Unwinding Off The Clock


Was work stressful today? Proposals, demanding clients and unforeseen situations can put a damper on any mood. Don't worry. It's time to clock out and head home, but the day's events have taken their toll and done their damage. It's time to unwind. Everyone has their own way to de-stress. For some, calming activities such as a candlelit bath will do the trick, while others need to get pumped and let off some steam. Here are a few things to consider to help clear your mind and reset before it's time to head back to the trenches.

There are two times of day when the sky is magical, but not always taken in. Head out to watch the sunset. If you live somewhere close to the shore, coupled with the sound of the waves crashing and the wind blowing, a park, lake, pier, river or ocean can be a calming environment necessary after a rough day. Live more in-land? Head to a balcony or rooftop, use a sound machine and take in the sights. Fresh air and time to yourself can get you back in the game.

It can be time-consuming, but self-care is necessary for a healthy mind, body, and soul. Light some candles, order take-out, turn on some relaxing music and throw a bath bomb in the tub. Wine and dine yourself. Not looking for some alone time? Grab a friend and make plans. Getting dressed up and looking good can help you feel good. Hit happy hour, a late-night dinner on the town or go dancing. Do something out of the ordinary to take your mind off of the day.

Feng shui your way to a new attitude. A change in environment can also have an impact on your mood and help to reach a state of relaxation. Now is the time to clean up, organize or rearrange furniture. Add some decorations or a splash of paint. Did you know color has an impact on mood? It’s called chromotherapy, and experts have been studying how color boosts shake things up. Red is stimulating, blue is soothing and yellow brings happiness and confidence. Check out this breakdown to learn more.

Take a walk down memory lane going through old photos to hang around your home, add flowers, trinkets or other things for a quick and easy escape from your current situation. Get creative. Pinterest is a great place to go for inspiration when it comes to crafting. Adult coloring books are rising in popularity and calming for the soul. Sip and paint nights are too. A glass of wine or two and colorful strokes can bring out your inner Picasso. 

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a must when trying to relax. In 2000, the French government made the work week 35 hours in its ‘Work less – live more’ movement, which played well with working mothers. In 2009, Utah changed the work week to four 10-hour work days. A survey of workers found increased productivity and a reduction in absences.

Everyone has those times at work when they start feeling pressure. Don't take deadlines, workloads, upset clients and bad sales home. Work cannot consume life, but we are all a little guilty of working after we've left the office for the day or for the weekend. Make sure to disconnect after hours.

Have a work phone? If you’re not on call, turn it off or put it on silent. Find a spot where you won’t be tempted to check it every time it is in your line of sight. If you use your personal phone for work, turn off push notifications. Think of it this way, if you work an extra 15 minutes every day for a week, this turns into 75 minutes. If you do this for a month, it's five hours. Multiple that by 50 weeks out of the year, it's 60 extra hours. This is 2.5 days, which is basically the weekend. Who wouldn't want a free weekend? It adds up.

If that still isn't enough, it's time to pay up. Every time you check or respond to an email, you pay. Find a charity to donate to or find something you'd hate to have to do like squats or pushups each time. Make it fun by starting a competition with a friend who has the same issue. Buy each other a drink every time the other checks.

Get physical. Hit the gym to burn some calories and some frustration. Kickboxing is a great way to de-stress and work on your physical fitness goals at the same time. A meditation session with deep breathing exercises can have you feeling like a new person in just five to ten minutes.

Whether you choose to read, go for a swim, make some baked goods or do all of the above, remember, don't let the day's events get to you. Hit the reset button and get ready to face tomorrow with a powerful strike of force. Nothing can hold you down unless you let it.