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5 ways to destress after a long work week (during a pandemic)

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

Whilst everybody seems to be in slightly different situations, it seems a lot of us are finding aspects of this current pandemic tough. Some of us are struggling with not much to do at home due to furlough or redundancy, and others are still pushing through a long working week, be it from home or in the workplace.

If you are still working throughout this pandemic you may find that you feel more burnt out than usual, you may be struggling with the overwhelming amount of rules and restrictions being thrown at you, and you may be missing your loved ones. Here are a few tips to help you destress after a long, difficult week.

1. Stop thinking about work

Easier said than done, right? It's a bit tricky to shut off from thoughts about work at times and we may find that we are thinking about work in our personal time. We might be thinking about that big project that we need to finish, we may be thinking about that mistake we made today or that promotion that went to a co-worker. Telling ourselves to stop thinking about work can be difficult and might even make the thoughts even stronger so it can be helpful to re-direct our attention to other things that we enjoy instead. Consider making sure you set aside some time for your hobbies and the things that make you feel fulfilled to take your mind away from work. Some of your hobbies may be on hold or difficult to put into place with the government restrictions therefore it may be helpful to consider ways to adapt them or even try new hobbies that are within the restrictions until they can resume!

2. Get some rest

You may feel that there are lots of things that need doing! There might be lots to do around the house, there may be errands to run for your Great Uncle Dave and Aunt Beryl wants you to take her for a trip to the supermarket. Whilst its tempting to try to get everything done on your few days off, it can be helpful to pace yourself a little so that you don't burn out on your time off work. It can be useful to complete a schedule where you include a range of activities for rest and relaxation, hobbies and the all important errands. This way you can get a balanced mixture of activities that should hopefully not feel too overwhelming.

3. Try some Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps us to let thoughts go and focus on the present moment which can help to relieve stress. There are lots of really great mindfulness audios on the Headspace app. There are also plenty of guided audios on YouTube. Have a look through and see what audio suits you best. There are lots of different types and you may have a preference based on length, type and the voices! Please see an example below of a mindfulness type practise called attention training:

4. Talk to others

It is not easy to stay connected with our family and friends at the moment as we are not able to do the things that we used to. It is no longer as simple as popping round to a family members house for a coffee or watching the football in the pub with our mates. Eventhough we may not be able to physically see the people we care about we can stay in touch via digital means! Make use of the technological advances that we have in this day and age and Skype that friend you haven't spoken to in a few months, give Bill a call and even set up games/quizzes with a group of pals.

5. Exercise

Exercise is fabulous at helping us unwind and destress. Exercise conditions our body to better handle stress and allows us a release of tension in our body and mind. Exercise stimulates those feel good hormones such as Serotonin and is an all round win-win! Exercise in the comfort of your own home with a workout video or if you're an outdoorsy person then get out in the fresh air and have a jog around your local park. Just remember to maintain your distance and keep up to date with the ever changing government guidelines.

It may be much tougher to unwind at the moment but there are small things we can do to keep afloat and see us through to the end of this crazy situation we have found ourselves in. Good luck!

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