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After a long day of work, it can be difficult to switch off mentally and truly relax. It’s important to take time for yourself and unwind in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance. We look at how women can switch off mentally after work and from their ‘always on’ lifestyle with women’s advocate Pinky Lilani (OBE, CBE).

We live in fast-moving times with a multitude of distractions competing for our attention. As a result, convenience has become the backbone of our ‘always on’ busy schedules and affects our ability to ‘switch off’. It’s tough to slow down when our lives are hectic and over-booked, but that’s exactly what we need to do to boost our well-being, says internationally acclaimed champion of women, Pinky Lilani (OBE, CBE). 

Female Founder of Women of the Future Programme Pinky Lilani OBE CBE

About Female Founder Pinky Lilani (OBE,CBE)

Pinky Lilani CBE DL CMgr CCMI, is an internationally acclaimed champion for women. She is the force behind the Women of the Future Programme, a portfolio of global events, projects and networks that support women and celebrate their talent and success.

The Women of the Future Programme events include: Women of the Future Awards, Summit and 50 Rising Stars in ESG, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and the Southeast Asia Awards.

Over the last 25 years, Pinky has worked hard to address issues on gender equality and diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

In 2018, she launched the 50 Leading Lights campaign, highlighting the value of kindness in business. The campaign has been a great success, shifting perceptions of “strong” leadership and in 2019 it launched in the Asia Pacific region.

Pinky has won several awards for her work and was listed as one of the “100 most powerful women in the UK” by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. She was also featured on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

Pinky is a Fellow of the GSA, a member of the board of Global Diversity Practice and the Character Project, University of Oxford. As well as being an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School, Patron of DIL, the Westminster Society and Frank Water.

She is an Ambassador for the Tiffany Circle of the Red Cross. In 2007, Pinky was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for services to charity and as Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), in 2015 for services to women in business.

Pinky Lilani is a food expert, author, motivational speaker and women’s advocate, who was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. She says that in addition to resetting, embracing values (including kindness) can also help you to feel energised to tackle any challenges head-on. Adopting this more considerate pace doesn’t mean that you can’t also be successful.

10 Ways To Switch Off Mentally After Work

Be kind

Pinky says: “Research shows that your brain releases feel-good chemicals when you undertake an act of kindness.

“Doing a selfless act helps others and it also gives your mind and body a boost. It’s easy to send a what’s app message or click the ‘like’ button on social media but why not take the time to write a kind note?

“Being kind does not need to be difficult or costly. Being kind can be as simple as listening to someone, showing an interest or simply smiling or saying hello to a stranger.

“We all have different assets so aim to be the best version of yourself. Don’t try to be somebody else.”

Practice mindfulness or meditation

Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to quiet your mind and focus on the present moment. They can also help reduce stress and anxiety.

“Be present and be grateful for the now rather than the pursuit for more,” says Pinky. “If you are content, you are king. Learn to enjoy the feeling of being present, this could be the sensation of a cup of coffee without distraction, or the sight of the sun emerging from the clouds.

Read a book in the evening

Reading is a great way to escape from reality and immerse yourself in a different world without screen time. Choose a book that you find enjoyable and relaxing. Likewise, when you’re at work, take time away from your desk and devices. Pinky says: “At work, instead of taking lunch breaks and switching off for an hour by going for a walk or to the pub with colleagues, we’re ‘always on,’ desk-bound and glued to screens.

“Even the pleasure of going to client sites for meetings has been replaced by the convenience of less sociable zoom and Skype meetings. These modern and sedentary ways of working make us more stressed. Get into the habit of taking your lunch break away from your desk and your device.”

Take a bath or shower

Taking a warm bath or shower can help you relax and unwind. Add some soothing essential oils or bath salts for an extra touch of relaxation.
“After a long day, it’s important to rest and refuel,” says Pinky. “Take time out to do things that help you unwind and bring you pleasure.”

Listen to calming music

Listening to calming music can help you relax and clear your mind. Choose music that you find soothing and peaceful.

Engage in a creative hobby

Trying something new and engaging in a creative hobby, such as painting or writing, can help you unwind and express yourself in a different way.

Pinky says: “Inject some excitement into your week by expanding your horizons. Ask yourself, when was the last time that you did something for the first time? Taking up new challenges or learning new skills can be daunting but it can also be thrilling.

“Get out of your comfort zone and meet people who are different from yourself. You may learn something new or be introduced to new opportunities. If you are shy when meeting new people, ask them about themselves and their life stories. Show your interest in others, it’s ok to let them lead the way.”

Spend time with loved ones

Spending time with loved ones can help you feel supported and connected. Schedule a phone call or meet up with a friend or family member.

Pinky says ‘it’s good to talk’: “Remember those BT adverts ‘It’s good to talk’ promoting the therapeutic benefits of talking? In modern times, this has been replaced with instant messages.

“Also, our leisure time is taken up by catching up on social media, again this doesn’t have the same health benefits as meeting people in person. The deeper conversations gained from talking and meeting people in person allows you to de-stress and reconnect with the people in your life.

“Turn to people to help you on your journey. Remember that it’s ok that you can’t do everything. Focus on what you do well and surround yourself with others who can do what you can’t do. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness.”

Practice yoga or stretching

Yoga or stretching can help release tension from your body and promote relaxation. Try some gentle yoga poses or stretches to help you unwind.

Get outdoors and exercise

Exercise is a great way to clear your mind and release any tension from the day. A brisk walk or jog can help you feel refreshed and energised.

Pinky says ‘get outdoors’: “New isolating habits of binge TV watching (thanks to Netflix and Amazon Prime and Disney +), exercising indoors (at-home gyms, pelotons, online classes) and even working from home (exacerbated by the pandemic) has led to less time outdoors in nature and in natural sunlight which is imperative for good health.

“Being outdoors raises our spirits and vitality.  Going outdoors is also an opportunity to disconnect in a way that’s truly rejuvenating. Next time you go for a walk, switch off the phone, no beeps, bells or texts. It will feel decadent.”

Get a good night’s sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

It’s important to take time for yourself and switch off mentally after work. Experiment with these ten ways to unwind after a hard day to find what works best for you and make it a part of your daily routine. Prioritising self-care can help you feel more energised and productive in the long-run.

Pinky Lilani is just one of the experts speaking and sharing her wisdom at the forthcoming Niroshini Luxury Transformative retreat. The all-women retreat focuses on enabling personal empowerment and balanced well-being with tailor-made treatments and time for each small group of women to bond.

The women-only retreat takes place at the stunning Butley Priory in Suffolk, from 22-25 May 2023. To book your slot, visit:


  • Jennifer Read-Dominguez

    Jennifer Read-Dominguez is founder of The Women's Journal and a digital editorial director with over ten years experience in the media and publishing industry. Jennifer has led the digital transformation strategies for many market-leading lifestyle magazines putting SEO and e-commerce at the forefront. She is also founder of Jeneration Public Relations - a UK digital-first public relations and communications consultancy that provides strategic coverage for clients.

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