We live in a society that is always on...no matter where we go we see the mobile phones, iPads and other devices in the on mode. Our eyes are glued to them, our minds racing with constant updates, and the demands from others to respond instaneously are...well,
demanding. Is it possible to decompress?
Learning to take a break can be challenging. We found the following from MIC giving good advice on how to get the down time we all need. Just a little time with the electronics turned off or ignored will prove beneficial:
1. Build in a “sacred” daily walk
Eating lunch at your desk in a frenzy is no way to live, especially if it becomes a daily occurrence. It’s healthiest to make a point to leave the office every day for a bit of time, Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, said: “Enlist the help of an office buddy to make sure you both leave the office to go on a walk or actually eat lunch away from work. That way you can hold each other accountable and both benefit from some time away from your desks.”
Now, if being away from the office for a full hour isn’t possible, just taking a 30-minute walk can reduce stress and make you a little cheerier. Speed walking isn’t required, but going on more of a meditative, lower intensity walk is preferred where you count your steps and release your mind from whatever stress is waiting for you back at your desk.
Making your daily break a sacred ritual — and the norm, instead of the exception — means that even when you occasionally have to skip it, you’ll be more likely to get back on the de-stressing wagon when work settles down.
2. Create device-free space and time at home
It’s unavoidable: Squeezing in a little extra work at home is incredibly common, with up to half of the 1,800 people in a 2010 study in Science News saying they did so. “People who are well-educated, professionals and those with job-related resources report that their work interferes with their personal lives more frequently, reflecting what we refer to as ‘the stress of higher status,’” study author Scott Schieman said in a press release on the study.
The trouble is that if you are already stressed at your job, bringing work home is likely to prolong your anxiety, Jackie Coleman and John Coleman wrote in the Harvard Business Review.
One solution is to block off specific time when you get home during which you can fully decompress, de-stress and focus on home life. Avoiding using your phone or laptop at the dinner table and in bed is smart, to create a stronger psychological boundary between work — which you can finish in a designated workspace or home office — and the rest of your life.
Work from home? Simple rituals make a big difference. “Shut down your computer at the end of the workday. Even if it’s still sitting in the next room, you’ve signaled to yourself that work time is over,” Brianna McGurran, personal finance expert at NerdWallet, said in an email interview.
Same goes for checking work emails in the morning. “Don’t roll over and check your email on your phone as soon as you wake up,” McGurran advised. Instead have a cup of coffee, get dressed and indulge in a little “me time” first. Adjusting your schedule so you wake up a little earlier can help take the pressure off — and could be well worth it: A hot shower is much more relaxing if you can let your mind wander rather than focus on rushing out the door. Click here to learn a little more from MIC.