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Career advice for mums: from career coach Anna Colebourne

I’m really struggling to switch off from work when I’m at home (which is exhausting, and isn’t fair to my family).

It doesn’t help that I’m continuously getting work emails on my phone.

Any advice to help me switch off?

The first thing I would say is you need to know your limits. No matter how much work you have, there are never enough hours in a day to achieve everything.

Accept that the world won’t end if you don’t finish something. You’re not a superhero. Just do your best, every day.

It is not possible to be the perfect wife, mother and business professional all the time. If you try to be this all the time, you will only exhaust yourself and make yourself ill.

Secondly, you can’t let your phone rule your life. Being available 24 hours, a day will only make you tired and less effective also for when you do really need to be on top form.

If you can, don’t be available outside your non-working hours and put off your work phone notifications. If this is not possible, put your phone on charge in another room. If someone wants to speak to you and it is urgent, they’ll call you – and you’ll hear it.

Thirdly try to identify if you are problem solving or ruminating. The former is good use of your time. Ruminating, however, involves thinking again and again about something without coming up with solutions or having any new insight.

If you are up all night or your mind is constantly firing off without rest, then something needs to be done. When ruminating, you tend to stay in a particular emotional state and you need to do something positive to change your negative thought patterns.

That’s why a hobby such as exercising, eating healthy food, listening to good music, or anything that can help you refocus your thought patterns to become more positive is going to be very helpful.

As a mother, you will probably have very little time. So if spending some quality time with the children relaxes you, do this instead.

Crucially, create a relaxing ritual that tells the brain that the working day is over. For example, getting changed and having a shower as soon as you arrive home signals to the brain that you have finished for the day. Undertaking household chores like washing up or cooking can also help – as long as you don’t usually see them as work!