By the time many of us are ready to leave work each day, we’re often so stressed and tired that the only thing we’re looking forward to is hitting the sack. While for some that may actually be possible, for most, the end of work means the beginning of more work – driving the kids to practice, making dinner, paying the bills, etc.
Though expecting to leave work stress-free in the best of moods every day isn’t always realistic, a change in your routine after you head out the door may help to lift your spirits.
You can start by leaving work on the right foot, with nothing in hand except your empty lunch bag. By leaving work at work as often as you can, your daily stresses are less apt to follow you home. Along the same lines, when you get home, place your briefcase or work bag by the door, in a basket or wooden box, where you can grab it on your way out the next day. In other words, you shouldn’t have to pick it up before then.
After leaving your work at the door, give yourself at least a few minutes to take a deep breath. Before hitting the kitchen to get dinner on the table or rushing to put your workout clothes on to head to the gym, it’s beneficial to take a moment to clear your mind of the stresses of work.
Another way to release work stress is to follow a daily routine that is relaxing. Things like sitting down to talk to your kids about their days will take you out of work mode and into home mode. If you choose something you truly enjoy, you’ll look forward to it.
If a messy desk at work bugs you during the day, a messy house is bound to irk you when you walk in. To avoid this problem, take five minutes before going to bed each night to pick up a bit. This way you won’t have to walk into your comfort zone feeling out of control and annoyed.
If household chores seem to haunt you each week, design a cleaning schedule that allows you do one chore a night. If you eliminate the pressure of feeling like you have to get it all done in one night, you’ll feel more relaxed during the week. Another option is to get rid of the stress of weekday chores is to set aside time on the weekends to do them.
And we mustn’t forget the benefits of music when it comes to unwinding after work. If your commute is long enough, pop in a book on tape or listen to your favorite jams. If you’re enjoying listening, you’re bound to be in a better mode even before you pull into your driveway. Once you’re at home, listening to a tune or two while cooking, paying bills, or doing the laundry can make your chores more fun.
Though you may not be able to completely avoid stress during your day at work, one thing you can do is try to minimize it when the workday is over. Give yourself a break at the end of the day and you’ll likely find a whole lot more enjoyment will follow.