Do you struggle with transitioning between work and home-life? We spoke to Claire Aristides, the founder and creator of Mindology app, to help you let go of the day and learn how to de-stress from work.
Letting go of the working day can be a challenge for many. Conversations with clients, suppliers, your work colleagues, going over and over in your mind the issues, the workload, the overwhelming inbox of emails – whatever it might be, it can be hard to switch off.
Stepping away from the ‘workplace’ is even trickier now while working from home, add in our digital smartphone world – and do we ever truly switch off. Hands up if you check your emails before bedtime? Even if it is just a quick peek, it’s diverting your brain back to work mode.
Letting go of the day and learning to de-stress from work has many benefits to your overall wellbeing and can also help to improve your sleep.
The research is out that lack of sleep deeply affects our mood and ability to cope with stress. Our overall behavioural responses can change, emotions like anger, frustration, mood swings, concentration, attention, and memory are all affected. There is a misconception that sleep is when the body shuts down and rests. However, sleep is a crucial time for our mind and body’s wellbeing, and it is considered the time when all the vital and necessary housekeeping is down, like cleaning up unwanted proteins, and filing memories and information. Think of it as when you nod off to sleep the cleaners come in, put the rubbish in the bin, pack everything back into the cupboards and sweep the floor.
The good news is we can train ourselves into more positive self-care habits. One effective technique is visualisation, which is a simple technique you can use to help you step away from stressful situations and view stress from a different perspective. And before you say… well, I am not creative… it’s not about creativity; it’s about taking some time to think about what you want – goal setting, and practising that and making it really connect with you.
Using visualisation or mental imagery can be powerful in letting go of worries or over-whelming feelings from the day. Our mind and body connection is powerful. Some visualisation tips and technique to de-stress from the day and enjoy a great night sleep:
Turn the lights off… in your mind
Start with a breathing exercise; imagine the breath is calming your blood pressure, heartbeat and nervous system. Now imagine just as you turn off the TV or computer and switch off the lights in your house when its bedtime, imagine you switch off yourself. Imagine a series of switches in your mind, so there might be a switch for ‘the buzz or busyness from the day’ imagine yourself switching that off, now imagine there is another switch that says ‘chatter of your mind’ see and feel yourself turning off this switch too. Label the switches according to what you need to switch off, make it relatable to you and what is bothering you. This visualisation technique is one of the sessions on the app – switching off for sleep.
Visualise calming scenes
Visualise yourself floating in water relaxing, as you float in water imagine you are washing the cares of the day off you and floating into a place of calm, restful night sleep. Floating on a cloud up into the skies, ready for a good night’s sleep.
Our app also comes with a Sleep Journal; you can download and let go of worries and feelings. Create sleep goals for yourself and track your progress. Journaling can be very therapeutic, letting go on paper any concerns from the day rather than holding onto them. You might also jot down what you need to do the next day – rather than tossing and turning in the night thinking ‘I must remember to do this…’ write it out so you won’t forget. Use the journal as a tool to end the day’s thoughts and activities in your mind and tell yourself you are ready for rest and sleep.
Tweak, and find what works for you
Self-care and de-stressing is a journey, take the approach that you are building habits around looking after yourself in a more positive way. You can even create your own ‘toolkit of relaxation strategies’ that resonates with you. If the thought of floating on a cloud is your worst nightmare, then don’t persist, focus on the techniques that do work for you.
About the author
Claire Aristides is the founder and creator of Mindology.app, an app to calm and empower the mindset. Claire created Mindology to help others change the way they feel. To change habits, we are not our thoughts, we can create new more powerful ways of thinking and dealing with life – from stress, confidence, leadership, resilience and more!