7 Ways to unwind after a shift

Time is precious. The quicker we can unwind after a full or challenging shift, the quicker we can enjoy the beautiful personal time with ourselves. Try these 7 strategies:

1.       Start in your car.

You are free to take a minute before you drive off. Meditate, shed a tear or do some box breathing. Just a few minutes, may be what you need to transition from “Work mode” to “Personal life”. Also, stopping off at a park/beach/cafe/gym on the way home. Having a safe space to just walk around an oval, on your own agenda, observe the sights or have a swing on the play equipment can help to release worries and gain perspective before it’s time to step into your role within your family.

2.       Vent it.

Even just talking through your thoughts in the car on your own, can help you reflect and make sense of a hectic day. Using reflective questions such as:

  • What did I do?

  • Where there contributing factors involved?

  • What could I do different next time?

3.       Call up.

Just a quick phone call to your loved one, mum, sibling, best friend or even better… nurse friend. Just asking questions like… Am I being too hard on myself? Am I tired and drained? Will this issue matter tomorrow, next week, month, year ect? Bonus points for carpooling with your nurse friend. If something big comes up, and you need to talk to someone. Call Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria on 9415 7551, or, Nurse and Midwives Support 24/7 hotline on 1800 667 877.

4.       Move through it.

Releasing the anger in a boxing class, a burpee, or a bicep curl, really is cheap therapy. Try visualizing the situation/person on the end of the bar bell as you pick it up off the ground and put it back down again. Physical exertion can change your state.

5.       Look up.

It is easy and convenient to tune out with social media, the internet, TV ect. Though simply doing anything but escaping into technology. Like going to the park, playing with your pet, read a book, a magazine, even housework can be therapeutic. Have a bath, burn a candle, pump some music and diffuse some oils. Then go and catch up because you want to, not because you are relying on that drama to make you feel better.

6.       Get outside.


The old saying that goes “No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” is true. Getting outside and just observing your surroundings, the beauty of nature can really provide perspective. Perhaps even a realization that your problems are not YOUR problems.

7.       Get soaked.

Yes, there is something figurative about getting out of your uniform, into the shower or bath and using water to wash away the day. Visualize all the situations or energy being sucked down the drain. Take it to the next level by giving yourself a dry body brush, or rub some coconut oil with a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

By Amy Benn

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