Routines and rituals help compartmentalize our lives. They create mental space around things, allow for smooth transitions, and keep us feeling organized. Without them, life is stressful!
An after-work ritual can help shift you from a professional mindset to a personal mindset. This is important in order to maintain a work-life balance, stay motivated and effective at work and also engage in your relationships. If you’re any kind of honey making money, a post-work ritual that works for you is not optional! Here are a few après-work routines you may want to try:
IF YOU HAVE 5 MINUTES:
Do something (anything) mindfully. Brush your teeth, get changed, or make a cup of tea mindfully – that is, bringing your whole awareness to the task. Concentrate on all the actions associated with it, feel the sensations, tune in to your senses. This helps to yank you out of autopilot, increasing focus and slowing your mind down.
Try the breath of fire breathing technique: This yogic breathing technique releases toxins from the lungs and cells, filling you with energy and relieving tension in the muscles. All you have to do is breathe in and out rapidly through the nose with your mouth closed, while pumping your navel area in and out with force. Watch a video demonstration over at Mind Body Green.
IF YOU HAVE 10 – 20 MINUTES:
Stretch it out: Especially if you sit at a desk all day (or stand in mostly the same spot all day), stretching out your muscles can release the tension you’ve been storing up. Even doing a ten-minute YouTube yoga session can reset your mind and loosen up your bod. Check out Yoga With Adriene for scads of quick yoga sequences.
Write down your accomplishments: The WORST is finishing a day at work and being like, “WTF did I even get done?” Eliminate this question from your head by actually, physically, taking note of all the things you did that day. Write down all the emails you sent, the people you reached out to, the plans you put in place. Feelings of accomplishment beget more feelings of accomplishment!
IF YOU HAVE 30 + MINUTES:
Go for a walk outside: It’s cold AF in Toronto right now, but a brisk walk outside can infuse you with energy like nothing else. Get outside and feel the wind. Smell the air. Just walk. Or run, if you’re into that. Listen to podcast, or just listen to the birds. I find that being outside without rushing anywhere helps me feel a little more connected to nature, which is v. helpful for granting perspective.
Call up a homie: Calling a friend and chatting it out is calming and centering, no matter what. Whether it was a crap day or a stellar day, telling someone who gets it and gets me always makes me feel good, loved, and reminded of what’s important in life.
Plan tomorrow: Sometimes the best way to close off the day is to write a to-do list for tomorrow. This has a way of both affirming the present day’s completed activities, and also pacifying our anxious, forward-thinking minds. Knowing we’re starting off tomorrow focused can be a game-changer.
Protect yourself from post-work gloom and/or aimlessness by adopting one of these feel-good rituals. Do it on repeat and train your brain to make it second nature. Take control of your time and take control of your mood! You. Got. This.