This period of time, between summer and Christmas, always feels extremely long. Almost as if you’re waiting for a break which is never going to come. Work is always really busy (absolutely manic), and you’re living for the weekends when you can enjoy some me time, a glass of wine or some much needed escape time with friends. Sound familiar?
I have started saving a week of holiday leave for November every year, as I know by mid-November I’m in need of a rest, before my body physically gives up!
But there are a few things you can do in the week to help with winding down and shutting off too, or even so that you get more of your evenings to yourself – it’s all about the work-life balance after all!
Here’s what I’ve found that helps me feel more ME:
- Go out at lunchtimes. Even if I go for a stroll nearby for 10-15 minutes, the fresh air and time away from my desk does wonders. Sometimes I pop out and treat myself to a coffee – there are some fab festive drinks out there at the moment – and just sit in the coffee shop, and enjoy every moment, ensuring I don’t think about what I need to do once back at my desk.
- Meditate for 10 minutes before bed. Ok, so I’ve let this slip a little whilst trying to find the best app, but meditating before bed seriously helps. It helps me shut off from the world, makes my body feel like it’s ready for the night’s sleep and definitely helps me sleep better. Even just lying there and imagining my body, bit by bit, becoming heavier and sinking into the mattress – my toes, the soles of my feet, my heels and ankles, calfs and shins….I’ve tried YouTube videos, and a couple of apps, but as soon as I find the best I’ll be sure to let you know. If you share a bed with your other half, get them to join in…or ignore the silly comments. I had to!
- Go to the gym before work or at lunchtimes. Going to the gym before work really helps me to start the day right, setting off my metabolism and releasing endorphins before I get to my desk. Going at lunchtimes helps me run out any frustrations, and also breaks the day up nicely, making me feel really good for the afternoon. By going to the gym before work or at lunchtime, it also means that I get the evening to myself, for Me time or extra time out with friends, whichever I feel I need most that day!
- Go home to visit parents. I’m currently on a week off, which I’ve spent mainly at home visiting family and I’ve loved every minute. Completely shutting off from my real world, I’ve managed to slow down, totally unwind and reset ready for the next stint before Christmas. You don’t have all those real world worries – cleaning, being at a certain place on time, making quick meals around work, it’s all so laid back. But even a weekend away can really do wonders. A pic from our walk along the river – so pretty!Dog walking is always so therapeutic!
- Use your free evening to whip up a nice dinner. I LOVE cooking. I’m a huge foodie at heart, and seriously yummy food definitely makes any day better. Take your time to create a dish you’ve never tried before – you’ll be proud of what you create too.This was my first vinddaloo from scratch – recipe here.
- READ – Use your commute to read. I love getting stuck into a book, and being transported to another world whilst travelling to and from the office. It’s a great, and really easy way to ignore the daily worries, and switch off from my ever-growing workload.
- Pamper – I like to go to my bedroom and take a little me time, painting my nails, and I’ve just got back into doing face masks too. If you feel better about yourself, it’s sure to wear off on all other situations. Just like one happy circle!Ok, this was a pic of me having my nails done at a salon a while ago as it’s the only one I could lay my hands on 😛 But I do love doing them myself too!
I hope those help or at least give some inspiration and ideas. What are your go to techniques for getting through a long stint of work?