We almost all take work home with us at the end of the day, whether we are actually lugging home files or whether our minds are simply preoccupied with what still needs to be done. It can be tough to distance yourself from work once you head home, leaving most of us feeling tired, overworked and like we’ve never even left the office.
“Being in constant work-mode isn’t good for anyone – it puts a great deal of stress on you, which can be both physically and mentally harmful. Plus, it can actually have more of a negative impact on your work than a positive one; You may begin resenting your job, try to rush through things or make errors because you’re overworked and tired,” states Frank Cox, spiritual blogger at WriteMyX and BritStudent.
Believe it or not, it’s actually ok to say no to taking work home. Of course, there may be instances where it’s necessary to stay late or take a project home, but those should be few and far between. If it becomes a constant, it’s probably time to start hiring extra hands to get things done.
Making the Transition Between Work and Home Each Day
Transitioning between work and home can sometimes be difficult, because it’s hard to calm an active mind after a hectic day of work. Having a few still moments can help make that transition, consciously closing one chapter of your day and opening the next.
“Letting go of everything that happened during the day at work can help you relax and enjoy what’s happening at home in that moment. Your energy will be refocused on the things you enjoy at home, rather than dwelling on what happened at work,” explains yoga blogger Rebecca McKeller of NextCourseWork and Australia2Write.
Making This Actually Happen
Sure, it sounds great, but how is it possible to actually implement this into everyday life? There never seem to be enough hours in a day, let alone the added time this will take. It will take some practice, but it’s actually easier than you think to create that separation and give yourself the time away from work that you need and deserve.
Take 10 Minutes
The First Five: Take the last five minutes of the workday to finish up for the day and create your list of things to get done for tomorrow. Write down issues that arose that need to be dealt with and anything else that you want to address the next day. Writing this down means you can actually stop thinking about them for the night, because a beautiful reminder of them is sitting there on your desk waiting for you in the morning.
The Next Five: Now you’ll need to find five minutes of quiet to meditate before your commute home. Sitting at your desk works best if you’ve got an office door you can close. So your co-workers don’t think you’ve fallen asleep on the job. But, if you aren’t worried about others watching what you’re doing, just sit quietly at your desk. Sitting in your car before driving could also help. This allows you to reset yourself and close the door on work for the day.
A Simple After-Work Meditation
Let go of the workday and be present in your home life with the help of this meditation.
- Sitting in a tall, comfortable position, close your eyes.
- Breathe in 3 deep and cleansing breaths
- Slowly inhaling through the nose and exhaling through your mouth while making an audible sound.
- Hold your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly.
- Inhale through your nose in 3 segments, the first to expand your belly, then your ribcage, finally your chest.
- Holding your breath for a count of 3 before opening your mouth and letting it out with an audible sigh. Do this 3 to 5 times.
- Bring your hands into your lap, palms facing down
- Inhale through your nose, counting to 3, and exhale through your nose counting 6.
- Continue with this breathing, pausing for a moment at the end of the exhale before taking your next breath.
- As you exhale each breath, focus on something from your workday that you’re leaving behind for the evening.
- Continue this slowly for a few minutes.
- Lastly, picture a heavy door before you. Hold the heavy door open and exhale as you visualize walking through the door and its weight closing behind you. As it closes, everything from the day is shut in behind it. It will stay there until you return back to work the next day.
Complete the meditations with several cleansing breaths.
Adding in simple meditations between work and home can help create a separation. That separtion then helps you enjoy each evening at home that much more.