After a long day at work, it can be difficult to find ways to relax and enjoy your free time. But as a therapist, taking regular breaks is essential for keeping yourself healthy and recharged. Although it’s hard not to go over the day’s events in your head, it is important to find ways to unwind and give yourself time for self-care. Here are some tips on how to enjoy downtime as a therapist:

1. Get creative – If you’re looking for something fun and relaxing, why not try an art or craft project? Whether it’s painting, drawing, knitting or sculpting, getting creative can be a good way to take your mind off the day’s events and express yourself in a new way.

2. Go for a walk – Fresh air can do wonders for your mood and well-being, so why not go for a stroll? Take a slow, meditative walk out in nature and soak up your surroundings. Whether you walk alone or with loved ones, you can relax and recharge your batteries.

3. Unplug from technology – It’s tempting to stay connected all the time via our phones and computers, but this can be mentally draining. Make a conscious effort to unplug from technology for at least an hour or two each day to give your mind a break and enjoy some time away from the digital world.

4. Take up a new hobby – Taking on a new activity is another useful way to relax and use your downtime productively. Try learning a new skill, such as painting or cooking; take up a sport like yoga or running; or pick up an instrument and learn to play it.

5. Connect with nature – If you have access to a park or a beach, take some time to enjoy the natural beauty around you. A few minutes of walking or sitting outdoors can do magic for your mental health and well-being.

6. Make plans with friends and family – When it comes to relaxing, there aren’t too many better ways than with family and friends – those who love you. Schedule a movie night with friends, or a picnic in the park with family.

7. Leave work at work – After you finish for the day, do something to separate yourself from your job. Whether it’s setting an alarm for the time you decide to stop working, or using a certain phrase (like “it’s time to go home!”), find a way to remove yourself mentally and emotionally from work.

What does this mean? No checking emails on the train ride home, or researching patient-related topics before you’ve had time to decompress. What’s more, using tools like Iinsight will allow you to be more productive during the day and this can negate the need for productive hours after work.

8. Practice self-care – Use your downtime to do something that relaxes and refreshes you. Whether it’s a yoga class, reading a good book, going for a walk, or anything else that relaxes you and energizes you. Remember, everyone is different, so you need to find something that helps you to switch off and forget the day.

9. Make lists – If you struggle to switch off, making lists of things to do both at work and outside of work can help to clear your mind. This will prevent you from ruminating over the day’s events and enable you to focus on something more productive.