How To Quickly Switch Off After Work

Sometimes high performers have a hard time “turning off” after work. This is a lot more than just a choice, though.

That’s because “switching on” and “switching off” actually engage different parts of our nervous system, and it must upregulate and downregulate systems body-wide to make that transition.

And that takes a little work and some time.

Check out today’s video to learn the most effective and fastest biohack I use to make that transition – no special skills or products required.


Many of the high performers I know are struggling with being able to turn-off after work, when it’s time to hang out with their friends, family, and significant others, they’re finding themselves perpetually in that keyed up work mode. Hi, I’m Kristin Jekielek creator of Resilience Productivity. Now when people come to me talking about having a difficult time turning off after work at night, it takes a little bit of conversation to really understand what’s going on for each person. Some people are looking for a greater sense of presence with the people that they care about.

Other people find themselves continuously thinking about work in the background. Others have this keyed up feeling of being on and they don’t know how to switch off to get into their relaxed mode, the mode that feels more like themselves, the self that they want their family and friends to get to know and get to spend time with. So the first thing to realize is that you’re not alone if you’re struggling with this. In fact, it’s becoming more common as there’s more pressure put on us at work to be more productive more of the time.

It’s actually really difficult for humans to switch modes like this because we’re actually engaging different parts of our nervous system. When we’re in that “on,” high pressure stressed out mode, we’re actually activating something called the sympathetic nervous system in the body. And when the workday is over and it’s time for us to get to socialize and relax, we actually need to do two things.

We need to, one, downgrade the response of the sympathetic nervous system, because that’s our stress fight or flight response we’re engaging during the work day. And the second thing we need to do is engage the body’s natural rest and digest response. That’s that good feeling, relaxed, chilled-out getting to feel like that switch is off sensation, that state of being that’s called the parasympathetic nervous system in the body, okay, and they are complimentary, but most of us are pretty good at being able to turn down the stress response in the body after work, we’re good at not feeling stressed anymore, but we’re missing that additional step of turning on the body’s relaxation mode.

So if you’re struggling with this transition from keyed up at work to relaxed in your personal life, my number one tip for you is to build in a short little transition routine for yourself. Don’t expect yourself to instantly switch off at the end of the day, acknowledge that it might take 5 to 15 minutes for you to transition between that state of being. The fastest way I’ve ever found to make that transition to feeling good and relaxed after an intense day of work is to simply sit and breathe for several minutes.

Set a timer for yourself, start with 5 minutes, allow yourself maybe up to 15 minutes where you simply sit. And every time your mind wanders away to work or to stressful thoughts, you don’t judge it, you don’t get mad at yourself, you simply bring that awareness back to your breath, and the work is actually the practice of noticing your thoughts and choosing to focus them elsewhere, that’s the real work that you’re doing, and by focusing on your breath this way you’re going to do the work of calming down the stress response, and also increasing your relaxation response. The more you do it, the better you’re going to get it at as well.

So today’s tip is to allow for a short transition period between work and personal life. And make that a time where you find somewhere to just sit and observe your thoughts, and continue to repeatedly choose to focus on your breath.

That work of choosing where you focus your brain, even if you have to do it over and over and over again, combined with focusing on your inhalations and exhalations is going to get you pretty far along the way to feeling more relaxed after work.

If you try this tip, I want to hear about how it goes for you. It does take a little bit of practice, and a little bit of work, and sometimes a little bit of feedback from someone who has done this before to really figure out the best way to do it for you.

So, I want to hear about it. How’d it go for you?

Thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you next time.

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