In many areas, the world of work and leisure continues to merge. Many workers find it difficult to switch off after work due to constant availability or simply due to stress. But what can you do when you have to think about work all the time after arriving home?
In this article, you will find 12 helpful and proven methods of not thinking about work at home. By not thinking about your work during your free time, you can reduce stress, prevent burnout, and build a better work-life balance.
How to stop thinking about work at home – 12 helpful ways
Don’t take work home
The most important aspect of switching off after work is not taking work home with you. It is important to draw a clear line between work and your private life. If you take work home with you, you will cross that line.
If you’re working on an important project that can’t wait until the next day, it’s better to stay in the office a little longer than take the work with you. Because only in this way can you really perceive your home as “free time.”
If you work from home, you should finish your work tasks as soon as you leave your office room or desk. Set fixed working hours that you stick to as far as possible. Conversely, this also means that you should not do any housework or leisure activities during working hours. This is the only way to establish a clear line between work and free time, despite working from home.
Don’t talk about work
The first rule about work is you don’t talk about work at home. That is probably easier said than done. But if you keep talking about work after you come home, it can be even more difficult just to forget about work for a few hours.
Therefore, Eduardo and I take a short walk if possible every day after our work is done, where we can exchange ideas about our day and give each other tips. However, as soon as we get home and dinner is on the table, work has no place with us. Especially since we work from home, it can be complicated not to allow work and leisure to flow into one another. So you have to be consistent.
Read a book
Reading a book can not only increase intelligence and creativity, but it can also easily distract you from your thoughts. Reading is not only a productive activity at home but also a perfect distraction from your work.
This will also help you relieve stress and learn something new. However, try to read something that is not directly related to your work, such as career or specialist books.
Plan a “coming home ritual”
Just as it helps some to have a bedtime ritual before going to bed to help them fall asleep better, it helps others to plan a coming home ritual, so they don’t have to think about work all the time when they get home.
Such a ritual can be, for example, a hot cup of tea that you enjoy as soon as you get home. But it could also be changing into a more comfortable outfit, reading the newspaper, solve the daily crossword puzzle in the newspaper, or do something else that helps you relax and forget the work’ trouble for a while. The main thing is that you establish this ritual as a daily habit that makes you remember every day that you have now arrived home, and the work for the day is done.
Have a walk
A little bit of fresh air, exercise, and scenery change can cause a complete mood change. Maybe you even have a piece of nature near you, such as a small section of a forest or a park that you can walk in.
Enjoy the scents of nature and breathe deeply and consciously while you concentrate on the landscape that surrounds you. Walking can also be good for your body and mind by relieving stress and keeping your circulation going. So you can kill two birds with one stone.
Yoga or Meditation
Some years ago, I just couldn’t understand the yoga and meditation trend. I’ve tried it a dozen times on my own, and it just couldn’t convince me until I tried a meditation class at home. Since then, I’ve been a real fan. I especially love yoga.
Apart from the fact that I am more flexible and the neck and headaches from my daily work on the computer that constantly bothered me have vanished into thin air, the yoga exercises help me relax. No matter how stressed I am, I feel better every time I do some exercises.
It doesn’t have to be a paid yoga course because there are so many free tutorials for beginners that you can try out for yourself on YouTube.
For many, sport is a perfect way to achieve an inner balance as having a workout can help to clear your head. Exercise also releases a lot of hormones that make you happy and can lift your mood.
Whether you prefer to go to the gym, go running outdoors, or plan a home workout session is entirely up to you. Perhaps you’d prefer to join a club or join a team sport. Whatever your preference might be, exercising can be a great way to switch off after work and focus your mind on something else.
While for some, exercise might be a great distraction from work, relaxation is perfect for others. You can take a hot bath and enjoy a few quiet minutes all to yourself. Listen to your favorite music or a special relaxation playlist, put on a face mask, or consciously make time for things that help you relax completely.
But there are also special relaxation exercises or breathing techniques that can help you relax and minimize stress. You can find one of these breathing techniques, so-called box breathing, in the following YouTube video.
Spend time with your loved ones
For some, it helps to switch off after work by socializing. This could be a get-together with friends, an evening with your partner, or visiting your parents. If it’s not possible to physically meet your loved ones, it can be a great option to schedule a phone call or skype meeting.
Another great way to socialize is to spend some time with your family. Play a board game together, or tell each other about your day. Spending time with loved ones can lift your mood and make you completely forget about your stressful workday.
Do you currently have a hobby that you pursue regularly? It helps many people to achieve a better work-life balance by turning to a new hobby. For example, join a club to try some new activities.
Another option is to find a hobby that you can pursue at home. Such hobbies could be crafty activities such as knitting or handicrafts or artistic activities such as painting or playing an instrument.
To decide which hobby is right for you, you can use trial courses or try out different things. Moreover, many clubs offer courses for beginners.
Watch a movie
The most frequently used option to switch off after work is the television. Because it helps many just to do nothing. To distract your thoughts, you can just let yourself be showered with information without actively doing anything. Follow one of those bingeworthy tv shows, watch a movie, or choose to see a documentary. Thanks to streaming networks like Netflix, the right program for every taste is now available every day.
The great advantage of this type of activity is that you no longer have to concentrate on doing anything; you just have to follow what is happening on the screen.
Don’t answer your phone
For you to not constantly think about work, your free time should really be your free time. That’s why you shouldn’t take calls from your boss or colleagues after working hours. Because this is the only way, you can really leave work behind you for the rest of the evening and switch off from work.