Work can cause stress that lingers on beyond your working hours. Since stress can cause damaging health effects, it’s in everyone’s best interest to de-stress after work. People who de-stress after work can put themselves in a happier, more productive place. Of course, the energy sapped from a long day of work can prompt negative thoughts upon arriving home. Still, some methods help combat negative energy and lingering work stress.
Expel Negative Energy Before Arriving Home
There’s no instantaneous on/off switch for work-related stress. Even a resolved situation can lead to second-guessing and resulting stress. For situations where lingering stress is imminent, strive to expel negative energy before arriving home. Stress-expelling tasks include going to the gym, getting your grocery shopping done, going to happy hour with friends or anything that takes you out of work mode without the comparatively quiet state of the home, where boredom can prompt negative thoughts and make the process to de-stress after work more difficult.
Go for a More Relaxing Commute
The commute to and from work is a necessary evil, though it doesn’t have to be that bad. Create a playlist with lush, positive music for public transportation or drives home. If on public transit, use the time for taking deep breaths or reading a book, tasks that can help take your mind off a busy day. Additionally, you can use lavender oil on your hands and neck to help relax.
Make Dinner Ahead of Time
The sheer prospect of having to make dinner or pick something up can add stress to an already stressful day. Avoid this feeling by preparing for dinner ahead of time. Choose a day during the week where you have the time to prepare a meal or two in bulk, frozen or refrigerated for future convenience. Alternatively, you can use a crock pot and prepare the recipe before work, putting the crockpot on low as it cooks the ingredients for hours. When you arrive home, you will have a delicious and hot meal ready to eat. Comfort food and already prepared food are great at alleviating stressful thoughts.
Wash up and Change When Arriving Home
Your work clothes are a reminder of a stressful day. Try to bathe and change quickly upon arriving home, so you can feel refreshed after a shower or long, relaxing bath. At the very least, wash your hands. A University of Michigan study found that hand-washing can improve feelings of doubt regarding the day’s tasks. Better yet, choose soaps and washes with a comforting smell, like lavender, chamomile or sandalwood.
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A busy day can make you forget about hydration. When you’re so bogged down in work, you can forget to take sips of water. Dehydration can cause irritability and stress, so make sure that you drink enough water or you may react to situations in a way that causes additional stress. Keeping a filled water bottle at your desk each day, so you can still take sips during intense work sessions, is one way to keep hydrated consistently.
Especially if your job consists of ample sitting, stretching exercises or yoga can increase blood flow and improve your mood as a result. Whether it’s a full-on yoga session or a simple series of stretches, stretching can help relieve muscle tension and improve relaxation. The feeling of a good stretch can be comparable to a great massage while being much cheaper and more accessible.
Relieving your work stress before or shortly upon arriving home is crucial to enjoying your well-deserved time away from work. Stress management is a major component of general health, so using these tips to help alleviate stress after work is over can lead to a longer, happier and more serene life.
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