I haven’t always been good at letting go of work when away from work. In years past, Carolyn would sometimes look at me and say, “You’re here, but you’re not here.” Or, “The lights are on but nobody’s home.”
My body was present but my mind was absent—focused on how to accomplish a goal, how to solve a problem, on a difficult situation, or on my next message.
Over the years I’ve learned some techniques for “switching off” and “calling it a day.”
Here are some of the best tips I have found to help relax:
The most helpful exercise refreshes my mind as well as my body. By that I mean some activity that takes my mind off work issues and lets it relax.
My favorite is basketball. It’s hard to play basketball and think about anything else. After basketball, I am physically stretched and mentally rested.
Taking my issues to God in prayer allows me to let go.
Sometimes my prayer degenerates into a “pity party.” But when done right, I place issues in the hands of the Almighty and let Him carry the load.
3. Talking with a friend or family member.
This quote says it well: “Sorrow shared is half the sorrow; joy shared is twice the joy.”
My Accountability Partner Jim is a great listener, sounding board and prayer partner. My wife Carolyn and I love to walk and talk to unload and decompress. We share and pray together about our concerns and blessings.
4. Resolving conflict.
Unresolved conflict eats at me. Some can live with unresolved conflicts. Others, like me, find that very difficult. I go over and over it in my mind.
So, for shutting down, it is much better to resolve conflict as quickly as possible.
5. Deciding to “switch off” work and refocus.
Sometimes I just have to discipline myself not to think about work any longer. After that decision, when my mind drifts back toward it, I refocus on another arena.
6. Remembering God is in control.
One of the greatest blessings of being a Christian is knowing that God is in control in even the most difficult situations.
I don’t like suffering. But I thank God in every difficult situation, knowing that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).