Does this sound familiar? Your workload is heavy and requires a lot of concentration and energy. Your working day is characterized by fast processes and lots of change. But even when your heavier workload allows it, you can’t seem to switch off after work; on the weekend; or on vacation. Thoughts keep going round your head and it’s been a while since you slept well. So how can you get off the treadmill?
“It’s no surprise that successful regeneration during work-free time is primarily dependent on the company’s culture. There are, however, also many things that employees can do to improve their situation,” says Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel, CEO of Global DiVision.
In addition to formally regulated breaks, allow yourself short time-outs during which you move around; have brief informal conversations; or simply look out the window. Cancelled meetings or long rail journeys can also be used as opportunities to take a break.
Even if your after-work leisure time is restricted due to overtime; commuting; or family commitments, you should still try to create regular short time-outs for yourself. They could take the form of a short jog; reading a book; or doing a relaxation or mindfulness exercise.
Avoid leisure stress on the weekend. If time allows, you can, of course, do as many activities as you want. Sometimes, though, simply doing nothing is a more helpful way to “come down”.
Studies show that oftentimes the positive effect of a long vacation fades away quickly. Taking more but shorter vacations can be more effective.
If you have the time, get out into nature. This has a proven positive effect on concentration and mood. A lunch-time walk in the park or a forest hike on the weekend can often work miracles.