Today I am going to talk to you a bit about recovering from your day. What does that actually mean?
To take it literally: it is the process of reducing or eliminating psychosocial, physical, and psychological stress caused by work.
To say it more clearly: it is simply to unplug from the long day at the office or whatever activity was causing you to strain yourself a bit more.
Okay, so now that we got familiar with it, let’s talk about it.
We have all had long, long days at work or sometimes even with family and friends and you just came home or to your room feeling like the world has taken up all your energy (physically and psychologically) and so you just want to shut everything off and deal with you.
Well I say, you do you boo! Because this is exactly what your body, mind and soul need. Unplugging from a long day is actually what will give you the energy to start the next one with even more productivity and drive.
Why am I saying this?
Now, of course we all have moments when procrastination is our number one friend and it leads us to spending a wee more time doing something we could have done in like an hour or so. At least, this happens to me.
Why does this happen?
Well because often our brain is already filled up with thoughts, plans, activities we did or have to do, that simply we are running on overload. We are often overcommitting ourselves to jobs and activities and events we actually either don’t want to attend or drain our energy in some way. Of course, there are good ones that we enjoy and replenish that energy. But in this article we will focus on the other ones.
Simply put: being busy and actually doing something productive are two parts of two different continuums.
What do I mean?
Check out the part bellow:
Being busy * ——————————————– * Not being busy
Being productive * ——————————————-* Not being productive
As you can see above, being busy does not necessarily mean you are being productive or vice versa for that matter. A lot of people today are like I said, sitting at work not actually doing anything productive but dragging the day out, when they could easily finish all the work in the first few hours and then spend the day as they wish. And yes I know the world doesn’t work like that. The boss doesn’t let you leave when you finish all work etc.
Personally, when I’m at work, I am dedicated to my work and I honestly don’t like to make other excuses. All the office stuff needs to get done, all the reports need to be sent, all clients must get in time for their appointments, etc. It doesn’t actually matter where you work or what your job is, dragging it out during your day is consuming more energy that you are actually conserving it. So by the time that you are finished and you get home, you are drained, tired, grumpy and don’t have the actual will to do the fun stuff with your friends.
Of course, I have to mention that to all the introverts, going out for an after work drink is also energy draining, and they just wish to spend time either doing what they love alone or with a small group of people in a comfortable environment. But coming home after a long day, I would say it is highly necessary that you learn how to unplug and leave all the bad where it came from. This doesn’t actually mean you get to ignore it, because as you know it will come back to bite you in the behind when you least expect it.
Now it is up to you to know what things cause you stress and what people, what activities, but I will gladly put down some of the key ones I think are in the biggest need of recovery:
Now why these five?
Generally, I would say these are the areas in which you spend the most time in. Even though few people actually get to work the job they always wanted, they can still feel overwhelmed from time to time. And since we are all social beings, we have to be around people and often we soak up all the negative energy from different types of people even if we don’t notice it straight away. Technology for one is running the world currently and even trying to be far from it, it will automatically cause you to be excluded from events or be overseen at work.
What do I actually mean by recovering from your day? It is literally about how you are awake and if you are getting enough sleep.
And chores, well simply put, they drain me out so I am just jumping to conclusions thinking it is the same with you, because I have honestly never met a person who loves to vacuum.
By recovering from all of these parts of your day you will actually give yourself more chance to be better and more in the moment when you are working and spending time doing all these activities. This will, of course, increase your productivity, your motivation which will be crucial from your goals and the ones you have already set and started achieving and of course your drive and positivity at the beginning of the day.
So let’s start with one by one and explain why these parts of your life are crucial and especially important to be recovered.
WORK / SCHOOL
The main question you need to ask yourself is: are you overcommitted?
Let’s take the example of an everyday woman. (All of the men bear with me). Imagine getting up early to make your kids breakfast and lunch and then making your partner their breakfast and coffee then getting ready going to work, after going to pick some groceries up then fix dinner, help the kids with their homework, then cleaning the house and seeing your friends, to come home and be with your partner. And repeating that over and over again. (Now I know a lot of other women do other things not just work house and repeat). Of course a lot of other women and men often dedicate their time to projects at work, to which they commit, then again, and again, but then a new project comes along and they commit to that one, until one day they wake up feeling exhausted even after a good night sleep.
