10 Ways to Unplug from Work—And Why It’s Important

Unplug from workDo you have a hard time powering down your phone after hours? Studies have shown that time away from work can reduce stress, encourage creative thinking, ward off depression, and even prevent heart attacks.

The next time you feel like checking your email late at night, try one of these suggestions instead:

  1. Switch off alerts. Experts say stress hormone levels are heightened when we’re always being pinged.
  2. Put it away. Place your device(s) in a drawer or on a shelf after work hours.
  3. Create a plan. Plan how you are going to spend your break time. Without a plan, work creeps back in more easily.
  4. Do something different. A novel activity such as a new hobby or sporting event can help shift your focus. You’ll learn something unrelated to work and come back refreshed.
  5. Practice saying “no.” Once you’ve scheduled a vacation, do everything you can to make it stick. This might mean postponing a project or rescheduling meetings.
  6. Take a nonworking lunch. Invite a friend to lunch and talk about anything but work.
  7. Remember that you’re you. Resist overidentifying with your job. Remember what makes you unique and worthy apart from what you do or earn.
  8. Daydream. Turn your phone facedown and spend five minutes thinking of a time that made you happy.
  9. Set rules. Schedule time for individual and friend/family activities that do not include work.
  10. Go for a walk. Notice your surroundings. The resulting stress relief will even help you sleep better.

More Healthy Steps

Find other ways to incorporate healthy behaviors into your life on our Wellness at WCHN page.