Posted on Mar 24th, 2006

In the first of two articles on home relaxation, I covered the majority of working people, those who go out to work. This second article looks at those who work at home, and how they can establish a work routine that incorporates periods of relaxation.

For those who have a daily grind of commuting to their job, sometimes long distances and for an hour, two hours or even more, the thought of working at home may seem like a dream. They probably assume that those of us who work at home do not have any problem at all with home relaxation; after all, working at home is like a permanent holiday, isn’t it?

In reality, though, having the optimum amount of relaxation mixed in with your working day is only easy in theory. One of the problems of working at home is that work can so easily take over. While it is true that you can decide to relax whenever you want, it is also true that you can decide to work whenever you want. If you are trying to get a new home business established, or to increase its success, a determined person can lapse into an “all work no play” mode very easily. I know that I have been guilty of that.

At the other extreme, those who are working at home for the first time, may be tempted to relax all day long, watch television, go to the local pub or whatever it is they like to do, and never actually settle down to any work. Their success prospects diminish due to this lack of focus, and they can end up having to get a job again.

How, then, can you find a happy medium, in which work and relaxation are nicely balanced, in a way that makes you happy and helps to keep you healthy? Below are a few tips to help you in your work-relaxation routine on a working day.

Try To Exercise Before Starting Work

Exercise may not sound much like relaxation, but even light exercise before you even think of starting work will help to get you into a good frame of mind, and more in control of your day’s activities. If you work at a desk or computer all day, then this is even more important than if you are actively out a lot and meeting customers and so on.

It is good to mix in a bit of exercise at intervals throughout the day too. Just a few minutes here and there can make a big difference. For example, if I am boiling water for a green tea break, I sometimes have a short session with some light dumbbells while the water is boiling, thereby making positive use of that time. I find that makes the tea break all the more relaxing, following immediately from the exercise.

Work With Music If You Can

Music can have a soothing effect if you are working, so if you are able to work with music playing that you find relaxing, there is no reason why you should not do so. However, you do need to choose carefully, as some music may actually distract you from your work rather than provide a relaxing ambience in which to work effectively.

Get Outside as Much as Possible

If you are working at home at a desk or computer all day, then it is important to get regular breaks from that immediate environment. A few minutes of fresh air is an added benefit. Whether that is possible will depend on the weather, of course, so a covered terrace is a great boon if the weather is warm enough but rainy.

I take all of my breaks outside, even a short tea break. That is something I can do all year, living in a tropical climate, but wherever you are, the principle is the same. Getting away from your immediate working environment regularly through the day is important to keep you relaxed.

Take a Full Lunch Break

If you work at home, especially if you have your own business, then your daily routine is for you to decide about. A proper lunch break, again away from the working environment, is an essential element of that routine. Eat well but not heavily, and if possible take a walk somewhere pleasant, peaceful and attractive. When I still lived in England, my lunch break included a walk by the sea unless it was raining or (very rarely) just too hot. The midday sun is too much in the tropics for that, but I still ensure I have a lunch break of about an hour.

Lunch Time Meditation or Power Sleep

The lunch break gives you a good opportunity for some real relaxation. Sleep is probably not a good idea, as you can sleep too long, wake up feeling awful at 3 or 4 o’clock, and lose vital working time.

However, your eyes and brain probably need a rest, so meditation is perfect for lunch time. I now practice what I call a power sleep. I stretch out on the bed, on my back, and close my eyes, and ease my way into a meditative state. I do not actually sleep; it takes a little bit of practice, but you can easily stop yourself sleeping. I put no time limit on the meditation, either minimum or maximum, as I know that my body will tell me when to open my eyes and get off the bed.

Whether it is ten minutes or half an hour later, when I get off the bed I am feeling reinvigorated, my eyes rested, and totally relaxed. That’s why I refer to it as a power sleep, as I always feel I have had a power infusion while my eyes were closed. I have found that as long as I am determined not to fall asleep, then I will not. I have also found that I feel as good on a few minute meditation as I do on thirty minutes.

The above ideas are just those I use in practice. Everyone is different, so you may have other alternative methods you can try. The important thing is, though, that you do consciously set aside time for relaxation, and use it to the full.

This Home Relaxation article was written by Roy Thomsitt, owner and part author of the Routes To Self Improvement web site, where you can also find audio articles, including this one, and articles on meditation.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply