One of the most difficult challenges of a demanding profession, especially one that requires long hours of intense concentration, is being able to leave work behind after a shift. However, downtime is crucial to better managing stress and avoiding burnout. Creating a time of transition, when you get home and before diving into any of the chores that await our attention — paying bills, making a meal, doing laundry — can go a long way to creating a buffer between work and the rest of life.

Let’s call it finding the still point in a turning world: time to sit, relax and let the work wash away. I find music helps create such a conducive atmosphere. To that end, I curated an After-Shift Chill playlist, featuring a genre known as Lo-Fi Beats, instrumental compositions by musicians working at the intersection of hip-hop and jazz. I hope you find it as helpful to zoning out as I do.

So, kick your shoes off, pour yourself a glass of vino or a cup of warm tea, put your feet up and let the music help you find that much needed stillness.

—Jack Sonni, writer, musician and food lover, known as the “other guitar player” in Dire Straits


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