Listen to Shelley Crawford, an EMCC Global Accredited Master Practitioner and Accredited Supervisor, talk about how to disconnect from work. 
In this video, I'll be talking about how you can learn to disconnect from work, which is crucial for helping to manage potential burnout, or if you are feeling overwhelmed.  
 
Hi, I'm Shelley Crawford, and I'm an internationally accredited coaching psychologist and wellbeing trainer. This three-step ritual can help you to relax and mentally disengage from your work life. But first, let's talk about how you can build friction between yourself and the equipment that enables you to stay connected to work even though you are at home or using personal time.  
 
Having easy access to our email accounts, our computers, and our phones while we are trying to take personal time only means that we are more susceptible to using them, making it harder for us to fully detach. So the first step in learning to detach is to physically put the computer out of the way. If you have email apps on your phone that are work-related and you can't remove remove them, commit to putting your phone out of reach and in a place that makes it really hard to access. If you have to check emails or messages for personal or work reasons, Try then to put your phone away for specific periods of time while you are at home. 
 
This should work on the out-of-sight, out-of-mind principle. So while you can't see your phone or computer, you won't be tempted to look at it. Consider having a message attached to your email signature that states the times you are available to look at and answer emails and the times when you cannot.  
 
That will help you to manage other people's expectations of how you manage your personal and work time. One of the things that has always worked for me is the three-step detaching ritual. This is actually quite simple, and you might already have part of that ritual in place. Most of us have some habit that we engage in when we wake up or before we go to sleep, like waking up and putting on the kettle to make that cup of tea or coffee, or doing the same when we walk in the door after work, or putting our computer away when we have finished working.  
 
You can use this existing habit as part of your detaching ritual. The trick is to add two more activities that help you to unwind and distract you from thinking about work. So for instance, for me, I walk to my car after work and I take the same route. 
 
Your brain stores this information more permanently the more you do it. Then at some point, your brain starts to do this automatically so you don't have to think about it anymore. I then put on my favourite playlist for the drive home. I use the same playlist, which then becomes a trigger to tell my brain that I will soon be at home. The last step then is when I take off my workloads and put on my sports gear to get ready to go for my run. By the time I'm putting my sports gear on, my mind has already switched gears and is not even thinking about work.  
 
So these three habits then make it much easier for me to unwind and detach because my brain knows what is coming next. If by any chance you're drawn back into thinking about work at this point, then use another example. Take your five senses and use them to refocus your mind on your surroundings. So for instance, look around you and ask yourself, What five things can I see around me? Those things do not have to be objects. There can be shapes, colours, designs. Then ask yourself, What four things can I hear? 
 
Listen carefully for soft or not so obvious sounds. After this, ask yourself, What three things can I touch or feel? As an example, you might want to actually touch the rough the dark of a tree, or your clothing, or the ground underneath your feet, and note what that feels like. Then ask yourself, What two things can I smell? And finally, What one thing can I taste? By the time you have finished this exercise, your brain has switched tracks again to your surroundings, and you can continue with your exercise.  
 
Like any habit, it takes you being determined and practising to turn it into a habit that will help you manage your well-being and your feelings of overwhelm. If you feel you need more support or things deteriorate for you, please get hold of your doctor or otherwise, log in to your Verve portal and click the link to request a survey. You will then be able to access all the support you need. 
 
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