As the year draws closer to the end and we have been working hard it may be useful to consider ways to de-stress and ground yourself when you get home from work. Any visitor to my site can’t help but notice how much emphasis I have placed on the soothing qualities of viewing photos of nature. But other senses are very important too especially if you have been looking at a computer screen all day. So here are some ideas to try when you get home from work and you are mentally or physically tired. I use many of them myself.
- Change out of your work clothes as soon as you get home. This will help to shift your brain and body to leisure mode.
- Consider taking a shower if it has been a hard day, and tell yourself while the water is running over you, that you are washing the stress off you and refreshing your mind. Even imagine the water is cleaning your brain if it has been a hellish day! If a bath works better for you that is all good too.
- If the weather is nice consider taking a walk or just sit outside and feel the sun, or hear the birds, or pat the dog or play with your kids. This can be more grounding than instantly going to the TV, fridge, or checking your social media outlets.
- Put on some music while you cook dinner rather than having the news blaring in the background.
- Choose at least one thing that is just about taking care of you especially if coming home usually just involves more work. This may just be 10 minutes where you give yourself a treat. Possibilities include: manicuring or polishing your nails, checking your vegie patch, practicing some meditation, or talking to your neighbor about the sports you both like to watch.
These ideas are all about getting in touch with meaningful and sensory experiences that revive or enrich our every day lives. They may seem obvious but many people do go home and straight away flop on the couch and turn on the TV, or reach for an alcoholic drink as a short cut to de-stressing. I therefore invite you to experiment. Try alternating between your usual routine and using ideas similar to the ones mentioned above. Surely it is worth a shot if you feel work is contaminating your leisure time.
In my book Calm Ground I dedicate a section to managing cumulative stress. Meanwhile here is another photo from my collection that I took when on holiday. Yes, remember to take them regularly.
See you soon