Thursday, January 7, 2016

Washing off your day: how to change your whole attitude after a tough day

As a healthcare practitioner it's hard to come home without lingering thoughts and emotions from my day. Patients and their stories, their moods, they rub off on you. I used to take my days home with me. I'd walk through the door, start talking to my partner and he immediately recognized that something was off. I'd get easily annoyed, I was angry or upset and I'd snap. This wasn't a good thing.

It's hard not to take work home with you. It's even harder if you commute and you carry those frustrations with you on top of everything else. So I created a game plan - with some help of course.

I had to change my energy and change my routine. The first thing was to make it known that once I walk in that front door of the house, I will say hi but then I am NOT to get into any conversations until I've dealt with myself. I go straight upstairs and "wash my day off" myself.

You can take this literally or figuratively - or both! Here are things you can do to wash your day off and change your attitude after work:

1) Brush your teeth: if you talk all day, like me, you need to wash everything out of there. Have "clean words" and conversations for the rest of the evening

2) Brush the tangles out of your hair. Again, literally and figuratively: As I brush through my long hair, I'm brushing out all the "tangles" from the day. It's refreshing!

3) If you're on your feet most of the day: take off your socks, wash your feet in the tub, give yourself a quick little foot massage and then put on some fresh dry socks. Your feet will feel so good!

4) Change your clothes! You're wearing work clothes - take them off! This is the best time to change either into your comfiest clothes, or your "Super suit" (Clothes that are comfortable and that represent you. Putting these on make you feel empowered). Peel off the layers from the day and put on fresh new ones.

5) Wash your hands. Wash your day off of you. Some of you might want a full shower. That's cool. But if not, just wash your hands and imagine that you're washing off all the garbage and emotions from your whole day. Watch it run off your hands and down the sink. It's gone. You don't need to carry it around with you anymore.

Lastly, make sure you're giving your body what it needs. If you haven't eaten since lunch, have a snack in the afternoon or at the end of your workday so that you don't have a hypoglycemic crash by the time you come home. Drink a glass of water - rehydrate.

This also applies to anyone working from home. It's important to separate work from family. Taking just 10 minutes for yourself when you get home or finish work isn't that much and it can make a world of a difference!