This is when the burnout comes. For all of you who haven’t heard of burnout. It is being called a disease of the modern societies. Why? Well because most employed people get into a point of being overworked and overcommitted to projects and chores and juggling between family and what they have to do along the day. People today tend to overcommit to their jobs, they commit to different causes and events, they go out with friends and commit to them and helping them out by doing favours for colleagues at work, then they decide to help their child out by baking those cupcakes for the school sale, they help their spouse and organise a neighbourhood barbeque, etc. These activities can and will add hundreds of hours and stress to an already overscheduled life.
So after all that days adding up, your body and mind and soul and heart don’t have a way to unwind or recover. See these stresses keep adding up until you can’t feel anything anymore and you just start working on auto-pilot. Learning to unplug from work means not bringing the stress of a work place back home, it means not bringing extra work back home, because frankly then the work never stops.
See we all have different roles we take on during our day and being a worker is one of them. Being at home is being a parent or a spouse, but being at home also means a being at a sanctuary. So when you go to work take on the role of a worker and dedicate your full attention to your work, when you are at home, do the same.
So detach from work when you are at home and there will be more productivity at work, less procrastination, more healthy and quality time with your family, greater mental health, more self-respect and self-confidence.
It seems pretty good to me.
Now we all know how some people can be draining and we have all met those people who love to drag you into their negativity and darkness. Now of course, you should try and help that person out, but after a while of them not taking any advice or being in such a bad place without wanting to help themselves out it comes a time where you have to recover from their energy.
In my personal opinion, having ¨me time¨ is essential to your mental health. I for one, take the time to be alone with myself and my thoughts every day and I treat myself to special things every week. Sometimes it’s an hour long bath with a nice wine and smooth music, other times it is treating myself to a meal I love. It really doesn’t matter what you do but it is genially important to know what you need and what helps you unwind.
As this part of our lives is unchangeable and here to stay we can’t really distance ourselves from it during our day, but we definitely can decide what we do for ourselves after a long day of emails, computers and phone calls.
For one if you are in the business of IT, software development or any other type related to phones, computers and technology in general, you especially need to pay attention to this part.
It is crucial to have a time in your day, after work where you can spend away from technology. Not to mention that it affects your brain, you can fall asleep harder, your eyes are getting worse etc. But I’m not here to mom you. I am here to help you out with this part.
We all know the famous technology addictions that are common in today’s society and as every addiction, it has severe consequences. It is all reflected in impulsive behavior, withdrawals, and impaired functioning such as how you are when around other people (take a look at two people in a coffee shop staring at their phones instead of talking to each other).
It is actually known that surrounding yourself with more technology decreases your sleep quality and causes more depression, anxiety, stress, decreases your emotional intelligence.
So do yourself a favor and leave the phone, laptop, emails to when you are at work and dedicate your time into enjoying some quality time with yourself, friends and family. See if the quality of your life increases.
Now as I mentioned with technology the quality of your sleep is decreased from all the things that keep your attention. And by now, I don’t have to talk about the importance of sleep and you getting your quality sleep. This, of course, includes not waking up million times during the night. Like work and technology, proper boundaries need to be set also to the amount of sleep you are getting and the quality of it.
As your day is filled with all-time stressors having the time for quality sleep is actually blissful. The older we get the earlier we wake up no matter when we go to sleep, but oh how we miss our bed during the whole day.
Don’t believe me? Here is what Google has to say for our healthy amounts of sleep: increased memory, longer life, increased creativity, increased attention and focus, lower stress, decreased the risk of getting into accidents, decreased the risk of depression and anxiety.
So if you are already willing to help your friends and family with their burdens, why not help yourself?
Each and every day is filled with at least one chore. But the reality of it is, it is never just one chore. So a good way to recover from a day of chores is to either leave an entire day for all your chores or even better leave the time for specific chores each week.
Tuesday is for laundry. Saturday is for vacuuming and dusting. Etc.
This will help your brain prepare for those chores and activities on the days you set them to, and after you do it, it is easy to treat yourself to a nice bath and who knows, maybe even a shopping spree.
Now that you know how to unplug and recover from your day and week, use these tips to help yourself out!