With many of us continuing to work from home, the boundaries between working life and home life, and increasingly blurred. So how can we ensure we unwind from our work at the end of the day?
Research shows how important it is to unwind at the end of the day – it helps to reduce stress and burnout.
Yet with the usual rituals of the workday, the daily commute, and the arrival home missing from our lives, how can we reintroduce some rituals for switching off at the end of a busy working day?
The benefits of meditation include relieving our subjective levels of anxiety and depression, and improving attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being.
The great thing about meditation is it doesn’t require any fancy gadgets or equipment – just a commitment to take some time for it during your day. Creating a space for quiet contemplation between your working day and your home life is a great way to mark the boundary between “work” and “relaxation”.
Like meditation, yoga requires little more than a commitment to make time to do it. It also offers great health benefits: easing stress, depression and anxiety, improving mood and sleep, and increasing flexibility, balance, strength, and coordination.
It’s easy to start yoga at home: there are plenty of guides available on the Internet. They can be a little confusing at first, as there are so many different styles of yoga to choose from.
The best way to get started is simply to try different styles until you find one that suits you. Be prepared to experiment a little at the beginning and be kind to yourself; you aren’t going to get it all right from the get-go. That’s the wonderful thing about yoga: you can continually grow and improve.
If you are lucky enough to have access to garden space, lockdown has probably taught you more about the benefits of access to green space for health and mental wellbeing than any article could ever convince you.
While we’re big fans of working outside and biophilic office environments, the garden can also be a perfect place to switch off at the end of the day and mark the transition between work and downtime. Schedule some quiet time to enjoy the outdoors by yourself before you throw yourself back into your usual nightly routine or family life and you can use your garden as your “off switch”.
If you’ve ever indulged in the calming ritual of stargazing, you’ll know how well it can help to relax you and reduce feelings of stress. Appreciating the beauty of the universe puts daily problems and stresses into a different perspective.
The beauty of it is, it’s free – so, as long as you can get outside or see the night sky, you can enjoy its benefits. Turn off all the lights in your home to reduce light pollution, then sit back and relax and the night sky changes around you.
With an app such as Star Walk or Google Sky, you can even discover the names of the stars you’re seeing from your location.