No matter what we all do professionally, we must all make a habit and know how to leave work at work, these 8 tips can help!
I know I am not the only one that has made the terrible mistake of bringing my work frustrations home and lashing out of everyone in sight.
Irritability, stress, anger, anxiety and tiredness all weigh heavily on us when we do not correctly de-compress from work. The purpose of the post is to learn how to empty your cup before you leave work.
What happens when you do not leave work at work?
Mindfulness is your ability to take time and listen to your body and mind and be in that present moment.
When you practice mindfulness you are more likely to think before you react in stressful situations, more likely to foster positivity in the future and be attuned to your body’s needs.
When mindfulness is practiced successfully, one should be able to focus better and not be afraid of stress because they now know how to cope with it.
There are different ways you can practice mindfulness, one of my favorites is to stay in the car a little longer when you arrive home. Sit in silence in your car, shut your eyes and be in the moment.
Relax your shoulders, breath (I recommend Insight Timer app) and think about how the negativity will stay outsides as you walk inside your home.
When one does not practice mindfulness they are more likely to create tension and negativity into the home environment thereby causing turmoil within the family.
It is dangerous when the home environment becomes negative because one is unable to fully relax and listen to what the body needs. If work is taken home and the lines become blurred between personal and professional life, burnout and exhaustion will result.
Isolation, anxiousness, anger, and nervousness are also a result of consistently taking work or work related stress home. When you do not practice separating work from home you will increase your likelihood of physical, mental and emotional illness.
Now that you know why it is important to separate home and work life, let me help out with information that will help you form this good habit.
8 Tips for leaving work at work:
Stay In The Car
I spoke of this above, but to reiterate: give yourself a moment to see where you are and what you need. Finish listening to the song on the radio or turn it off and sit in silence.
Be realistic! Is there any way you can resolve your issue tonight? Will it stress you out or create anxiety if you continue to think of it?
At minimum do not let your job/career have space in your mind and time that they are not paying for.
Speak About What Happened At Work, At Work
Especially within my field, it is incredibly important to “staff” or speak with a supervisor about how a client or your day has gone. Speaking with co-workers could also help alleviate stress through a quick vent session.
There is nothing wrong with informing our family that you had a rough day at work and need a few extra moments to gather yourself. This fore-warns everyone that you are not ready to hear bad news, what needs to be done or anything stressful at the moment.
I believe it is a good idea in general to make it a habit to allow yourself to change into comfortable clothing or shower before bombarding yourself with responsibilities.
Take A Shower
While in the shower assess where you are. Do you need to think about what happened at work one last time? This is your chance to do it. Be okay with not finding the answer to your stress. Instead of worrying about what you can do tomorrow live out today (or tonight in this case).
One of the best ways to blow off some steam (aka stress) is to burn energy! Its a two in one activity: you get to focus your mind elsewhere while getting healthy.
Physical exercise has many benefits for your mental: reducing stress, increasing concentration, increasing endorphins being released by the brain (endorphins take pain away and increase ability to sleep aka relax).
Read, Write Or Draw
Often used in therapy, forms of art can be extremely beneficial to your mental health. [Get Art Therapy ideas here].
Reading will allow your mind to travel elsewhere and live within another world where your problems do not matter or do not exist.
Writing will allow you to vent within a journal and organize your thoughts. Drawing distracts you and allows you to turn your brain off and allow your hands to move effortlessly.
Speak To Your Spouse
Sometimes your spouse can allow you to see your situation in a different light. They may also be able to give advice and guidance for how to resolve the issue.
If nothing else, your spouse may be able to alleviate some of your stress, by helping with your responsibilities at home or allowing you a moment to yourself before informing you of any new information.
Know When To Get Help
At times the continuous thoughts of work and “never being off” will wear on your mind and body. Some people fall into depression, have increased anxiety, reduced ability to get adequate sleep and may increase irritability.
When one begins to notice depressive symptoms or any of the other symptoms listed it may be time to take a mental health day or may constitute seeing your doctor.
You could also use these tips to help you get over the fear of going to therapy!
Know Your Triggers And WArning Signs
Lastly be sure to know your triggers and warning signs. When I am bringing my work home, my husband will tell me “you must have had a rough day” and I immediately know that I have an attitude, wearing my day inside the home, or creating tension.
Physically, I will get a migraine or will not be able to sleep due to work related stress. I began to investigate why and noticed that I frequently took home work. I would take my laptop home to finish client notes and ensure documents were imported in time.
I would think about something a client told me and wonder if I responded correctly to it (and more than likely I would stay up researching it. I had to learn that I was no good at work or home by blending the two.
The most important thing to remember out of all the information above is to take care of yourself. We have all heard it before “your job will replace you within a week”.
Do you really want to stress yourself out, stress your family or be on constant edge for a job that can survive with or without you?
I always encourage individuals to take a sick day and just relax with some take out. No responsibilities and no need to plan to do anything just BE.