Use Your Commute: 3 ways to switch off at the end of your work day

I am a Kinesiologist and as a Kinesiologist, I see a lot of clients for anxiety concerns. I would say that at least 80% of these clients are also unhappy in their current job, which contributes to their anxiety and they tend to find it less than easy to “switch off” at the end of the work day.

My clients often cite getting home and “downloading” on their partner or housemate and often feeling worse for it, getting themselves wound up and unintentionally taking it out those they love. Sometimes, it leads to a microscope effect where that negative talk about work builds up a case for everything that is not running so smoothly at home. This clouds our judgment allowing our discord with our working life to put a microscope on home issues that really don’t require such intense interrogation. Things tend to snowball from there.

So, here’s three ways I often share with my clients of disconnecting from your work day and transitioning into your home time. I have personally used each of these before and found them very beneficial:

1: Visual Disconnect
Work in a building where there are automatic sliding doors? Imagine when you get up from your desk, that you have a cord or rope tied around your waist that is also tied to your desk. As you cross the threshold of your building and step outside, imagine that the sliding doors are sharp and actually cut the cord that binds you to your desk.

If your work building doesn’t have one of these, use the same visualization with a standard handled door, the spinning doors or even the doors from the elevator. Find a way to create a visualized disconnect.

2: Use your commute to transition
If you catch a train, tram or bus from work, use your commute to transition out of work time and into home time. Close your eyes and as you breathe in, imagine breathing in calm, clear, fresh air and then as you breathe out, imagine breathing out all the stress of your work day.

Which way do you like to sit on the train? Facing forwards or backwards? Try this tactic: On the way into work, face where you’re going (work). It helps to get your mind transitioning into work time. BUT when you’re on your way home, try facing away from where you’re going (work). I like to do this because it helps me to visually leave it behind. If sitting facing backwards is not so easy on your body, then use the travel home to focus on all the happy things that are awaiting you when you arrive home.

3: Limit the Vent
When you get home, limit your vent. Choose three stressful issues to talk about or limit your self to five minutes of venting. Then, finish off the conversation with 3 good things that happened today. For example: you were up to the free coffee on your coffee card today, someone offered you their seat on the train or your boss said “thank you for your help” at the end of the day.

This works because you get to get the frustration out which is key to reducing stress and eliminating it out of the body and it re-enforces the positive. This teaches you to also look at the positive items and allow these to snowball instead.

Give these three tips a try and please feel free to alter them as required – it has to work for you.

 

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