Top After-Work Routines
Posted 6/14/2017 by UHBlog
If you’re going from task to task and feel like your work never ends, you may be putting your health in jeopardy. Changing your after-work routine can help you remove “Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) from your vocabulary and make a big difference in your everyday mood.
“We get caught in a routine of constant and chronic doing,” says stress resilience specialist Suzette Williamson, MA, LPCC. “It’s like driving your car all day with an eighth tank of gas and hoping to have it perform well. Not taking care of yourself can have a really negative impact on all aspects of your health.”
According to Williamson, it may be time to change your work routine if you:
- Sit at a desk all day
- Feel overwhelmed
- Experience chronic stress
- Work late into the evening
To get out of an after-work rut, Williamson recommends incorporating these tried-and-true techniques to change your routine for the better:
- Make time for movement. “A workout or walk is one of the best things you can do,” says Williamson. “It doesn’t have to be strenuous because any movement has an immediate effect on our ability to de-stress.”
Movement can be as easy as:
- Scheduling breaks to stand up from your desk
- Chair yoga, which can help relieve tension in your neck and shoulders
- Find mutual activities. Not having alone time doesn’t mean you can’t relax.
“Cooking together, playing with pets, taking a walk with your kids or even watching a show with an elderly parent are all great ways to unwind,” Williamson says.
- Remember to pause. Take an extra moment to center on your breath before getting out of the car or moving on to a new task.
“If you can do nothing else, make an intention to pause when moving from one role or task to another,” she says. “Think of it as a way of cleansing your palette when going from one course to the next.”
- Hydrate more. “We feel less stressed if we’re hydrating our body,” Williamson says. “It helps with muscle tension and inevitably means more bathroom breaks to break up the feeling that you’re working all the time.”
- Create a finish line. Decide in advance on a beginning, middle and end of your day.
“Don’t work, check email or respond to texts after a certain time to prevent feeling like you’re never doing enough,” she says. “It’s not always easy, but you need a finish line in your day.”
Practice makes perfect, and your after-work routine is no exception.
“Your self-care is non-negotiable, so you have to establish a new routine and stick with it,” Williamson says. “It will help you sleep better, stay present and learn to savor your life instead of endure it.”
For advice on finding an after-work routine that works for you, visit University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network’s website or call 216-285-4070.
Suzette Williamson, MA, LPCC, is a resilience specialist and life coach at the University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network. You can request an appointment with Williamson or any health care provider online.