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How to Switch Off from Work

Switch Off from WorkSeparating the pressures and responsibilities of work from home life and leisure time can be very difficult for many people. Being able to “switch off” and focus on things outside of the work environment in order to achieve a healthy balance is difficult when every moment of our lives is consumed with worry or concern regarding our careers. Making an effort to separate these two areas of life, however, is important to physical and emotional health and quality of life.

Here are some ways that you can switch off from work and achieve a more positive balance in your life:


Breathing Techniques

A main indication that you are stressed or worried is accelerated or erratic breathing when thoughts of work come into your mind. Take note of any changes in breathing and what triggered these changes, then focus on getting your breathing under control. Inhale deeply and hold the breath for a few seconds, paying attention to how your body feels. Slowly release the breath, pause for a moment and then repeat. As you perform these breathing exercises you will notice that you are more aware of your body and will feel when your heart rate slows, your muscles relax and your breathing patterns normalize.


Mark the End of Your Day

Very few people are on call at all times for their careers. Even if you feel as though you should be available at all times it is important to remember that your leisure and family time are critical to your ongoing health, quality of life and effectiveness as a worker. Switching off from work is about making a clear delineation between the time when you are fully invested in your work and the time when you are focused on your personal life. Having a daily ritual to mark this transition can help your mind to click over from “work mode” to “leisure time”, helping you to distinctly separate these two sets of thoughts. Choose a specific activity that you will do to mark the end of your work day. It could be changing out of work clothes into comfortable sweats, taking a hot shower, removing your makeup or even completely turning off your phone and computer. However you can tell your mind that the work day is over will ease the stress and help you enjoy your leisure time more.


Think Rationally

It may be difficult to think logically when you are worried and stressed, but by taking a moment to explore your thoughts and put them into better perspective you can relieve your tension and get into a healthier frame of mind. One thing to keep in mind is that while virtually all people worry, particularly about their careers, the vast majority of concerns are unfounded. When you find yourself worrying about something related to work, remind yourself that most likely that worry will not come to fruition and you are simply wasting your precious time and energy on stressing over it. If there is a strong possibility that the concern will be realized, removing your focus from unfounded concerns can help you to apply problem-solving critical thinking to resolving the problem—but not when you are in “leisure mode”. 

By Neha Sanghrajka, TLEX UK (

TlexThe TLEX program is an innovative corporate leadership program and well being training program that equips employees with the energy and clarity of mind to think creatively, make better decisions and work more effectively on teams.

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