As we get increasingly busier throughout the year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything and sometimes, we may actually get too engrossed in work and forget about relaxing and taking care of ourselves. This may cause us to feel unwanted stress and become more exhausted than we already are due to the excessive thoughts about work that we may have even though it may be time to relax! In today’s TED talk, psychologist Guy Winch talks about how we can switch off our work thoughts during our free time to get more time to take care of ourselves~

One thing that we may not take note of is that when we end work, we may physically close the door to our office or to our study rooms, but we may not actually close the door in our mind! This excess exhaustion from work may not actually come from the things you do at work, but from the hours you spend thinking about work at home, or outside of work. This open door in your mind leaves room for the stress of work to flow into your thoughts during your leisure time and because of that, you tend to end up thinking more about what’s next to do at work! It’s important to spend time recovering and rejuvenating ourselves from work and take time to do what we like. Work is never fun and while we may be too busy at work to stress about it, ironically, we spend more time thinking about it than about ourselves!

But while thinking about work may trigger our nervous and stress responses, not all thoughts about work are harmful. Thinking about problem solving is okay, but thinking about all the tasks that we have piled up on our desk or wondering about the what ifs of all our other decisions is not! We need to make a habit of stopping ourselves from thinking about the what ifs and what would happen if we did something else. Habits may be hard to make, but here are two tips to forming a good habit of switching from work to leisure mode:

  • Have a clear guideline
  • We have a set timeframe for doing work, which is, our said working hours, and that goes the same for our leisure time! We need to know when we should focus on relaxing and stop thinking about our work. Even more importantly, we must be extremely strict with following it! For example, if we choose to have our leisure window after 8PM, we need to keep to it strictly! When the time comes, we must stop, drop our work, leave our desk and force ourselves to close the door to our offices.

  • Create a defined boundary between work and non-work
  • We all have different spaces in our houses for our different tasks and that goes the same for work! However, with space being limited in housing, instead of creating a physical boundary in our workplaces, we can actually trick our mind into creating a psychological one instead! One tip may be to stop doing work on our couches or on our beds, but rather choose a designated desk or table to do your work at and stick with it! Our couches are meant for leisure time and for relaxing and when we do our work there, our brains would unconsciously associate our couches with the stress of doing work and because of that, we end up opening that mental door to work again. 

    digital illustration of a chinese verse about looking up at the sun and making your worries and troubles disappear

    And with that we hope that these small tips can help you to form that physical and psychological barrier between work and relaxing! You are important and your mental health matters in helping you create an enjoyable life for both you and your loved ones because being able to free up time for leisure also means being able to pay more attention to those that matter most to you. And we’re sure that with enough time and determination, you can most definitely do it~


    The image above can now be downloaded as a wallpaper! Click on the image below to download~

    phone wallpaper of a digital illustration of a chinese verse about looking up at the sun and making your worries and troubles disappear image of a phone with its wallpaper being a digital illustration of a chinese verse about looking up at the sun and making your worries and troubles disappear

    February 15, 2021 by Celine Chin Wheniwasfour

    Leave a comment

    Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.