Working from home can make it difficult to separate work from your downtime. With your desk a few steps away from your bed, the energy feels a little off, like you feel compelled to work more despite knowing you’ve already clocked out. Sometimes, there’s a little tinge of guilt that comes with unplugging your work devices and turning off notifications on your phone. After all, you’re at home anyway, so you must have more time to catch up on some leftover tasks now, right?
Unfortunately, this is a common misconception about working from home that leads to overworking and unwarranted stress. With your workstation a little too close to home, it may be hard to step away from work stress when it’s in the space you also use for escape. The usual nap or cup of tea won’t cut it when you’re overwhelmed, but going out to a spa sometimes costs too much and sounds a little risky right now.
So what can you do to unwind without leaving home? We’ve come up with three easy ways to de-stress without having to step outside. Relaxation doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. You have to have the ways that work for you.
1. Do something that helps you relax
It can be anything, even video games. There are many video games designed to make players feel more relaxed, as opposed to the belief that video games are all explosions and hyperstimulation. Some games have colors that are soothing to the eyes or have music that can calm you down the longer you listen to it. Set a timer before playing, so you don’t end up playing too much and staying up later than you planned.
If you’d rather unplug and avoid screens before bed, you can play a board game or with cards. Playing these games will help shift your focus to one thing only, instead of all the things you have to focus on at work. You can even order massage chairs. It’s like gently lifting the baggage off your brain, easing you into a more relaxed state.
2. Remember the little things you’re thankful for
Ending your day on a good note will help you de-stress quicker. Remembering the things that occurred during the day that made you smile is a great way to do so. They don’t have to be grand: a package you’ve been excited to get came in the mail, a new recipe for a smoothie you made ended up tasting wonderful, or you got a phone call from a friend you’ve been missing are perfect examples!
You can write them down in a mood tracking app on your phone, or if you’d rather write them down on paper, go for a gratitude journal. Doing this helps lessen work-related anxiety, and it will make you feel nice when you want to look back on how many things you can be grateful for daily. This can serve as a reminder that no matter how stressful work can be, there will always be something in a day that can make you smile at least once.
3. Harness the power of heat
This works best when you feel like you’ve sat at your desk for too long. For instance, a warm bath can help soothe cramped muscles in your back and shoulders, and the temperature will help loosen your body. Just the action of cleansing yourself before bed is like a signal for your brain to shed negative energy before getting in your bed. Light a few scented candles and play some relaxing music to evoke the feeling of being in a spa.
If you don’t have time for a bath, a hot shower can do just as well! Scrub off the grime of the day’s work with your favorite body wash, moisturize, and treat yourself to a night routine before you sleep. Doing so will help you wake up even more refreshed, and it’s going to improve your quality of sleep.
Nowadays, it feels tough to keep stress at bay, especially when you work at home. But these are some of the best tricks to get you to unwind after endless online meetings and looking at rows of text, and they have been tried and tested. There are more ways to de-stress out there, but these three you can do with minimum effort while getting maximum results. Remember to take deep breaths when the stress creeps in and tell yourself things can still be all right.