Working from home has its pros and cons. The short commute from bed to desk is a great benefit – but without an obvious break between work and home life it can be hard to unwind and destress. Read on for eight ways I have found which help me to switch off from work
- Webinars. Over the last year we have taken part in webinars on every topic from wildlife to wine tasting. The Sussex Wildlife Trust team have come up with a fabulous range of webinars on birds, plants, funghi and more. You get great expertise delivered straight to your sofa, you learn something new, and it’s usually good fun too.
- Board and card games. We have invested in a few new and different board and card games to play with the kids on a weekend. Our favourites include Exploding Kittens. Another fun game suitable for all the family is Sweet Existence where you are aliens and go through human life experiences and try to earn cookies. It’s full of humour, and even more fun if you play with real cookies.
- Online gaming. This is an easy way to switch off when you have five minutes. I’ve been trying out online games for free at Plays – my current fave is their tetris game. It fills in the gaps when I’m waiting to collect a kid, or want to switch my brain off from work and focus on something else entirely.
- Cooking kits. We have had lots of fun cooking at home this past year, we love to cook from scratch, but it’s nice to get some inspiration. A cooking kit is a great way to stretch your cooking skills, try something different, and end up with a delicious meal at the end. Most recently we’ve tried kits from Arabica London: there isn’t too much cooking and you very quickly have an excellent meal – with a bonus sound track for atmosphere!
- Exercise and yoga classes. I’ve been trying to increase how much exercise I do as lockdown – and PE with Joe – made it very clear I was becoming increasingly unfit. I gave up on trying to keep up with PE with Joe and started with a Joe Wickes Beginners workout. Since them, I’ve built up to an increasing range of online workouts, and mixed it up with Yoga with Adriene, taking part in her 30 days of yoga at the start of the year. I’m never going to be a fitness freak, but I’m happy that I’m a lot fitter than I have been for years, and I manage to fit in a home workout before or after work most days. I’ve really found that exercise helps me clear my head and transition from work to home.
- Walking. Another sort of exercise I’ve been doing is walking. Even before lockdown I’d try to get out for a walk at lunchtime if I was working from home, and we progressed to walks after work last summer. I’m looking forward to longer evenings when we can do the same this year. Walking is free, low impact, and it can be fun to explore your local area. If you need to transition from work to home a 15 minute walk, maybe with some great tunes or a funny podcast, could be just what you need.
- Study. This may not work for everyone, but I love to study. I always want to learn something new, and learning online has really helped me stay interested and positive over the past year. There are hundreds of free online courses now where you can get a taster. I’ve studied public health, different languages, and World War 1 with Future Learn. Some of the courses are live and you can study along with others which gives you a chance to interact, while others can be studied in your own time. Filling your mind with something new definitely takes you away from home AND work!
- Writing. A good follow on from study, I love to write. Whether you want to start poetry, or take up journaling, or try the Artist’s Way Morning Pages, writing can help you clear your head, find things about yourself you didn’t know, and express how you are feeling.
Putting all those different ways I wind down in one place has been illuminating for me. It has shown me just why I feel busy, even when we haven’t been able to go anywhere. And in case you think I have just filled the past year with virtuous activities, my bonus way to unwind after work, which you might like to try tonight, is a glass of wine in the garden.
And let me know the ways to wind down that work for you too!