7 Ways to Stop Bringing Work Stress Home

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Who among us, other than those of you living in some off the grid yurt or who hit it big on Win For Life, doesn’t struggle in striking that ideal work-life balance? The word balance even seems like a stretch, what with smartphones, Slack, and other tech that blur the line between office and regular life. It’s more like work-life triage. And, if we’re not careful the stress from deadlines, meetings, meet-ups, touch-bases, and meetings to discuss those meet-ups about touch-bases, can bleed into home life. Not a great look, considering that in the eyes of your family, you could transform into a grumpy, distracted, phubber who never stops working because work, work, work. The way to prevent this, then, is to construct positive post-work habits that enable you to cast away stress (or at least not let it ruin you) before you get home. Here, according to a few productivity experts, are some ways to do just that.

Take a “Mental Commute”

Sometimes the obvious answer is the toughest to put into practice. But, one of the best bits of advice is that, when your day is done, give yourself some time before your head out to separate from whatever stress is plaguing you at work. “Set an intention, tell yourself that you are going home and leaving work stress behind,” says mental health counselor Sena Moran. Moran coined the term “mental commute,” to describe this. “It really emphasizes to clients that just because they arrive home physically doesn’t mean they are truly present at home. They have to get home mentally as well, and this takes a conscious intention.” Whether it’s mindful breathing, relaxing music, or something else, the idea is to create a routine for disconnecting.

Unplug on the Way Home

Whether your commute is 15 minutes or 55 minutes, that can be time that you can use wisely to do things that will improve your mindset when you walk in the door. “I try to use my commute usually to have some ‘me’ time,” says Christopher Willard, Psy.D, a psychologist and the author of Growing Up Mindful and Raising Resilience. Willard listens to music, calls an old friend to catch up, or simply pays attention to how beautiful the drive is. “Practicing gratitude on the drive home to arrive in a better mood about what went well and who I appreciate at the office,” he says. “Hell, even doing some deep breathing on the commute, especially the last…

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