Thanks to advancements in modern technology, it’s never been easier to work from home. In fact, almost half of American adults worked from home at least occasionally in 2019. But for many of us, working from home is the norm.
While working from home offers many benefits and conveniences, it can also make it that much more difficult to find a healthy work-life balance. To keep your stress levels and overall mental health in check, it’s important to know how to destress after work, especially when you live and work in the same space.
To help you in this endeavor, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to relaxing after work. Keep reading to learn more!
When working from home, the first step you need to take is to create a schedule for yourself. This means setting a start and stop time for your workday and sticking to them!
Without a designated office closing time, it’s all too easy to let the time slip away from you and before you know it, it’s 9 pm and you’ve been working for twelve hours straight. To prevent this from happening, set alarms on your phone or computer. When your end of the day alarm goes off, it’s time to start closing up shop.
One of the best ways to not only prevent yourself from overworking yourself but also to get your day started right is to build a morning routine. Now, a good morning routine should take between one and two hours from the time you wake up. It’s called a morning routine for a reason, don’t let it take up your entire day!
To feel your best during the day, do what you can to adjust your circadian rhythm so that you wake up naturally. A positive morning starts the night before!
When you wake up, spend some time in relaxing activities that you enjoy, whether that be cooking a big breakfast, meditating, journaling, or practicing yoga. By enjoying your morning away from your phone and computer, you’ll find that you feel much better throughout the workday.
Whether you realize it or not, your brain creates associations with certain places and things. Without a designated workspace, you’ll find it much harder to switch out of work mode at the end of the day.
Avoid working in relaxation spaces, such as your couch or bed, at all costs. Instead, set up a clean, organized space in your home that you do not use unless you’re working.
Don’t worry, for those living in smaller spaces, this doesn’t have to mean creating an entire room in your home for work. It can be something as simple as a work chair in your living room or desk in your bedroom.
Those with understanding friends, family, coworkers, and bosses don’t have to worry about this one. But odds are that there’s always going to be someone either trying to distract you from work or trying to get you to work when you should be relaxing.
It can be tough to be stern with people, but you should always put yourself first in these situations. If a family member calls mid-workday, call them back when you’re done or politely tell them you’ll call them when you’re off work.
On the flip side, if a coworker or boss calls with a work-related question when you’re not on the clock, there’s nothing wrong with waiting until the next day to respond. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re available day or night.
As mentioned above, your brain creates associations with places, times, even songs and clothes! By making routines and rituals a priority, your body will begin to do things automatically.
For example, if you make it a point to go to bed at 10 pm every night, your body will begin to enter sleep mode at that time. If you’re strict with yourself about stopping work at 5 pm, it will be easier to switch to relaxation mode in the evening.
It’s a good idea to have a post-work ritual that tells your body and mind it’s time to switch gears.
This can be changing out of work clothes, taking a shower, anything that helps you relax. CBD is also a great relaxation tool, but choose CBD pre-rolls that won’t burn your throat to avoid discomfort.
Speaking of post-work rituals, why not make yours exercise? You’ll be switching out of work mode while giving your body some much-needed activity and boosting your mental and physical health!
For optimal health, you should be getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week. You might be surprised by the drastic improvements in your stress and energy levels you’ll experience after just a session or two.
So when your end of day alarm goes off, change into some workout clothes and get your sweat on!
While there’s nothing wrong with exercising indoors, do your best to get outside at least once a day. A few minutes in the sun a day provides a wealth of benefits, including reducing stress and improving confidence, sleep, and focus.
The sun is also an excellent source of Vitamin D, a vital nutrient for bone and immune health. Just be sure to wear your SPF to protect your skin from the harmful rays!
Nothing is quite as effective at changing our mood than music. One of the many benefits of music is that it can help you focus. Because of this, it can absolutely be enjoyed during the workday if you prefer to work with some background noise.
But an uplifting song that can help you destress after work and even throughout the workday is even better. You can also put on your favorite podcast during your post-work routine to reward yourself for a hard day’s work.
If the thought of cooking is more stressful than relaxing for you, don’t worry! When we say prioritize cooking, we simply mean taking a few minutes to slow down and heat a meal or throw some pasta together.
Meal delivery services can be a huge help, but if you struggle to relax after work, the last thing you want to do is order a meal and absent-mindedly eat it while still working.
If cooking is an enjoyable activity for you, do it! Preparing your meals is a great way to save money on food and eat healthier at the same time. Not to mention, chopping vegetables and other food preparation steps can be very relaxing.
If you work from home, you almost certainly do so in front of a screen, whether that be your computer or smartphone. By including screen time in your after-work activities, you’re spending your entire day with technology.
Not only is this horrible for your eyes and most likely your posture, but it also disrupts your brain’s ability to switch out of work mode. Remember, to truly relax after work, the goal should be to help your mind distance from work as much as possible.
If you spend your workday on your computer, try to spend your free time without it. Instead of binge-watching YouTube, decompress with exercise, reading, or getting creative! Your mind will thank you.
Last but not least, even if you love your job, the end of your workday should be something you look forward to! Don’t spend your evening aimlessly. Use the time to focus on hobbies and take care of your needs.
This means calling a friend or family member if you’re feeling lonely, or turning off your phone if you’ve spent the day talking.
If you don’t have a hobby, what better time to pick one up than now? With the endless amount of tutorials and classes available online, you can build a skill without ever leaving your house!
Yes, work is important. It can bring us a sense of fulfillment and purpose, but it shouldn’t be how we spend every moment of every day.
A work-life balance is essential to a healthy life, and something we shouldn’t neglect, especially when we work from home. This is why knowing how to destress after work is so important. Staying in work mode all the time can be tempting, but will ultimately cause a decline in both your productivity and wellbeing.
Searching for more? Be sure to take a look at our blog for further tips on finding balance in your life!