Relaxing after work
Wind down from work on the way home
Preparing yourself for when you get back home from work means you will be in a position to get more out of your leisure time simply because you are ready for it — both mentally and physically.
The following guide aims to have you nicely wound down by the time to get home, yet geared up to make the most of your evening — however much or little you decide to do!
1: Debrief your day
On the way home you should start to put all your work thoughts aside. Have a quick debrief with yourself — consider questions such as what you did well today, what didn’t go well, what changes you can make in the future, or what things you need to do tomorrow. Remember not to spend too long doing this! Once you have considered all those things, do your best to forget about anything work-related. In most cases, once you’ve left the workplace there will be little you can do about any problems until you’re back in work tomorrow — so don’t worry about it!
2: Switch persona
On your way to work you will normally switch yourself into the work ‘you’ — so on your way home you should start to switch back again to being the non-work ‘you’. If you’re necessarily a bossy soul due to your responsibilities at work, it makes sense to try and shake off this hard edge so that you can become more laid-back at home or during your leisure activities. Starting to think about what you want to do that evening can automatically draw your focus away from work and help this transition into becoming the non-work ‘you’.
3: Domestic issues
It’s very rare that you’ll get home and be able to slump down without having things to do. On your way home, think about those jobs that need doing when you get in — even if it’s just what you’re going to have for dinner that evening, or something as simple as what washing needs doing. There may also be other things that need organising, such as writing a shopping list or doing something nice such as planning where you’d like to go for a trip away. You can start to prepare for these by using your thinking time on the way home wisely.
4: Learning and relaxation time
One good way of switching focus could be to occupy your thoughts by doing some learning or relaxation pursuits — provided you don’t have to drive to and from work. For example, you could try learning a new language by listening to a CD while traveling home on the bus or train. Other ways of winding down include doing a puzzle such as a crossword, word search or Sudoku; immersing yourself in a good book; or even closing your eyes and doing some mind-relaxing exercises.
5: Music for the mind
Most of us know how much music can affect our mood. On your way to work you might like to listen to something a little bit more rousing to shake off your sleepiness, whereas on the way home you might look forward to winding down with something a little more calming and relaxing. Make it part of your routine so that you have music to create two distinctly different moods — one for the morning and one for when you’re on your way home. Just listening to some calming music on your journey back home should have the impact of shaking off your work anxiety.
6: Ease out tension
If you get the chance, you should ease out tension in your body by doing some simple exercises on the way home. We’re not talking about doing star jumps and skipping on a packed train, of course! Simply clenching and then relaxing your muscles should have the desired effect. Also, try concentrating on your breathing. A regular breathing pattern can have a calming effect on you and will help you shake off the last remnants of your work day. You could even make a stop at the gym on the way home — which would really help to ease out your tension!
7: Enjoy your evening …
By following our advice for winding down on the way home from work, you will feel far more relaxed and be in much better shape to make the most of your time off. Always make sure you forget about work once you’ve left the office, and then think about what you’re going to do when you get home — so that you will be better able to enjoy your evening!
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