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How To Let Go At The End Of Your Workday – But Actually

Nowadays, it can be pretty tough to distinguish your work space from your living space and your work day from your night. Before the pandemic, many of us had daily commutes — sitting in traffic, riding the train, or walking across the city — but now, the only thing that separates work from relaxation is closing your laptop, which can make work-life boundaries a little more blurry. So, how can you let go at the end of your workday, even when things are busy?

Sometimes, it can be hard to log off and feel like you’re able to take time for yourself away from your email and Slack notifications. But after six months of working remotely, I’ve figured out some of the best ways to separate the end of my day “at work” from the start of my relaxing night. Here are some tips for how to set boundaries and truly let go at the end of your workday.

Close your laptop & (actually) get offline

As soon as I’m done with my work for the day, I make it a point to close my laptop, ignore email and Slack, and take a break from staring at the screen by doing something offline. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I scroll mindlessly through social media on my phone to relax, but if you end up using your phone a lot after-hours, try not to check in on work matters.

Noelle, a graduate of Bryant University, finds that having her work in another room helps her set boundaries. “I turn my monitor off, close my laptop, and shut the door to the office so that work stays defined to one room and doesn’t follow me into my home life,” she tells Her Campus. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have this option (#studioliving), but I love the idea of separating where you’re working from playing.

Get some fresh air

At the end of the day, I like to get up and get moving, and so does Abby, a Skidmore University graduate. “Not sitting at my desk anymore is how I end my work day,” she tells Her Campus. “I usually sit in the same spot throughout the workday, so it really helps me feel like I’m transitioning into my night routine by getting fresh air, moving my legs, and going for a stroll around the block.”

Danielle, a graduate of Bryant University, agrees on this one — she tells Her Campus that she loves taking her dog for a walk to wrap up her work day. Plus, taking a long stroll is an awesome way to keep up with podcasts or listen to music! 

Do a quick workout

Molly, a graduate of Villanova University, always tries to end her work day with a quick sweat, and when I’ve had a stressful day at work, one of the best ways I unwind is by doing a yoga video. Whether that’s a YouTube video like Yoga with Adriene or a 20-30 minute walk around her neighborhood, getting a sweat in can definitely help shut your mind off after a busy workday and encourage you to start relaxing for the night. ​

change into comfy clothes

Although I dress comfortably during the work day while at home, I like to change my outfit into something even more comfortable once I’m done and no longer have to look presentable for Zoom calls. Usually that means taking off my makeup and changing from leggings into sweats or athletic shorts into sweat shorts.

Alex, a graduate of Colgate University can relate. “[I refer to that as] changing from my business athleisure into my lounge athleisure,” she tells Her Campus. Although it’s not much, I also used to change when I’d get home from the office, so continuing this routine throughout quarantine and into the school year has helped me maintain the same feeling of starting my evening. 

Cook a yummy dinner

During quarantine, cooking became one of my favorite ways to unwind at the end of the day. Now, I usually plan my dinners ahead so I have something to look forward to at the end of my work day — plus, it’s a great way to let go of work and truly transition to the evening. 

Alex agrees. “Every now and then I like to treat myself to a glass of wine, and order sushi at the end of the work day,” she tells Her Campus. Whether it’s ordering takeout, grabbing a snack from the kitchen, or heading out to dinner, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. After all, you need fuel for all of the hard work you’re doing during the day. 

Watch TV or read a book

After a long day of work, all I want to do is tune out and watch an easy show. Making the switch from my laptop to my TV is a huge indication that I’m done working and can settle in to relax. Lauren, a graduate of Bryant University, loves to end her work day by reading. For her, reading is the perfect way to step away from all things work related and enjoy time to herself. 

During quarantine, my night routine became one of my favorite parts of the day. Without the 45 minute commute I used to have, now, I have so much more time to myself to relax and unwind. I treasure the different ways I transition out of work mode and into my night, especially since it can be super difficult to “turn off” and let go at the end of a long workday. If you’re still struggling to turn off “work mode,” I hope these tips help you, too. 

Noelle, Bryant University
Abby, Skidmore University
Danielle, Bryant University
Molly, Villanova University
Alex, Colgate University
Lauren, Bryant University

Flora is a graduate from Bryant University with a major in communication. She moved to Boston after graduating and somehow is already 2 years post-grad. By day, she is a marketing associate but when she's not at the office she loves trying new foods, hunting for the latest trends, exploring the city, going to spin classes, and finding as many cute dogs to pet as possible! Follow her on Instagram @lifeisgoodman