5 ways you can actually disconnect after work and reclaim your evening

May 13 2019, 6:08 pm

The late American writer Mark Twain once said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” And if you’re passionate about your career, chances are you wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

But what happens when work demands start to really eat into your personal time?

One in 10 Canadians spend more than 20 hours of their personal time on work every week, according to research by Leger Marketing, commissioned by French wine brand, Félix & Lucie. Ever cancelled plans with family or friends to meet work obligations? You’re not alone — 35% of salaried and self-employed Canadians have done the same thing.

However, almost half of Canadians (43%) believe that getting ahead at work requires work to be completed outside of typical work hours. Félix & Lucie want to change this idea, that’s why they’re challenging Canadians to take a “Day to Disconnect” on Wednesday, May 15. Here’s a look at five ways you can do that and reclaim your evening.

Enjoy a glass of wine with a friend

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that life can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s important to embrace the “joie de vivre,” which is a huge part of French culture. On May 15, why not meet a friend and reminisce about the good times as you sip upon a glass of wine? If you’re hosting at your place, go all out with a cheese board, too. Because, why not?

Catch up with family

When you’re constantly working, time seems to pass by more quickly. Weeks roll into months, and months into years. That’s why it’s important to savour your personal time and catch up with those closest to you. Maybe you’ve been putting off calling your mom or brother, and if so, May 15 is the perfect day to pick up the phone for a good chat. You may even make it a more regular thing from that point forward!

Read a good book

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When was the last time you sat down to read a book after work? The new Félix & Lucie research revealed that, in the last six months, 61% of salaried and self-employed Canadians have checked their work email in the evening, 61% have checked email on the weekend, and 27% have sent or received work-related emails after midnight.

In contrast, France introduced a law in 2017 that formalized the “right to disconnect,” reinforcing employees’ right to ignore business emails that arrive after work hours. During the upcoming Day to Disconnect, swap checking your emails for reading the book that’s been sitting on your bedside table waiting to be opened.

Soak in the bath (or at the spa)

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Taking time out to unwind after a long day is one of the best things you can do. Everyone needs some “me time” and having a relaxing bath is an easy way to do that. Don’t have a bath at home? No problem, you’re living in Toronto, after all. Why not head to your nearest gym or community centre to use the jacuzzi and steam room facilities? You’ll be surprised by how good you feel afterwards!

Watch a movie

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Félix & Lucie‘s research has revealed that the average salaried and self-employed Canadian is spending roughly eight hours per week doing work-related tasks outside of work hours — a full extra day of work! You can make a conscious effort to switch off on May 15 and instead, watch a movie that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. We suggest a solid rom-com. Netflix has a bunch that you can choose from like La La Land, The Perfect Date, and About Time.

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