Stop thinking about work at the weekend! How to switch off and enjoy your down time
You run your own business or you are employed by someone else, in both scenarios my clients have told they struggle to switch off at the weekend. Managing your time, understanding how your brain functions and what you can actions you can take to stop thinking about work at the weekend is something very few of us understand.
So when my clients raised this as one of the biggest problems they have, I thought about who I knew that could help them stop thinking about work at the weekend. So I asked the lovely Jo Howarth if she would write a guest blog.
Imagine this for a moment: you’ve made it to Friday afternoon, your work is done, your working hours are over and the weekend is nigh. Woohoo!
Then you find yourself being restless on Friday evening, wondering if you did everything you were supposed to do. And you wake up on Saturday morning worrying about the issue you simply hadn’t resolved that week. And you spendSunday with that slightly itchy feeling thinking about all the things you have to do in the week to come.
Your weekend is over and you haven’t fully relaxed, you haven’t managed to fully let go of work.
So what can you do to stop thinking about work at the weekend? I have 3 practical tips for you to help you get back to enjoying your weekends.
Stop thinking about work at the weekend Tip 1: Be in the present moment.
This gentle exercise helps you to focus on being in the present moment as well as helping you to calm down and relax. Lie down flat on your back with your legs straight out. Place your hands flat on your tummy, one above the other. Now gently breathe in and out. Don’t try and manipulate your breath in any way, just breathe normally. As you breathe pay attention to the movement of your hands as your tummy moves up with each breath in and down again with each breath out. Put your full attention and focus on the movement of your hands and your tummy. If any thoughts about anything else come into your mind just gently bring your attention back to the movement of your hands and your tummy. Each time your mind wanders off, gently bring your focus back to your tummy going up and down.
Stop thinking about work at the weekend Tip 2: Make a clean break.
Take yourself back to that Friday afternoon, to that moment when you shut your computer down, closed your notebook and put your pen away. Now take two minutes, just two minutes, to stop and close your eyes. As you sit there, tell yourself that work is now done for the week, that you can now leave this work where it belongs, at work. Tell yourself that you don’t have to carry this with you now, it is done. Consciously close the door on work in your mind. Then go home. And as you arrive at home, consciously open the door on your home life. This is something you can do at the end of every day, not just at the end of the week. Have a go and notice the difference.
Stop thinking about work at the weekend Tip 3: Let it go
This is another very simple exercise. Each time you notice that your thoughts have turned to work matters, when you want them to be at home, imagine putting those thoughts in a bubble and letting them float away. Every time you realise that you are thinking about the work you should have done, or the assignment you haven’t finished or the work that you are going to have to do, simply put that thought in a bubble and let it float away while you gently bring your attention back to where you are actually are at that moment.
All of these techniques take practice and a degree of persistence. The more you practice them the more effect they will have. The more you do them, the more you will be able to focus on where you want to be at the weekend instead of work.
Now it’s your turn.
- What exercises do you do to stop thinking about work at the weekend?
- How do you stop your mind wandering back to that to-do list or action list?
About the author
Jo Howarth runs a company called The Happiness Club, her job is to teach people how to be happy and she loves it. She is married to Trev and has two beautiful daughters.
The Happiness Club (www.thehappinessclub.co.uk) is a monthly membership club where members receive a daily tool, tip or thought directly from Jo to help them with their personal development, to see the good things in life and leave the negative stuff behind.
She also works with corporate and private sector organisations that are committed to changing the way their employees feel and therefore work. She also works within schools to teach students techniques to develop their own resilience to stress and believes this should be as important as learning your ABCs.
Jo published two books in 2016 and officially became an author!
Glad To Be Dan, written with children’s author Jude Lennon and illustrated by Jo’s husband Trev, is a mindfulness book for children. Get Happy! is her book for grown ups and is a compilation of the daily thoughts from her Happiness Club.
With over 20 years of studying mindfulness and hypnotherapy, Jo believes it is a simple choice – that everyone can choose happiness every day. Jo’s mission is to teach people the tools and techniques that will set them on the path of happiness, whatever their definition may be.
You can contact Jo here: email@example.com
Or on Twitter @HappinessClubJo
Or by phone: 07913 176064