Switching off is crucial for our mental health and physical wellbeing, however, it’s equally important to be able to switch on again when you need to.
Here are a few tips on how you can master both and restore a little balance in your life.
How to switch off
1. Minimise screen time before bed. For many of us, our screens are the last thing we see before we go to sleep. However, this can have all sorts of harmful effects on our sleeping patterns and ability to truly switch off. The reason for this is that devices such as smartphones and tablets emit an artificial blue light. This can delay your body’s internal clock and suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Ideally, try to cut off your screen time a couple of hours before you plan on going to sleep. If this feels unrealistic, even cutting off screen time 30 minutes before can make a huge difference.
2. Meditate. Just 10 minutes out of your day is all you need to help train your mind to quieten any negative or racing thoughts. Meditation can mean learning to focus on your breath, remaining in the present moment and muting all the external noise that can lead to stress. Plus, there are now a whole range of apps such as Headspace, Calm and Buddhify that make it easier than ever to plug in and switch off.
3. Indulge in a hobby. Whether it’s cooking, painting, reading or knitting, engaging your mind with a hobby can have meditative effects and allow you to slow down your mind. As well as forcing you to take a break, hobbies provide a healthy outlet that you can either enjoy alone or in a group. If you’re stumped for ideas then try looking for short courses in your area or online tutorials to help get you started!
How to switch on
So now you’ve managed to switch off and recharge your batteries, you’re ready to get back into the swing of things. Instead of reaching for the nearest cup of coffee here are some tips to try instead:
1. Start the day right. Although it’s really tempting to hit snooze, this will only make you feel groggy (and guilty) for the rest of the day. Instead, get out of bed, take a walk, do some light exercise, have a nutritious breakfast and make a to-do list of what you want to achieve. Take it from us, starting your day with your best foot forward makes a noticeable difference!
2. Engage the power of scent. This is a great little trick for perking you up and making you feel more alert. Essential oils such as peppermint, lemon, orange, grapefruit and ginger are all effective in arousing the senses – you can pop a few drops in a diffuser to really make the most of it! We love This Works’ Morning Expert Wake-Up Drops which uses a blend of peppermint, lavandin and rosemary.
3. Focus on one thing at a time. After you’ve cleared your mind, there’s no point in flooding it again or you’ll undo all your hard work. Instead, pull out that to-do list you made earlier and start going through one thing at a time. It can feel incredibly liberating to focus all of your attention on your list and tick each item off as you go. Once you’re being productive, we can guarantee that you’ll be feeling more switched on in no time!
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