After a tough day at work it can be easy to fall into the trap of taking out our stress on loved ones. So how do we stop work stress becoming home stress?
An article from the Harvard Business Review gives five handy tips to keep work stress out of your home:
- Confine your work to particular times and locations. Make a rule to work from home only in exceptional circumstances. If you work at home, don’t take your laptop to bed or use it on your couch. Work in an office or a specific workspace.
- Develop good mobile device habits. The average person now checks their phone 46 times per day, spending nearly five hours per day on mobile devices. Try not to check your work email in the hour or two prior to bed. Multiple studies have found that staring at a phone before bed can negatively impact your brain’s ability to prepare for sleep, and sleep deprivation is linked closely to stress.
- Establish a good support network. Develop a support network of friends and mentors who can help you manage your professional stress.
- Have an end-of-work habit. Sometimes your brain needs a signal to prepare you for time at home, like going to the gym. Think about what helps you unwind, and find space in your schedule for this habit.
- Create a third space. A third space is somewhere you can explore your interests, relax and seek fulfilment, outside of home and work. These spaces are different for everyone — quiet cafes, book clubs, trout streams, karate classes, poker nights — but they are important for maintaining our identities and our connections with others.
Get your sweat on!
Incorporating exercise into your day is another great way to de-stress and wind down. Exercise helps you clear your head and forget some of the day's irritations. Being active releases endorphins which boost your mood. It can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety.
Virtually any type of exercise can act as a stress reliever - it could be walking or biking home, jumping on the trampoline with your kids, or having a kick around at the park. At work, it could be a quick walk around the block, taking part in a lunch time yoga class, or walking to a meeting nearby (and saving parking hassles!)