Two of my greatest weaknesses – an ability to switch off and inability to relax. In case you were wondering, other weaknesses include being massively impatient, the inability to program a sat nav properly and just going for a quiet drink.
Whereas most men seem to have mastered the art of compartmentalising (for example, leaving work at work and not thinking about it again until they are back at work), I and a lot of other women I know struggle to switch off. In this technological age it is easy to feel overwhelmed and think about work long after leaving the office or feel unable to switch-off on holiday whether caused by overthinking and worrying.
To be able to completely switch off is art that I am yet to fully master (meditation, despite my best attempts, is just not my thing) so I’d love to hear from you if you have any tips. Here are some I find work :
Do something that’s completely different
Doing something that uses a different part of your brain is one oft recognised method. Simply put, distraction. So, if you’re in a sedentary desk job, do a kickboxing class straight after work, or box or cycle home. Any form of exercise will release cheer-making endorphins. It will also probably wear you out so you are too tired to think about work. Win win. If you work looking after animals, work on a su doku or do a jigsaw. And so on.
If you’re in front of a screen all day don’t move to being in front of another screen whether it’ a laptop, phone or tablet. However, I do feel an exception to the rule is to watch Clueless with a glass of something fizzy – this cannot fail to transport you back to the nineties. Stress? Whatever! Instead sit in a chair and curl up under a rug with a good book. I have just bought The Bones of You and Us. I am always keen to hear a recommendation so let me know any you have!
Get it out
Speak to a friend or keep a journal in which you can work through how you’re feeling. There is merit in the old adage a problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes it works winders just to say something out loud and get it off your chest.
Cook something from scratch
Fragrant, fresh and tasty. Maybe a curry or a carbonara. I’d recommend this lamb rogan josh from Vivek Singh (it’s delicious) and this courgette carbonara from Jamie Oliver (a longstanding favourite).
Must try harder on this one. I love baths for all of the ten minutes that I can be relaxed in one. I push myself to stay cocooned in piping hot water laced with lashings of rose oil and smattered with handfuls of salts. I’m just too restless. Music, books, magazines, it makes no difference with the only exception being for Frank body scrub which is excellent and will keep me in the bathroom for half an hour and makes my skin amazingly smooth.
Get the zzz’s
Not perhaps that trendy but have an early night. Sometimes fresh sheets, a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow, a very dark room, no technology and bed at eight o’clock is just what the doctor ordered.
Keep it in context
When was the last time that something you actually worried about happened? Hardly ever, I am sure. The numbers of evenings or days on holiday I have tarnished through worrying are enough to count on at least two hands, and for what? It turns out, for nothing really at all. If something does happen then it can be dealt with. Worrying is by and large a waste of time. The world keeps spinning round, people deal with things in the same way that you deal with their things when they are on holiday. You do the same for them. So switch off, you’ve earned it.