Stress at work is something that not only affects your performance and productivity, it can also carry over to your personal life when you get home.
According to the survey Attitudes in the American Workplace VII, 80% of people feel stress from their jobs. Among the main causes of workplace stress include deadlines, juggling work and personal life, dealing with coworkers, and problems that come up on the job.
For this reason, it is important to be able to know how to de-stress and relax after you’ve left your office. This lets you enjoy quality time with your family and prevent getting burned out as well.
So how do you undo the effects of stress, so you can relax and enjoy quality time at home? Here are 7 simple things you can incorporate into your after-work schedule.
1. Leave Work at the Office
Many of us have the habit of bringing our work home. This can be in the form of files and folders. Or, by thinking and planning about your next project. In both cases, you’re bringing work and all its stresses home with you.
Instead, try closing out each office workday by making tomorrow’s to-do list. This lets your mind relax more and lets you get away from work afterward since you’ve already planned tomorrow’s schedule.
By setting work aside, you’re able to enjoy more quality time with yourself and your family. It also allows your mind to reboot and prepare itself for the next day. This helps reduce stress and prevents you from burning out.
2. Unplug from Your Devices
With the digital age, we’ve become attached to our smartphones, laptops and mobile devices. Unfortunately, research shows that too much digital screen time increases stress.
Make no mistake, these devices are very useful. They can also entertain and help keep your mind off your stresses. But, looking at your screen for too long can be harmful.
Additionally, a British study found that constantly checking your phone also causes more stress.
3. Get Some Exercise
Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do after a long day at work. But, your body will thank you after. You’ll not only feel better after your workout, you’ll also have more energy to enjoy the rest of the day.
Exercise not only relieves physical stress, it also helps with mental and emotional stresses as well. In fact, any form of physical activity works. Research shows that people who regularly exercise experience less stress and anxiety than those who don’t.
Additionally, being physically active also provides your body with many long-term health benefits. Among them are lower blood pressure, weight loss and reduced risk of heart disease.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to join a gym or fitness club to enjoy the stress-relieving effects of exercise. A brisk walk outside is a great way to boost endorphins while lowering stress hormones.
4. Enjoy a Quick Nap
Power naps are a great way to re-energize and make up for lost sleep. You wake up refreshed and more focused. In fact, taking a quick nap offers many of the benefits of sleep without taking as much time. For this reason, many creative minds in history including Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Thomas Edison made napping a habit.
To make the most of your naps, try limiting them to under 30 minutes. This lets you save time. And, it prevents sleep inertia. At the same time, avoid scheduling your naps too late in the afternoon. Doing so can cause you to have a hard time falling asleep later that night.
5. Turn on Some Music
One of the simplest things you can do to help reduce stress is turning on some music. Soft music in the background is very therapeutic. And, it helps your body release any tension.
Studies show that music is a powerful stress reliever. Additionally, it reduces depression, pain, and anxiety as well.
For this reason, you’ll often hear soft music playing in waiting rooms of dental offices. It helps patients relax while they wait for their appointment.
Sitting down in a quiet space or room to meditate is another quick and easy way to relieve stress. All it takes is 5 or 10 minutes of time.
Research shows that meditation is effective in helping with work stress, anxiety and depressed moods in office workers. Meditation helps by allowing your mind to relax and calm down. This lets you get away from your worries and release your stresses.
Mindfulness meditation is one of the many forms of meditation that can help with stress and anxiety. It lets you focus on the present instead of reliving the past or worrying about the future.
Finally, make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep is important for both your mind and body.
It allows your body’s tissues to repair and regenerate. At the same time, it is when your mind consolidates everything you’ve learned and experienced during the day. Just as importantly, sleep is when toxins are cleared from your brain to help keep it healthy.
Sleep deprivation on the hand causes many health problems. These include mood changes and irritability, which cause you to lose your temper easily. Lack of sleep also increases cortisol, a stress hormone. Too much cortisol not only negatively affects your work performance, it also weakens your immune system and makes you susceptible to weight gain.
For these reasons, health experts recommend between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re like a third of the population who have difficulty sleeping, try some of these sleep tips. They’ll help you fall asleep faster and get better quality rest through the night.