Finding your brain’s off switch

Finding your brain’s off switch

1800 2000 Ally Munarriz

We are in the midst of an overwork epidemic. Mobile devices were meant to free us from the office, but technology has left the 9-5 long dead and left us tethered to our desk, 24/7, instead. We often read and hear about how we need to ‘switch off’, but it doesn’t naturally come to a lot of us. A recent study found that 69% of workers are regularly working outside of their expected hours, and on average we sleep one to two hours less each night than we did 60 years ago. It’s important then that the little time that we do get to ourselves, we use properly, here are some of the best ways to switch off and refresh.

Use your Holidays

This suggestion might come as a no brainer, yet, the average worker fails to use six days of paid leave each year. Even if you have no big plans or holidays booked, and have spare holiday days to use up, consider spreading them out and taking every other Friday off and use the time to properly unwind.


Cooking can help reduce stress since it allows you to tap into your creative side. If you have culinary skills, take out your apron when you get home and cook your favorite meal. It’ll relax you.

Sleep. Lots of sleep.

For many of us, sleep is the last thing on our minds when it comes to living healthfully and sleep is the first thing to get sacrificed if we’re pressed for time. But, not getting enough sleep can cause a long list of issues including stress and anxiety. Getting a proper amount of sleep will not only improve your mental health and happiness, feeling rested will also help you relax when it is time to unwind.

Exercise (groan)

As much as I’d prefer to slouch around and move as little as possible, exercise is a major anxiety-reducer. Not only does it give you time to think, relieve some stress and help keep you fit, it’ll also help with the previous point, getting more sleep!


Collapsing onto the sofa after a long day is a totally okay way to unwind. You shouldn’t feel guilty about chilling in front of the tv for a couple of hours and catching up on your favourite shows, as long as it’s in moderation (relatively at least). Try your best not to spend too much time staring at screens though before heading to bed, as this can seriously hinder your efforts to get to sleep, and may even cause you to feel more anxious as your mind whizzes about and doesn’t switch off when you lie down!

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