5 Steps to a Successful Job Detox

Leaving full-time employment is a big change and often requires a “job detox” in order to get you ready for what’s next in your life and career. This article suggests five things you can do for a successful job detox.

Life changing events, including divorce or marriage, require an ongoing emotional adjustment process. Leaving full-time employment is no exception.

1. Accept more time for yourself

While you were working, you would have spent most of your time focused on others and the organization you worked for. But now you have the time to think about what you want. Accept this as a gift. Kick back, prepare a cup of joe (or tea), and just…be. This precious time will help you figure out what experiences you may have missed while you were employed. Then you can take the necessary steps to begin capturing (or, re-capturing) some of those experiences. This is also a good time to create a “Lessons Learned” list where you write down all you learned about yourself and others during your years of employment. This can prove helpful in your next phase of life, whatever that may be.

2. Create a gratitude list

And speaking of lists, during the first phase of retirement, try also creating a gratitude list. Even though this is one of the easiest rituals you can do, it can give life to a large number of benefits in the long run. A gratitude list can set the tone for the coming weeks by elevating your feelings and sharpening your perspective. Ironically, it is during times of severe irritation that gratitude lists can have the most beneficial impact. Even fake it, if necessary. Begin writing what you are thankful for (even for waking up alive this morning) and, over time, the “intention/reality” connection will form.

3. Meditate

You have been dealing with various stressors for decades and n ow it is the perfect time for you to decompress. Daily meditation can help. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, help you get a better night’s sleep, and even relieve pain (mind over matter? Yup!). Putting just 10 minutes aside each day to clear your mind and open yourself to the universe will bring renewal to your soul and body. Start small. Find a quiet place and just focus on your breathing and how your body moves with each breath. Go easy on yourself when your mind wanders. That’s normal. Gently call yourself back to your breath and start again. It gets easier with time.

4. Attend to your health

Busy schedules and work demands have a way of nudging out healthy eating and exercise. For example, you may have resorted to junk food for long periods of time, and found yourself scarfing down lunches in order to get back to work. Now you have time to explore the best ways to optimize your health and well-being. Stretch when you wake up, get outside, drink lots of water. Long walks with loved ones is a great first step. Visit your doctor, have a check-up, make a plan, and start some better practices. Few investments return better than those related to your health.

5. Help others with your expertise and experience

Throughout your years of full-time work, you have accumulated tons of expertise and experience. Now it is the perfect time for you to share the career assets you have accumulated with others in need. You can easily do this through volunteering for a cause you believe in, taking on a big project you know needs doing, or even starting a side business based on the expertise and experience you’ve accumulated.

The point is you now have another opportunity to re-design your life and career based on your own values and your passions. The successful job detox provides a clearing for new possibilities to emerge. Go for it!