you just allowed your mind to wander? Often, when we have a free moment, our hands instinctively reach for our phones to check social media or send a quick email. Rather than doing this, try to take a moment to sit alone in silence and find comfort in your own company. It is thought that short bursts of daydreaming can increase long-term productivity and creativity. If you are worried about something, allowing your mind to explore the situation rather than suppressing it, can help you to find solutions that you may not have otherwise reached.
Daydreaming is not the only reason why putting electronics away is a good idea. Electronics stimulate our brains but not always positively. They fill our minds with endless information which can cause stress and have the opposite desired effect after a long day. Social media can promote connections, but prolonged exposure to screens can cause headaches. So, instead of staring at a screen for the evening, call a friend, read a book or take a walk to switch off.
5. Find a meditative hobby.
A hobby is a great way to switch your mind from work-mode to home-mode. These hobbies could be anything from knitting or crocheting to painting or learning to play an instrument. Whilst these actions may seem counterproductive to winding down, these sorts of activities calm your mind in a different way. Rather than collapsing on the sofa and turning on the TV when you return from work, taking up a hobby is a great way to release anxiety and stress.
If you enjoyed this blog on 5 ways to switch off after a busy day, then feel free to check out our other journal posts where we share more tips on physical and mental health. Stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to Combe Grove soon.