Resetting during a stressful work week is crucial for your well-being and productivity. It allows you to reduce stress, gain mental clarity, enhance productivity, stimulate creativity, maintain work-life balance, and improve your physical well-being.
By prioritising self-care and taking time to reset, you set yourself up for long-term success and overall happiness. As someone who is still perfecting the art of resetting, here are some of my tried and true strategies to help reset and recharge.
It is not realistic for us as humans to sit for 8+ hours straight and work. Sometimes you need to be your own advocate and listen to your body when it becomes stressed or tense or better yet, take preventative measures! Allowing yourself space will help you disconnect from work and become more present in your mind and body.
These breaks should and can be taken when needed but you can also schedule these in throughout your workday. Use these breaks to stretch, take a short walk, practice deep breathing, or engage in activities that you enjoy. I like to follow the approach of working for an hour and taking 10 minutes to use the restroom, drink some water, and get a snack. This allows me a clear-cut time that is just for me.
‘Self-care’ is sometimes loaded with connotations and looked down upon. If you aren’t practising and prioritising self-care, nothing else I suggest for you is going to make a difference. Your body is the one body you get to live this crazy beautiful life. Take care of it! Make your meals, exercise regularly, and complete your 100-step skincare routine — ultimately do what makes you feel best.
Engage in physical activity to release tension and boost your mood. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and improve mental well-being. Consider going for a walk, jogging, or attending a fitness class during the week. This doesn’t need to be anything outrageous (but it sure could be if you wanted). I like to do a 15-minute yoga session at home or walk around the neighbourhood. Choose what works for you!
Practice Relaxation Techniques
In today’s day and age, there are so many free resources out there to help us relax. Incorporate relaxation techniques into your routine to help you calm down and reset. Check out YouTube for guided deep breathing exercises, mindfulness exercises, or even light stretching. By practising these techniques you will be setting yourself up for a clear and focused mind when you're ready to get back to work.
Connect with Loved Ones
Try not to isolate yourself and get so consumed by work that your personal life becomes a distant memory. It's important to spend quality time with family and friends who support and uplift you. Socialising and engaging in positive interactions can help you recharge and gain perspective outside of work.
I know sometimes the last thing you want is to socialise when you’re tired and overwhelmed. As an introvert, I get this, but once I step into a space where I am fully loved and accepted, I feel ready to take on any challenge set in my path.
Get Enough Sleep
Science says we need eight hours of sleep for a reason. This can be a tricky one but you are human and not immune to the need for some serious shut-eye. Adequate sleep is crucial for managing stress and maintaining overall health and well-being. I know all too well how easily life’s distractions can get in the way of sleep, but there are small ways you can limit these and get more sleep.
I have limited social media (TikTok, Facebook, Instagram), I charge my phone away from my bed, and I do not watch TV within an hour of going to sleep. Create a comfy space for you to sleep in, maybe get blackout curtains, run a fan, or use an eye mask. Prioritise sleep by establishing a regular schedule and creating a restful sleep environment. Find what works for you, and stick to it!
Engage in Hobbies
Remember, work is a part of your life, not your whole life. Ideally, your workplace encourages a good work-life balance, but it is a decision you need to make. Start dedicating time to activities you enjoy outside of work, make set plans with friends, stick to your plans, and when work is done, work is done.
Engaging in hobbies and interests can provide a sense of fulfilment and help you disconnect from work-related stress. For me, I keep my work day to certain hours and disconnect from my email when those hours are up. My hobbies, thankfully, take me away from technology which houses my work. I will spend time reading, crocheting, or even just sitting and thinking. Detach your identity from your work, and watch your hobbies become a priority.
Practice Time Management
Oh man, the big ‘time management,’ you knew it was coming, didn’t you? I have found this particular practice to be most effective when you apply it to all areas of your life. Maybe you start the work day by evaluating your workload and prioritising tasks effectively. You can break down large tasks into smaller, manageable ones and allocate time for each task.
Try using the same method when you are cooking dinner, cleaning the house, or even running errands. It is so easy to become overwhelmed with so many tasks, but break it into chunks the best you can. This approach can help you feel more in control and reduce stress, it sure has for me.
If work-related stress becomes overwhelming, don't hesitate to seek support from a trusted colleague, friend, or professional. They can provide advice, guidance, and a fresh perspective on managing stress. Remember, you are not alone! You are allowed to ask for support, you are allowed to ask for space and take charge of what your mind and body need because ultimately, no one else is going to do it for you. As a hyper-individualist, this may be one of the hardest things for me to do. I equate asking for support to failure, but that is absolutely not true. You are not a burden, you matter!
Remember, taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining your well-being and productivity. By implementing these strategies, you can start the practice of resetting and navigating through a stressful work week more effectively.