1. Psychological Detachment from Work
Psychological detachment from work is a term that was coined by Sabine Sonnentag who referred to it as a state whereby people mentally disconnect from work without ever thinking about work-related issues when away from their job. It is exactly what it means when people talk about taking your mind off work.
The truth, however, is that it can be particularly tricky for entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals since they usually work on passion projects as well as things that they truly care about. When it’s a lot more than just a job, it can be rather challenging to try to stop thinking about it.
Still, researchers such as Alex Soojung-Kim Pang who authored Rest, or Sabine Sonnentag have clearly stated that it is important to regularly detach from the subject of your work. The benefits of doing this are two-fold.
First, it allows you to rest fully and well. Detachment from work during off-hours is correlated with suffering less emotional exhaustion and higher overall life satisfaction. However, being able to take your to mind off work can also benefit the work itself.
It is a well-known phenomenon that if you stop attempting to solve a problem by thinking about it actively, the subconscious mind gets to processing it. The result is that some of our best ideas usually pop into our heads when folding laundry or taking a shower.
2. Let Go of the “Achievement” Mode
It will require a shift in mindset that most people aren’t used to making. From very early on, we are taught that whatever we engage in should always serve some greater purpose. If you want to enter a state of genuine rest, this goal-oriented mentality is exactly what you need.
It thus means that you should not treat your time off as simply another chore. You don’t go for a walk just to hit your daily goal of 10,000 steps. You don’t invite your friends over for dinner just to catch up with social obligations or due to the fact that it’s “your turn” to host a party. Even clinging to the goal of feeling “relaxed” is enough to stand in your way to rest.
If all you can think about is: “I need to relax now, come on, why isn’t the tension going away” – the result is often the opposite. While it might sound somewhat paradoxical, if you want to enter the resting mindset, you should do your best to let go of the goal-oriented mentality, which includes viewing “feeling rested” as one of your achievements.
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3. Enjoy Yourself
It might seem a bit obvious that it might not even be worth mentioning, but there could be a bit of a trap here. You might assume that you already know what activities bring you joy to the extent that you no longer question them. You might even begin to identify with your favorite ways to rest as though they never change.
For instance, you may refer to yourself as a “book worm”, which indicates that what you love doing under any circumstances is to read books. If the need for rest arises, you will be more likely to reading mindlessly without ever questioning whether it is what you would truly enjoy at that moment.
Have you ever found yourself seated with a book in hand with the idea that you’ll delight in the reading experience only to find that your eyes start to close after 5 minutes? If that has ever happened to you, then you probably understand that activities that might seem enjoyable as a concept may end up being a pain when you actually do them.
It is safe to conclude that many people are usually mindless with regard to rest-activity selection. People usually navigate their rest according to their routine ways of things due to their failure to recognize what their mind and body need at that very moment.