Now that many of us have been working from home for 6 months to a year, we have things like our desk set-up and morning routine down. That being said, there are always stresses that come from the workday, and it can be difficult to successfully unwind when you physically can’t leave your workspace. More than 1 in 5 working Americans still struggle to get adequate rest since the onset of the pandemic, so finding rituals that promote sleep and relaxation is important as we continue a remote lifestyle.
How Can HR Professionals Help
HR staff and professionals can help their employees alleviate stress by providing resources around sleep hygiene and relaxation before bed. While anxiety management is an ongoing process, we’ve found that taking steps to reduce anxiety after work and before bed is a great place to start.
Below are a few tips HR professionals can share with employees to help them curate a post-work routine of relaxation.
Make a Plan
One of the most common causes of anxiety is the absence of a plan. When we don’t have a structure for our day, it becomes much easier for our brains to fill in the blanks with worst case scenarios that wear us down, making it harder to sleep and be productive.
Tip: Rather than letting your mind run all night, we suggest drafting a “next day to-do list.” By writing down a simple list in a notebook before bed, your anxieties have less room to wander. Even if the day doesn’t go exactly as planned, reflecting on your day will provide you with some structure to fall back on.
Anxiety tends to be a subconscious part of our minds that we aren’t aware of until bedtime. For many, right when you lay down is when your mind recalls all the tasks you couldn’t get to that day.
When you begin to feel the anxiety of the next day creeping up on you, it might be time to get introspective and turn to a journal.
Tip: Try journaling any anxieties to give your fears a name and take back control.
Meditation is a practice that centers your awareness on the present moment. Through breathing exercises, visualizations, and a deep attentiveness to your body, mind, and surroundings, meditation can help you develop a greater appreciation for day-to-day life and reduce depression and anxiety.
A study gathered two groups and trained one in sleep education and the other in mindfulness. After a six-week period, the group that was trained in mindfulness reported less insomnia, fatigue, and depression than the other group.
Tip: Incorporate some quiet breathing and meditation before you get into bed, to bring your heart rate down and quiet your thoughts.
Whatever bedtime ritual you choose to share, encourage employees to focus solely on the task without checking their phone or email. This step will help them successfully unplug from work and prepare their mind and body for sleep.
If your employees have been experiencing a lack of sleep due to the stresses of the pandemic or of life in general, consider sharing these healthy sleep hacks with them – their mind and body will thank you later!