There are big things that make us happy (such as Instagram-worthy beach vacations and pricey spa treatments), but it's the small things that keep us sane and smiling on a daily basis. We're partnering with Clinique on a new series to help you look and feel your best every day. Check back each week for ways to take your life from good to great, whether that means finding a foundation that boosts your confidence (try Clinique Even Better Glow™ Light Reflecting Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15) or learning how to eat more mindfully. This week, we're sharing how to relax.
Let's face it: The workplace is not the most zen environment we've ever set foot in. We're constantly rushing to meet deadlines while fending off that one co-worker who just won't stop talking our ear off, and when we finally get home, somehow the most time-sensitive emails start flooding in.
Instead of accepting that weekday stress is inevitable, we decided that it's time to set some boundaries. And to give us some real-world techniques for separating our work lives from our personal lives, we spoke to Vivian Diller, an NYC-based psychologist, and Kathy Cherry, a meditation and mindfulness coach.
Read on for their four expert tips on unplugging and resetting.
Ditch Your Blazer
Disconnecting from a hectic workday is easier said than done, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. And our experts say that one of the easiest ways to separate your work life from your real life is to make a physical change as soon as you leave the office. Whether you're going home or heading to a workout class (Dr. Dillar's preferred choice), a quick change of clothing can trick your mind into thinking it's no longer in work mode. And we'll take any excuse to put on sweatpants.
Another dependable way to de-stress? Surrounding yourself with friends and family. Even if you feel like going straight home and tuning out the world, a few minutes of socializing can shift you into a more relaxed mood. Call a family member to catch up on your commute home, or schedule a quick drink with a friend… a non-work friend, that is. Although you may love your co-workers, it's too easy to fall back into work talk and complaints. Put on a pair of heels and refresh your Clinique Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup, then leave your work woes at the office.
Relax Your Mind
There are plenty of physical changes you can make at the end of a workday, but what about the mental ones? Psychologist Cherry—who has taught meditation for over a decade—has some insights into how we can use the practice to disconnect from the workday.
Beyond reducing stress, meditation improves clarity of the mind, she says. In fact, you may perform work tasks more efficiently, too, if you take a moment to disconnect from them. While Cherry suggests meditating up to 20 minutes a day for eight weeks to really notice a difference, you can start at just three to five minutes a day. And you can meditate anywhere, as long it's comfortable and quiet.
Step Away From The Phone
Unless you're using your phone for meditation (there are plenty of apps that will guide you through the practice), Cherry recommends putting your devices away if you don't want to think about work. (Yes, that does mean ignoring that inevitable flooding of your inbox.) "Those emails are always going to be coming in," she notes, whether you're checking them or not.
Dr. Diller agrees, but she also suggests allotting a small window of time for addressing necessary tasks. After that, it's phones away. Ultimately, everyone is different, says Dr. Diller—for some, making a home-cooked meal is relaxing. For others, it's enjoying an adult coloring book. No matter what you decide to do, anything that redirects your attention away from work will help you unplug and come back to work more refreshed the next day.
Ready to make your life even better? Check back next week for more tips—and in the meantime, shop the Clinique products that'll improve your makeup routine every time.
Editor’s Note: Clinique does not endorse the brands or products mentioned in this story. We’ve added them in for your shopping pleasure!