5 Ways To Unplug From Work

woman at her laptop at night

Struggling to create space for self-care amidst a busy work schedule? We’ve all been there.

For Latinos, balancing work and personal life can present unique challenges. The pressure to succeed and meet demanding deadlines can be overwhelming, especially if we see work as more than just a job - for many, it’s a part of their identity, culture, and pride. And while this can be a powerful motivator, it can also blur the boundaries between work and personal life, making it difficult to switch off.

A healthier workplace means a more productive one, so let's dive into five effective ways to prioritize self-care, unwind, and recharge. Hopefully, you'll be on your way to thriving in all areas of your life - not just the workplace.

Establish clear boundaries

One effective way to do this is by setting a specific time to end work each day and sticking to it. This could mean shutting down your computer or turning off your work phone at a specific time each evening, and committing to not checking work-related emails or taking calls during your free time.

By doing so, you'll create a clear divide between work and personal time, allowing you to fully switch off and recharge. Remember, establishing clear boundaries is not a selfish act, but rather a necessary one for both your personal and professional growth.

Engage in physical activities

It's time to get moving! Engaging in physical activities like walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming can be a great way to unwind.

Exercise has been proven to be an effective stress reliever, as it releases endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" chemicals. In addition to reducing stress levels, regular physical activity can improve your overall health by strengthening your muscles and bones, boosting your immune system, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

So, whether it's a leisurely stroll in nature or a fun Zumba workout, make time for physical activity in your daily routine. Even a little bit of exercise can go a long way in improving your mood and overall well-being.

Pursue a hobby

Engaging in activities that you enjoy, such as reading, painting, cooking, gardening, or playing a musical instrument, can be a great way to redirect your focus away from work and promote relaxation.

Hobbies offer a much-needed mental escape from the stresses of daily life, allowing you to unwind and recharge your batteries. They also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, as you develop new skills and engage in activities that bring you joy.

Whether it's getting lost in a good book, creating a beautiful painting, or tending to a garden, make time for your hobbies. Not only will they improve your mental health and well-being, but they can also boost your creativity and problem-solving skills, making you more productive and effective at work.

Spend time with friends and family

Catching up over dinner, going on a weekend getaway, or simply spending time together at home, prioritize making time for socializing with your loved ones. It's easy to get caught up in the demands of work and let relationships take a backseat, but research shows that social support is crucial for our mental health and resilience.

By taking the time to connect with the people who matter most, you'll feel more supported, happier, and better equipped to handle the challenges of daily life. So, put down your phone, step away from the computer, and make time for those important connections.

Take a break

If you're feeling overwhelmed and unable to take a full vacation, consider taking a mental health day to recharge and reset. This could mean spending the day doing something you enjoy, like reading a book, taking a yoga class, or simply relaxing at home.

Remember, taking a break is not a sign of weakness but a necessary component of self-care. It allows you to disconnect from the stresses of daily life, prioritize your well-being, and return to work feeling more focused and productive.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a tropical beach vacation or a staycation in your own city, just make time to prioritize your well-being and take a break. You deserve it!

a four image collage featuring queer actresses MJ Rodriguez, Aubrey Plaza, Tessa Thompson and Sara Ramirez

Amid the ongoing push towards equality and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, the influence of public figures who identify as part of this community is undeniably crucial. They contribute to this narrative significantly, their impact transcending their professional boundaries to create safe spaces and ignite discussions that shatter stereotypes and nurture inclusivity. Today, we shine a spotlight on four prominent Latina trailblazers who are making their mark:

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson, an Afro-Panamanian actress, has earned widespread recognition for her performances in films like "Creed" and "Thor: Ragnarok". Thompson is open about her bisexuality and uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ representation in the entertainment industry. Her role in "Thor: Ragnarok" is considered a landmark as Valkyrie is one of the first explicitly queer characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the explicitness of Valkyrie's bisexuality was contested in the cinematic release, Thompson has confirmed and embraced this aspect of the character. Thompson continues to champion diversity in media, raising the bar for representation in Hollywood.

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza, of Puerto Rican and Irish descent, is widely known for her role as April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation". Plaza publicly came out as bisexual in 2016, and she has since been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. By openly discussing her bisexuality, she has helped increase visibility and eliminate the stigma associated with non-heterosexual orientations. Additionally, her portrayal of queer characters, like in the film "Happiest Season", provides much-needed representation and adds to the authenticity of LGBTQ+ characters in media.

Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez, a Mexican-American actress, singer, and activist, is best known for her role as Dr. Callie Torres on "Grey's Anatomy". Ramirez, who identifies as non-binary and bisexual, has been a tireless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Their portrayal of Dr. Torres, one of the longest-running queer characters on television, has significantly influenced the way bisexuality is understood and depicted in popular media. Off-screen, Ramirez is heavily involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy, serving on the board of organizations like True Colors United, which works to combat homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth.

MJ Rodriguez

MJ Rodriguez, of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, has made history as a trailblazer for transgender individuals, particularly in the world of television. Rodriguez's groundbreaking role as Blanca Evangelista on "Pose" earned her critical acclaim and marked a significant milestone for trans representation on screen. Rodriguez is open about her identity as a trans woman, leveraging her platform to call attention to issues affecting the transgender community. Her achievements, both as an actress and activist, provide a beacon of hope and inspiration for transgender individuals worldwide.

Through their activism and their work in the media, these prominent figures are not only changing the conversation around LGBTQ+ rights and representation but also shaping a more inclusive and accepting future. In honoring their contributions, we also acknowledge the progress still needed and the ongoing efforts of countless others in the fight for equality and acceptance.