Sadly, gone are the days when workers could come home, kick their feet up, relax, and leave their work behind. For a whole host of reasons, burnout from work has become a real issue for many Americans, and, according to experts, it is becoming increasingly common across a wide range of industries.
According to asurvey published by The American Psychological Association, 79% of American workers experienced some form of work stress, 44% described themselves as physically exhausted from work, and 32% said they were emotionally spent.
The best cure for work-related stress and exhaustion is time away from work, both mentally and physically. However, the problem for many Americans is that it has become increasingly harder to flip the switch and enter a state of relaxation after a long day.
Read on for ten suggestions on how you can do just that.
ALWAYS SAY YOUR GOODBYES
Experts say that the best way to transition out of work mode into leisure mode is to leave work where it belongs; at work.
Think of putting away your tools, hanging up your uniform, or shutting down any equipment you use as shaking hands with your work and saying goodbye. Also, acknowledge your co-workers, supervisor, employees, or anyone you work with by saying goodbye. According to experts, it is a great way to cut the mental cord with work before heading home.
CHOOSE SOME WIND-DOWN MUSIC
They say music is the best medicine; the same applies to winding down after a long day at work.
Just like an athlete might use a particular song to pump them up before stepping onto the field, you can use music to signal your preferred energy space. Look for music that clears your mind or makes you forget about work and play it during the commute home.
PUT YOUR WORK AWAY
Imagine a locker or a cabinet inside your head. Think about all of tomorrow’s work or any work issues that you might be struggling with and put them away inside your mind.
Imagine closing your locker door, or the file cabinet drawer, knowing everything inside will be waiting for you when you open it again at work.
CHANGE OUT OF YOUR CLOTHES
Whether you wear a uniform to work, follow a specific dress code, or have certain work clothes, remove them once you get home and change into something else.
Even if the clothes you wear to work are comfortable, removing your work clothes lets the mind know that you’re done with work. If you have something to do after work, be sure to put on something you would never wear to your job.
AVOID TALKING ABOUT WORK
Experts agree that if you want to flip that switch and get out of work mode, don’t talk about work once the workday is over.
It is not uncommon to want to talk about work with our family, friends, or significant others. However, if you’re struggling to get out of work mode and leave it all behind, the last thing you want to do is keep talking about it.
PLAN A FUN ACTIVITY
When you have an activity planned for after work, you’ll more easily be able to transition into a leisure mode.
There are many ways to unwind after a long day at work, whether it’s a particular hobby, taking a walk, or playing games. According to experts, going with friends to happy hour or scheduling a family activity are also good options.
CREATE FAKE COMMUTES
If you work at home, you can mark the work day’s end with a quick drive or a walk. Listen to that wind-down playlist or your favorite audiobook or podcast to transition into leisure mode.
REACH OUT TO A FRIEND.
Consider picking up your phone and jumping into social mode at quitting time.
Experts say that short conversations with friends can remind us to stay connected to our world and the people we love while helping us disconnect from our work environment. Just a brief, five-minute chat with a friend has the potential to release work stress and help move you into leisure mode.
It also helps to remind us that there is a whole world filled with people outside work.
TAKE DEEP BREATHS
When the workday has you pumped up with adrenaline or feeling stressed out, doing breathwork can help to shift you into an improved state of mind and usher in some relaxation. Most experts recommend ending the day with some relaxed belly breathing.
That method involves taking ten deep, relaxed inhalations while imagining the center of your breath in your belly button. Inhale gently, filling your belly with breath. Continue to inhale, filling your midsection, upper chest, and throat. Exhale effortlessly and notice a shift in the body.
CREATE A LEISURELY AFTER-WORK ENVIRONMENT
Upon arriving home after a long day at work, you want your space to be a place of relaxation.
Whether it’s a room filled with comfy furniture or a peaceful outdoor space, be sure you have a designated spot just for you. Doing so will help you to shake off any work vibe and get you into the right frame of mind.