We all used to envy those who got to stay at home for work, but the Coronavirus has made all of the trouble points of working from home abundantly clear. Working from home can actually be even more taxing since you don’t have a place to ‘escape’ your work environment when you’re done. Once your workday is done, it is important to find a way to unwind and relax. Here are some great tips for finding ways to unwind after a long day of working from home.
Counter the Stress of Work
When picking an activity to use to relax, it’s important to keep in mind the type of work you do during the day and try to balance that out. If your work is mentally taxing and requires a lot of analysis or thinking like writing or accounting work, find something that’s more mindless and meditative to do when it’s time to unwind. Your mind will certainly need a break after such a long and exhausting workday so activities like yoga, lifting free weights, or even just taking an hour to pamper yourself with a hot bath and Epsom salts can work wonders in easing your body and mind.
If your work is something more repetitive like data entry, you’ll want to find a hobby that wakes up and energizes your brain. Mental fatigue can be just as exhausting, if not more, than physical fatigue, so it’s important to give your brain what it needs. Activities like drawing, doing puzzles, crosswords, writing, or learning a new skill can be great ways to keep your mind engaged and fight off the mental fatigue caused by more repetitive work.
Cut Down on Caffeine
While caffeine is great for getting you through your workday, it can have a negative impact when you’re trying to wind down, giving you a second burst of energy just as you’re trying to get relaxed. Stick with limiting your caffeine to either your morning breakfast to get you into gear or a little bit in the afternoon with lunch. Use it to get through your workday but limit your late-night coffee binges.
It also helps with the psychology of switching off for the day if you switch to a different sort of drink for your off-hours. If you need a little boost later in the eventing, stick to low-caffeine teas, juices, and seltzers. If you’re still struggling with your ability to relax, consider something like a CBD supplement which may improve your sleeping pattern, lower anxiety, and more.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
One of the biggest reasons people struggle to relax in their off-time is because of the toll working each day can have on the body. If you’re working a desk job, for example, the sedentary lifestyle and posture of sitting can cause certain muscles to weaken, certain joints and ligaments to get tight, and chronic pain to begin to form. It can also have a hindrance on your mental health if these issues continue without any solution.
That’s why it is important – especially when working from home – to dedicate some time to treat your physical health. This could be something as strenuous as planning an exercise regime, or as simple as some light stretching and practicing your posture throughout the day.
Get a Change of Environment
It’s surprising how much having a separate work and home environment can have on your mental health and energy levels. Since you won’t be able to get that change of pace naturally when working from home, it’s important to take some time and get away from your work environment. Something as simple as going into your backyard and laying in the sun can do wonders for your mood and energy levels. Grab a lounge chair and set your phone alarm for 30 minutes and take some time to read or take a quick nap. If possible, you’ll also want to take some time to just get out of your house entirely. Since a lot of places are closed, just driving around for a bit is a great way to get a nice change of pace. If you have a beach or a park nearby, those are also great places to go out and get some fresh air.
Dedicate a Space Just for Work
While it might not be possible for everyone, if you can, you should try to dedicate a specific room for nothing but work. If you work in the same room you use to relax, you’ll constantly have a nagging sense that you should be working or being productive. Having a separate room for your work helps you make a divide between work time and relaxation time. It’ll also help you stay more focused on work when you are working and keep you from getting distracted. Also, try to avoid working from your kitchen. Eating is a common stress response so you’re more likely to snack all day while working.
A big problem people have working from home is that while their mind is tired and ready to relax, their body hasn’t gotten enough activity which can lead to restlessness and inability to get comfortable later in the evening.
It’s important to maintain some level of activity throughout the day. The more stagnant your lifestyle becomes from working from home, the more lethargic you’ll feel throughout the day. When taking breaks, get up and walk around the house, do some more physically demanding chores that you can let sit and check on later like laundry, or simply do some push-ups or jumping jacks to get your blood pumping if you start feeling drained. It’ll help revitalize both your body and mind.
When working from home, the most important thing to keep in mind when trying to unwind is that your mind needs a break from time to time. Try to find things that relax you after a long day, and don’t forget to socialize with friends and family when you can, either over the phone or using online chat. Develop a new routine that you can adjust to, and you’ll start feeling a lot better.