Making A Smooth Transition From Work To Personal Time
One of my clients told me a frustrating part of her day is wrapping up her work day and transitioning to personal time. Although this also included taking care of her kid, tidying up the house, starting dinner, and creating a relaxing moment for herself, the angst and exhaustive energy she was carrying over from her home office was too much.
When I thought about it for myself, if I don't "close up shop" with intention work ideas continue to swirl in my head for a good portion of the evening. I end up feeling agitated and fried, and have the vibe of being in two places at once.
This transition can be tough if you have a work commute, or lack there of if you work from home, work stress, and have the anticipation of home responsibilities.
Mister Rogers had it right. The children's show Mister Rodger Neighborhood would capture the kind soul walking through the door to a slow pace, smiling, changing his sweater and sneakers, and be open to the next phase of his day connecting with you through the camera.
However you transition from the productive part of your day to the evening, it's vital to have a clutch move. A ritual or two. A habit. Something you can physically do that also effects your mental health positively. And I'm not suggesting an activity that takes an hour. This is something that should happen on the daily and I suggest it should be short and sweet, otherwise it's hard to be consistent.
And we want consistency so you always feel your best!
Let's reverse engineer what you can do to have a smooth transition home, but first you need to get clear on where you're at.
What has your work to home transition looked like lately? Does it exist? Do you go straight to a drink, screen time, a big dinner, and generally numbing yourself? Or do you tackle more things on your to-do list and feel like you're still working?
How do you want this pivot to feel and look? What has worked in the past?
How to make the transition
Create a short routine that works for you with that one clutch move. Allow it to flex and adapt to each day so when life happens you aren't thrown off your game but hold onto that clutch move.
When leaving work:
- Stop work 15 minutes before leaving/stopping with a wrap up routine. This might include last minute email checks, checking your calendar for next day, organizing papers/files, tidying up your space, changing your notifications, and my personal favorite, jotting down your tah-dah's! Ya know, what you DID accomplish that day to remind yourself that you're amazing and getting shit done.
- Go easy. Coming home is a time to chill, recharge for the next day, reflect, connect with loved ones, get outside, and slow down. This is your moment for that clutch move. Mine is going outside for a moment and breathing in the fresh air. Evening energy goes down and when you rev up and try to do too much it's easy to get burned out.
Walking through the door:
- Have a physical transition like changing your clothes, taking a quick shower/rinsing your face, going for a walk/short workout, or tending to your house plants.
- Satisfy the senses by lighting a candle, burning incense, starting the essential oil diffuser, stoking the wood stove, or putting on music.
- Sip a nourishing drink like hot tea, kombucha, bubble water, or simply a fresh glass of water. The average person is often dehydrated this time of day and craving a snack before dinner is common so preserve a special drink to lift your spirits, hydrate you before dinner, and allow you to pump the brakes with a ritual (almost the opposite of morning tea/coffee).
Whatever you do, keep your transition simple and uplifting! Welcome home.