Once the day’s work is done, that’s when the easy part comes, right?
Not always, psychologists say.
In practice, relaxing isn’t quite that simple.
Taking a walk, reading a book and going for a drink with friends might all sound like great ways to switch off after a long day, and yet, many of us still struggle to properly relax if it’s been stressful at work.
This can be a problem because the stress hormone cortisol, which allows you to work efficiently, is then not sufficiently reduced, says Julia Krampitz, a health expert specialising in workplace psychology in Germany.
In the long run, it’s not healthy if your thoughts continue to circle around work issues long after you’ve shut down the computer.
Only those who relax will truly be able to rest and recover.
Luckily, there are some tricks that can help you to do so.
The first step towards relaxation is at the same time, the simplest and the toughest one, and many will find it hard to follow through.
Turn off your computer and smartphone – OFF, and not just put in airplane or silent mode.
And don’t just switch to another device like the TV instead.
By switching off anything that’s still giving you signals, a symbolic standby mode is created and your body and mind will be relieved.
First, you put your smartphone in your bag, then tidy up your desk and turn off your computer.
Then you put on your coat and say goodbye to your colleagues. (Or change out of your work clothes and leave your work area if working from home.)
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of how you leave the workplace.
But by doing it consciously and with the same routine every time, you’ll be communicating to your mind that work is really done now – no more churning thoughts about what you should have said in the meeting.
You might have left your workplace, but that doesn’t mean you’ve stopped working.
Not only your actual job, but also daily tasks like child care, cleaning and commuting will put a strain on your mind and body.
This is why taking small moments to yourself is so important – these could be moments in which you enjoy a cup of your favourite drink or take a bath, for example.
Whatever it is, conscious self-care is vital when it comes to relaxation. – dpa
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