We’ve all been there — after a long day at the office, suddenly it’s 5:00pm and, like clockwork, your inbox fills up with a dozen new tasks as you’re about to leave. Then, you spend the rest of the night worrying about how you’re going to dig yourself out from under this huge pile of work and you dread going into the office the next day.
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When you become overwhelmed by the obligations in your life, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol as a stress response. Being in a constant state of stress can do immense damage to your body and cause conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, and even fertility problems. So, how can you combat the stressors in your life and ensure that you don’t do real, long-term damage to your health? The answer is psychological detachment.
Psychological detachment is the act of mentally freeing yourself from any of your work-related obligations after you go home for the day. Research shows that psychological detachment is important for your short-term and long-term health because continually thinking about work can greatly affect your psychological and physiological well-being and longevity—not to mention that it inhibits your ability to do your job effectively.
For most people, however, the thought of ignoring work can seem difficult or completely impossible. These simple tips will help you get that well-deserved break from the daily grind and allow you to improve your health, reduce stress, and increase positivity and mindfulness.
Get Rid Of Your Tech
We live in a world in which we are continually plugged-in every second of every day. Always having your phone or tablet beside you can disrupt your ability to shut off your mind because it serves as a constant reminder of all the things you have to do. To psychologically detach from work and rid yourself of the stress that accumulates as the day progresses, set aside two hours per night when every type of tech in your house is turned on “Do Not Disturb” and put it completely out of sight. During this time, don’t think about work and have some well-deserved me-time. Then, when you do turn your phone back on later, don’t look in your emails until the next day, no matter how tempting it is. Just remember, you won’t get anything accomplished properly after 7:00pm, so let it go and leave it for tomorrow.
Use Your Me-Time Wisely
Shutting off isn’t always about plopping in front of the television and bingeing your favourite show. While it can be good sometimes, it’s also important to get moving and get some fresh air. Visit that restaurant you’ve always wanted to go to, cook something amazing for dinner, go out for drinks with friends, or get lost in that book that has been sitting on your night table for months.
Get Your Mind and Body Right
Your mind and body work together, so it’s important to do things that will nurture and support them both. Relax your mind with twenty minutes of mediation every day or do some yoga to make yourself feel calm. Another way to get your mind right so that you can truly shut off is by being confident in yourself — let’s be real, all of your tasks are going to get done at some point because you’re responsible and highly capable, so why endlessly worry about it?
In terms of preparing your body, getting to the gym and working out your pent-up frustration and anxiety will also alleviate your stress, and the chemicals that exercise releases will help make you feel more positive and prepared to take on the next day. Finally, nothing is more important for alleviating stress than sleep. Aim to get at least seven or eight hours every night and make your room a bit colder than normal and completely dark to improve the quality of your sleep.
Try these small changes just a few times a week to alleviate your anxiety and stress and temporarily detach yourself from your responsibilities so that you can truly connect with your mind and body and improve your long-term health.
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