How many of us walk into our home at the end of a hard days work still totally stressed out? Running around in our heads are things like the result of long meetings, tons of to-dos, problems with work colleagues or staff.
Suddenly, when you come home from work completely shattered each day, there was a real person to deal with and perhaps some kids. You probably love these people so snapping at them for shouting or giving you more problems probably won’t work. You have to find the energy to enjoy your home life together, of the more wedded bliss, less why-are-you-in-my-space variety.
If we walk in on family life already emotionally and physically drained, then we have nothing left to give and no energy to even receive, While it’s not always possible to leave all your stress behind at work, in the name of fun and connection with your family, it is really necessary to find ways to walk into your home ready to have a good time.
Who wouldn’t like a good time when they got home from work? Here are three easy ways to de-stress before walking through that front door.
Controlled breathing before entering
Who knew a simple inhale-exhale could serve as an on/off switch for stress?
Yet as it turns out, deep breathing is scientifically proven to reduce stress and boost energy
Just stop on the drive, turn off your car in the driveway and take three deep breaths before you go inside. This will help draw a line between job time and personal time, and it will wake you up and refresh you.”
Once you walk through the door and say your initial hellos, try to make little bits of eye contact and physical contact.
Get moving and get outside
Movement is another medically proven way to create the kind of feel-good endorphins that calm your nerves. An effective way to leave workday stress behind and be ready to enjoy an evening at home is to do something physical, preferably outdoors. Take the long way to your car or play with your kids outside for a few minutes before you even go in. You’ve likely been sitting all day. Movement will clear your head and boost your circulation, and if you move enough to deepen your breathing, you’ll also trigger your relaxation response. If that still doesn’t do the trick, try shutting down your computer before you call it quits, and imagine the work part of your brain also shutting off.
Don’t let work stress you out
The key to leaving stress at the door is not picking it up in the first place. For many, this seems easier said than done, but there is a big difference between real stress and manufactured stress the kind that’s really in your head. Can’t pay your bills is real stress. Worried about colleagues talking behind your back at the office? Manufactured. Seventy to 80 percent of stress is manufactured. These are things made up in your mind and getting in the way of real stress that you should be paying attention to. The problem is, many people have too much manufactured stress crowding in, making it more difficult to discern which is real, which is manufactured and what to do about either one. Decide which stressors are real, make changes, and put the rest out of your mind. That’s the goal.
The moral of this story is to strive for stress-free downtime by cleaning mental house after work. It’s important to come home with a clear head. Evenings are the only times that are truly yours during the week. You deserve to actually enjoy them and to give yourself downtime so you can enjoy your personal life and so you can be fresh for tomorrows work.