5 Mistakes People Make Trying To Unwind After Work

Those that suffer burn out or overwhelm are often missing the important benefits of unwinding from work.  Here are 5 common mistakes that people make:


Successful people often fill their time with important tasks.  Not only are they completing the important tasks of their career or business but they are also managing their social life, community commitments, home family etc.  A calendar can easily get packed full of important activity, yet the health component of mental health is neglected.

It’s wise to make a concerted effort to schedule down time into your diary.  This is non-negotiable time and place equal importance on this time as you would for a client, customer.  This may include setting an alarm on your phone to “down devices” or “screens off” so that you are not distracted by Facebook or Netflix as a way of switching off your brain to unwind. Rest your thoughts.


“Stress impacts on 90% of Australians suffer from stress with 74% of people reporting to being stressed from work.” Lifeline , National Stress Poll 2015 

People sometimes operate at a high level of constant stress without realizing what impact it has on their body.  Typically, people suffering from stress can:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweaty palms, tapping feet
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Tight or painful muscles
  • Weight gain
  • Tired (despite plenty of sleep)

Dr. John Hinwood from the Stress Management Institute says that Cortisol is the major contributor to the health risks of stress.


You’ll never escape the stresses of work if you don’t stop picking at it!  Too many people can not resist the urge to check their work emails on their devices.  Or, they lay at night thinking about what needs to be done the next day.   David Allen wrote an amazing book called “Getting Things Done – Stress Free Productivity”.  His philosophy is very much about there being a time for everything and a place for everything.  The importance being not to muddy things up. Being able to download those thoughts running around in your brain, gives you permission to shut off.  Adopt a methodology for releasing the “Must Do List” from your brain.  Keep a notebook by your bed at night or take an Evernote Class to learn how to keep track of all your information, big all small and download your brain.


There’s no point taking on stress relief activities unless you can give yourself 100% permission to switch off. Practicing mindfulness is about being present. As much as people say you need to be present for your husband or present for your children, you also need to be present for YOU. Unless you can switch of your mind, detach from your troubles the stress won’t lessen and that YOGA class is just not going to work for you, but practice makes perfect! Be present. Switch off the device, give yourself permission to not think about the important things for a minimum of half an hour.


Successful people will want the phases of the moon to be right, the lighting perfect and the meditation music set before they even begin to start the process.  But a a truly successful person will find micro minutes to relax and unwind.  Pockets of opportunity to relax.  The simple art of breathing (some call it a smoko break) can hugely impact on your ability to reduce stress and unwind.  Why not download a 5 minute meditation that assist you to meditate anywhere, anytime such as on a lunch break or on the train home.

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About the Author:

Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a time management & stress management enthusiast based in Alice Springs, Australia.  She has spent over 20 years working in time precious and stressful industries such as film, hospitality and marketing.  She has always had a burning passion for creating order and making sense of things.  She is sought after like a beacon in a sea of chaos to provide professional development in the business environment through workshop training, coaching, mentoring, online training programmes, webinars and as a guest speaker around Australia.  Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships. Follow Barbara on Twitter @barbclifford.