Transition Rituals: How to leave the stress of work at work and make the most of your time off
How often has your evening been ruined by your mind churning over a difficult interaction with a client? Do you sometimes feel exhausted on arriving home and shout at your partner or lose your temper when your teenagers start squabbling? Or maybe there are times you can’t sleep, remembering the distressing story a client shared with you.
When you create a clear boundary between work and home, you can leave the feelings, emotions, stresses and worries of work behind so they don’t leach into your personal life. Then, you are more able to reconnect to your center, relax, replenish and be wholeheartedly present for family and friends.
Finding ways to disconnect from work is particularly important if you frequently ‘pick up’ the anxiety, despair, pain, distress or trauma of those you are working with. Research suggests that those who experience empathic distress have a higher risk of burnout. This highlights the importance of developing effective skills to calm the stress response and reconnect to positive emotions.
Here are a few ideas of Transition Rituals that can help you ‘disconnect’ from work by accessing empowering feelings, thoughts and emotions:
- Going for a walk, run, or spending time in nature.
- Releasing your thoughts and feelings onto the page through expressive writing.
- Calming the stress response through conscious breathing exercises.
- Listening to a playlist of your choice while driving home.
- Having a shower, maybe while imagining yourself under a waterfall with the crystal clear, pure energy flowing freely over you.
- Soaking in the bath with some aromatherapy oils.
- Shaking your whole body to release tension and facilitate the free flow of life-force energy.
- Doing a mindfulness or relaxation practice, maybe while sitting in your car when you first arrive home, before immersing yourself in family life?
- Remembering five things you are grateful for, and tuning in to the feeling of gratitude in your body.
- Listening to a mindfulness or relaxation audio.
- 10 minutes of yoga or Pilates
I encourage you to try out several of these suggestions, so that you can discover what works most effectively for you. You may find that your needs vary according to how you are feeling after work on any particular day.
It’s helpful to remember that integrating Transition Rituals into your schedule, benefits not only you; your friends and family are also likely to appreciate you being calmer, happier and a more balanced presence in their lives.
Sarah Kuipers worked with clients for over 20 years, primarily as a hypnotherapist and life coach, while bringing up three boys as a single mother before experiencing burnout. Sarah completed a Masters research study on stress, and she now has over a decade of experience helping healthcare professions cultivate resilience based on her #1 Bestseller, The Thriving Giver.
Please go to my website www.sarahkuipers.com for additional resources, including a free chapter on Expressive Writing, or to sign up for my newsletter and receive updates about a FREE Live Global Online Event: The 3 Keys to Thriving in a Caring Profession.