When you’ve had a tough day at the office, or when you are unhappy in your workplace in general, it can be easy to bring your work stress home. Leaving the office feeling stressed and coming home in a bad mood can lead you to take this stress out on your family, and be generally unpleasant to be around. To ensure that your workplace stress is not affecting your life at home and to help you maintain a strong work-life balance, it is important to take the time to be intentional about leaving stress at the office after a long day. If coming home stressed due to a toxic work environment is a recurring issue, it might be time to find another job, or talk to your employer about workplace wellness or look into workplace Health & Safety Training.
Here are 3 tips for leaving stress at the office after a long day.
After a long day full of stress, enjoy some “me time” on your drive home. Whether your commute is 10 minutes or 2 hours long, use it to unwind while spending time with yourself. Listen to your favorite music that puts you in a good mood or take the time to catch up on an episode of your favorite podcast. If taking a break from technology helps you, use your commute home to silence your phone and have some tech-free time before you get home. Whatever your preference, try your best to ensure that the time you spend on your drive home is spent doing anything but ruminating on the stressful day you just endured, so you will be in a better mood before arriving home to your family.
Set and stick to firm rules regarding how much (if any) work you will do outside of office hours once you are home. If you work a job that does not require you to do any work outside of the office, don’t even bring your work laptop home. Be mindful of how much you think about work at home, and try not to do any additional work outside of the office, even if it would help you get ahead. If your job does require you to be available outside of normal office hours, set boundaries with your employer and clients and designate hours in which you are available, and do not budge.
When you have a lot on your mind, especially regarding work, it can be hard to unwind and sleep at night. When you are tired at work, you cannot be your most productive and will spend the workday and beyond in a bad mood, then get home and feel stress, which might result in difficulty sleeping. Setting firm boundaries as mentioned above will help you break this cycle, so your mind will not be focused on work before bed. In the meantime, limit your technology usage and conversations about work an hour before bed, and do something relaxing right before you sleep, like taking a bath or watching a comfort show.
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