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Let it go: how to stop worrying about work when you’re not working

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

It’s Friday. Time to switch off. Spend time with friends and family. Relax over a glass of wine.

Or is it? Why do so many of us stew over something that happened days ago?

How often has your mind clung to something so tightly from your working week that it’s put a real dampener on your entire weekend?

An unhappy customer, an unpleasant comment, some negative feedback, worrying about something you did or something you didn’t do.

This stuff eats away at us, it makes us feel worried, dampens our mood, makes us doubt ourselves and what we’re doing. It makes us feel stressed, unhappy, and exhausted. But we continue to think about it.

It’s rarely helpful to hold on to this stuff, once we’ve addressed it and learned from it, we just need to move on.

But it's not as easy as it sounds. How do we move past it? How do we let it go so we can have the weekend we want and need?

I’ve pulled together the 5 most successful techniques I’ve shared with my clients over the last year. Have a read and give them a try this weekend if you're struggling to let it go:

1. End of the week de-clutter

If there’s a specific task or problem that needs addressing, try to action it before the weekend. Tick it off and physically get it off your to do list. This way you're removing the worry.

2. Acceptance.

Minimizing negative thoughts and feeling doesn’t help so try accepting your thoughts and emotions instead (this doesn’t mean acting on them). Let the thoughts pass through and be curious. Notice the tension it’s creating in your body, the gut wrenching feeling in the pit of your stomach. Try to relax, breathe, and reduce the tension in your muscles. You could even schedule a specific time to think about the problem. Sometimes your brain just needs to know that there will be time to think about it, making it easier to switch off at other times.

3. Labels

Try labelling your thoughts and emotions for what they are as we often lose our objectivity when we become stressed and worried. For example, I’m failing in my business becomes I’m having thoughts about not succeeding in my business. You are not everything you think and feel. There is space between you and your thoughts.

4. Talk it through

Like most things we ruminate on, it helps ease the worry if you can share your concerns with someone you trust. Sometimes we just need someone to share it with, especially if you run your own business and don’t have many people around you.

5. Re-charge your batteries

We all need physical and emotional rest. Managing stress is not about enduring, but about recharging and topping up our reserves. We may worry more if we’re feeling tired and run down. So, re-charge your batteries regularly. Find what works for you whether it’s a walk, a good book, a yoga class, a quiet bath or a mindfulness class (this practice can get great results when it comes to calming the mind and preventing overthinking).

Start with one or two ideas and see how you go and remember it may take a bit of practice.

I wish you a calm and peaceful weekend.

Want more support?

If you or your team could benefit from working with a leadership coach, then Click HERE to learn more about working with me.

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