Being a business owner makes it extremely difficult to switch off and relax, especially if you are working from home. We are all guilty of checking our emails and social media in the evenings, but is it really necessary? You will always have more work to do, but try stepping away from work in the evenings and weekends and watch what happens – there will be no disasters! The work will still be there the next day and by giving yourself a break and spending your time in a way that will allow you to turn off your brain will leave you refreshed and motivated when you are back at it. What really helps is controlling your thinking so you are focused on activities that you will do to relax, instead of going through long to-do-lists and analysing past work events in your head.
As this has been a personal struggle for me, I’ve been learning how to relax and here are a few tips on how to unwind:
1. Leave your laptop and phone in a different room
It’s just too easy to keep going back to work related activities and checking a few things when you are not working. Allow yourself to completely remove yourself from your devices and unplug during the hours that you shouldn’t be working. You are more likely to forget about work matters if you don’t see your work tools all the time.
2. Cook a dinner
Dinner time should definitely be the time to switch off and enjoy good food with good company. Cooking is a great way to relax your mind, create something new and tasty and enjoy it with the people you love. If you are not too confident with your cooking skills, join a cookery class, meet some new people and learn something new. It’s not only excellent to socialise but also to eat healthy. I use Ocado for our grocery delivery and their site is always full of lovely recipes that come with a shopping list.
It doesn’t have to be anything extreme – just a few hours per week will make a difference. Physical exercise is designed to boost your endorphin levels and not only help you relax, but make you look and feel good. I find that the only place where my mind stops thinking is when I’m at the gym. Like most people, I’m not the best when it comes to motivating myself, so instead of going to a regular gym I train in a crossfit studio and I can’t recommend it enough.
I’m not very good at not thinking, but I recently discovered Headspace and it’s incredible how much difference does it make just to focus on your breathing for a few minutes a day. Have a bath, lit come candles and just close your eyes for a moment – you will feel like a new person!
5. Get a hobby
It can be anything – joining a sports club, art class or gardening. Any activity that will require your full concentration is designed to help you forget about work. If you are not sure what activity would be best for you, Pinterest has some great lists with suggestions here.
6. Read a book
Not a business book. Any book unrelated to business. Good books will help you completely focus on the story, forgetting all your work issues and worries. Make reading part of your routine – read on the way to work or before sleep and you will see the positive impact.
Go out and meet people. Not for work, for fun. Your friends are the best people to help you relax so make an effort to see them regularly.