The post work slump is real. So many of us feel a sense of relief after a long day, regardless of how and where you work, but it's all too common to want to zone out in front of a screen with a comforting dinner to unwind. Right?! You tell yourself you deserve to be lazy and eat whatever.
Hey! Don't get me wrong. Every now and then that approach is a wonderful option, but day after day, it starts to wear on you and the sense of relaxation, enjoyment, and accomplishment never actually settle in. Leaving you wondering why you feel so tired and unmotivated to do anything more.
The reasons you feel exhausted are layered and it's not always one thing. If you take a step back to take inventory of your wellness, ask yourself a few questions to get more at the root of why.
Did I go with the flow today? Or did I push through?
Was my to-do list reasonable? Or was it way too big?
Did I workout in the morning? Or am I still trying to motivate myself later in the day?
Did I eat a small lunch? Or am I now craving a big dinner?
Did I take a break midday to recharge? Or did I only focus on production?
This is not to pick on where you "messed up" but to help you see that you may feel tired because of how you think, what you say, and the actions you take (or didn't take) earlier in the day. It's all about reverse engineering your day to end on a high note.
So, let's look at a few best practices to feel less exhausted after work. These are backed by research, my own experience, and results from my coaching group in Body Align.
Easier said than done but keep your schedule and task list SIMPLE. Especially during the fall where we are encouraged by nature to let go and prune back to ready ourselves for winter. When you go against the rhythm of the wild, you experience stress and exhaustion. Go with what nature is doing and you'll feel calm and less discomfort. Which will you choose?
Switch your clothes
I love this one because it's quick and super effective. Literally shed the day by refreshing what you have right next to your skin. Shift the energy with your external world to positively impact your internal world. You'll feel light and renewed. When you get home or change rooms (if you work remote) change your outfit, including your shoes. Set your clothes out when you get dressed in the morning and place them somewhere obvious that you'll see later, like the bed or bathroom. My favorite is putting a big, cozy sweater on with bottoms that allow me to move and stretch easily.
Walk it out
Walking is literally the answer to everything. Anxious after work? Go for a walk. Pissed at a family member? Go for a walk. Constipated? Go for a walk. Unmotivated to workout? Go for a walk. Not living your best life? Go for a walk. :)
Your body is DESIGNED to move. In particular, to walk. Don't believe me? Check out this fun article Our Bodies Are Made For Walking. I don't think it's ever happened where I come back from a walk and think, "well, that was a waste of time." Walking boosts your health, clears mental clutter, invigorates creativity, and lubricates your joints. The best part is, a lap around the block or down your favorite nature path is enough. 5 minutes or a long hike. You got this.
I may be pressing some buttons with some of you but hear me out. Everything in life is a cycle. Your sleep/wake state is no different. When you wake up tired, you may have caffeine to give you a boost. Then you go through the day and feel a slump between 2-4pm, then you might have another dose of caffeine. This then effects your ability to get and restful nights sleep, so you stay up past 10pm, then hopefully fall asleep to then wake up feeling tired all over again. No fun.
To break the cycle, go to bed early. To help you fall asleep and get quality zzz's, ditch afternoon caffeine. Instead try herbal teas, golden milk, Mud (small amount of caffeine) or warm water with lemon. Another option? Take a 10-15min cat nap.
Get your craft on
Engage all your senses (taste, touch, smell, hear, see) with a small project or craft. I did a project yesterday. After my scheduled work hours, I went in the backyard and cleaned up my bike, attached the rack for in town commutes, and doubled checked that I had all my fall gear and repair kit. It took about 20 minutes and allowed me to use my hands, focus on one thing, and accomplish a small task to feel good about myself.
You can also do a puzzle, tidy up your garden/yard, write a letter, color, play/listen to music, paint, decorate your living space for fall or bake in the kitchen. You could even clean up your car. If you want. :)