Disconnecting from work really is necessary is you want to avoid burnout. Here are six simple ways to do so. By Shweta Gandhi
Sometimes when we look at work from a detached perspective, solutions seem to flow in automatically. After all, staying fixated on one issue (no matter how problematic it may seem) does more harm than help. You also need some time away to unwind and give your mind some much needed time off. If you don’t, you’re likely to burn out really fast. We recommend you try out these useful ways of unplugging from work on a daily basis to reclaim some much-needed peace.
1. Prepare tomorrow’s to-do list in advance
At the end of every work day, take out five to ten minutes to prepare your to-do list for the next day. Jot down the pointers and mark them on a priority basis. This makes sure that you literally have your day mapped out for tomorrow. Not only will you notice it saves time when you come in the next day, but you will also spend less time at home worrying about all the things you have to do. It will also help you be more focussed when you come in to office the next day.
2. Stop checking your email constantly
Yes, we all would like to be on top of our jobs at work and ideally reply to emails within minutes. However, once you’re home, try to avoid these little messages from encroaching on your personal space. It’s understandable if you can’t disconnect from email entirely, but try to incorporate a rule you can follow, for example, checking it once an hour. Setting clear boundaries in terms of time and location can be helpful to consider. Remember your family needs you to be present in the moment too.
3. Put your running shoes on
Nothing refreshes your mind (and body) than a run. If you’re not a runner, a brisk walk in the park or around the block would suffice as well. The idea is to breathe in fresh air and be surrounded by nature. Research shows that running or regularly engaging in brisk walking can improve your mood, help you maintain a healthy weight, and prevent heart disease and high blood pressure. Ideally, when you step out, leave your phone at home.
4. Engage in hobbies
It is scientifically proven that hobbies help you steer clear of stress. After working non-stop at your desk, pursuing a hobby like gardening, painting, reading or playing the guitar can make every evening a welcome respite and prevent burnout. Learning a new hobby is even more of a catch as the mind becomes rejuvenated when it’s learning something new. Try out a cooking class, learn a new language or spend your time volunteering.
5. Spend time with family and friends
Our loved ones act as our support system, and spending time with them can be cathartic. Spending quality time with family strengthens the emotional bond and both parents and children gain from it. It also allows for better communication between family members and friends. Try going for fun trips together and make family time a gadget-free zone.
6. Write in a journal
Writing is therapeutic—whether you’re noting down your thoughts about the day or jotting down your long-term goals. Blocking 15-20 minutes every day, either early morning to practice positive affirmations or just before you sleep, can be a fruitful practice that will pay off in the long run. It’s also a great way to air out your troubles and empty your mind of all the negative.