Relaxed young woman lying on couch

At the end of the day, the body naturally winds down with feelings of tiredness and contemplation. As your mind ruminates over the day’s lessons and incidences, it leaves you wondering what could have been improved or what should happen next time. Not to mention, all the sound bites you picked up during the day, “We may need to change your class schedule,” “You will have 5 new students in your class on Sunday,” or “Can you volunteer for a school event next week? We need you.”

Thankfully, there are safe, practical ways to ‘power down’ without losing your power.

Cultivate a ‘still home’

A ‘still home’ is orderly, clean, and feels good upon entering. Squabbles with spouses, kids, and nuisances are minimal. A simple act of freshening up the drains with a splash of pine sol or ammonia to clean out residue, trapped smells, and old food, can make all the difference. The smell of fresh pine can awaken the senses and trick the mind into thinking “all is well” and clean with your home. We don’t have more than a few hours at night to wind down. Short cuts are okay.

Keep noise to a minimum

Don’t turn on the television for background noise as soon as you walk in the door. Similar to ‘stilling’ a home, the quietness of the first hour grounds and refocuses your attention on yourself. After work, your mind may keep racing with its demands. Learn to train yourself to alternate between activity and rest.

Read a favourite book or exercise

Distract yourself for at least 30 minutes with a topic or experience unrelated to work. Exercise and reading stop the mental chatter to help you transition to a peaceful night.

Eat a satisfying meal

Noshing on light snacks and dates may be okay in between classes. However, in the evenings, make eating a fun event with minimal effort. A nourishing slow-cooked lamb stew, a quick shrimp salad with homemade dressing, or an elaborate display of caviar and crackers on your best dinnerware, does wonders for an otherwise tired soul. Choose something that makes you feel one of these three things: richer than you really are, slimmer than you look, or comforted when you feel like you’ve lost. Write down at least one meal that does this. It will instantly lift your spirits, and transition you out of professional work mode into self- care mode.

Prepare an evening drink

A soothing evening drink can include your favourite tea, herb elixir or tonic, fruit smoothie or a large cup of steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows. Stay away from anything caffeinated.

Choosing a power down method that supports you is crucial to your professional success. A satisfying sense of confidence and relief emerges when you get control over your after-work life, without making it another job.

By Maryann Reid

Maryann Reid, a personal coach and educator. To connect with her, visit www. booksandbuzz.com.

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