Just a couple of decades ago, leaving work meant that you were really done for the day, and could spend the evening doing whatever you pleased. However, with modern technology being the norm now, many people find it difficult to actually switch off when they leave work, which has a hugely detrimental impact on mental health.

Stress and Depression
The inability to switch off after work has been strongly linked to chronic stress and depression. In addition to this, a study carried out on the topic discovered that a quarter of employees tended to neglect their social life in order to keep up with work, which is another contributing factor to the stress and depression that comes with this, as a social life is extremely important in combatting both.

Practising mindfulness can have a huge effect on your ability to switch off, while lowering your stress levels at the same time. This is a form of meditation that is extremely easy to do, and does not take long at all. Simply sit cross-legged on the floor, or on a straight back chair, and focus on a single aspect of your breathing, whether this may be the way in which your stomach rises and falls with each breath, or the sensation you feel as air flows in and out of your nose. Once your concentration has been narrowed, begin widening your focus to everything else around you, from sounds to ideas. If your mind starts to race, narrow your focus once again to just your breathing, and start over. It usually takes about 20 minutes for the mind to settle, but the longer you are able to do this for, the better the results will be.

Woman using phone in bed

A chronic lack of sleep can be extremely damaging, leading to everything from obesity to premature aging, and even early mortality. Those who find it difficult to switch off after work also tend to suffer from sleep deprivation, which is why this is another area that you need to fix. Although unplugging is far easier said than done, this is something that you should be literally doing in your bedroom, as the blue light produced from screens suppresses the production of melanin within your body, keeping you awake for longer.

Get a Hobby
A hobby gives your mind something else to occupy itself with, and is a great way to help yourself switch off after work. Often, the way in which a person makes use of the conscious side of their brain when carrying out a hobby allows the creative, intuitive side to really flow, and this could even lead to you thinking up of solutions to the work problems that have been occupying your mind, all without even trying.

While you may think that you are getting more done by working after-hours at home, the added stress, depression and anxiety that will come with this will also have an effect on your productivity levels. If you really want to be as productive as possible, you need to learn how to switch off and unplug, giving your mind some time to relax.