Leaving Work at Work

A 3 year-old girl hugs her Mommy after helping her put on a face mask before she leaves for work as a nurse, Indiana, USA

How to clock out mentally and emotionally after your workday

In the course of a single shift, healthcare professionals might witness the whole spectrum of human emotion, from sorrow to joy and everything in between.

The trouble is, it’s not always easy to leave those emotions behind when the shift is over. Here are a few simple rituals to help leave work where it belongs: at work.

Tip 1: End-of-day affirmation
No amount of worrying will change what happened during the day. Maintaining emotional boundaries between work and home life is critical for mental health, and regular affirmation statements can help. Before leaving for the day, remember to say: “I gave them my best. I deserve to rest.”

Tip 2: Un-scrub
Changing from work clothes to home clothes may seem like a simple thing, but it’s a powerful and tangible way to separate work time from relaxation time.

Tip 3: Scheduled decompression
For healthcare professionals working in a unit that’s emotionally draining, it’s important to set aside time to grieve, process, and decompress after a shift. That time can be during a commute or an after-work shower, or any other consistent time between work and home.

Looking for more ways to decompress after a stressful day? Explore practical wellness tips in our course, Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals.

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