When coming to the decision to work from home, you probably envisioned all of the benefits of staying home all day and thought, ‘What could be better?’

When weighing out the pros and cons to working from home, did you forget to take into consideration that you’re a bona fide workaholic?

Just because your laptop is with you 24/7 doesn’t mean you should always be on it. If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t really know how to relax, then let’s go to relaxation rehab and together we’ll learn how to PULL THE PLUG— at least, once in a while.

Rehab Rule # 1 – Read Fiction

read fiction

If the only books you read to wind down at the end of the day are business books, then technically, you aren’t winding down. You’re still working, that’s right, albeit in a thoroughly enjoyable way.

I’m not saying to disengage from working by reading the tabloids or mindless junk in your social media news feeds which is why I specified fiction, and I’m referring to non-factual literary works of art. Something that takes you back in time or to a far away place and arouses your imagination.

I tried this form of escapism with a book called The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert last year, which was actually pretty good but I unfortunately left my copy of it on an airplane before I could finish it. I’ve also been reading an exciting book which covers a theory of the correlation between the Orion Constellation and the construction of the Giza Pyramids. That’s called The Orion Mystery by Adrian Gilbert and Robert Bauval and you could argue that it’s non-fiction but it’s full of educated guessing and mystery, and it’s been quite fun to let the imagination run wild to. I’ve had the book for over 6 months and am only getting closed to finishing it now because I only indulge in it now and then.

But those are examples of what not to do with your fiction. Don’t lose your fictional books and read them fast, for the more fiction you read the more full you’ll have.

Rehab Rule # 2 – Put A Buffer Between “Quitting Time” and Housework

Take a walk, call a friend, listen to you child’s stories about the events of his or her day. Unwind before moving on to your next set of duties, which brings me to this next point.

Rehab Rule # 3 – Take Real Breaks

don't do chores during your break and relax

It’s good for your circulation, joints, eyes and more. But take heed- getting up to do laundry, wash dishes, or mow the lawn is not a real break. Yes, it’s productive and yes, it’s often necessary. I’m  the last person to suggest you slack off for too long and know that realistically this may not even happen every day. Or maybe, your real break may not often happen during official work hours. But especially for those of us whose only responsibility is not work, we need to purposely take the pressure off here and there to stay at our best. You may choose to stretch, look out the window, pray, meditate, or catch some sun. 15-20 minutes at a time will do, and you’ll be happy you did.

Rehab Rule # 4 – Have A Hobby

Even one that has no potential for making you money. If it’s fun and mastering it brings you pleasure, that’s enough! I promise it’s not waste a time and indulging in with moderation is OK. In a way, by doing so, you are boosting your professional capabilities. Having the patience and discipline to learn to become the best artist, dancer, engine re-builder, weight-lifter – whatever- you can be- is going to increase your self esteem and creativity ten-fold. And who knows where your passion can take you….uh-oh…there’s that workaholic creeping in again…

Rehab Rule #5 – Do Nothing

How to relax when you work from home

Some people are really good at this and doing nothing comes natural to them. But you, my friend, weren’t born with that gift so you much teach yourself: learn to relax.

Challenge yourself. For just one minute, can you try to just sit there and stare into space, letting no thought enter your mind,  simply breathing and enjoying being alive? If you dare, you can allow one exception to enter into this moment of stillness, and that’s thankfulness. Because if you’re reading this right now, you probably have a lot to be thankful for.

Did this article help you to decompress just a little? Are you ready to lighten up? Please leave your feedback in the comments and include things you’ve done to slow done when you’ve spent a little too long in the work-at-home fast lane.