Of course you love your job, but sometimes work stress and caring for a family can be mentally draining. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to take work stress home with you in the evening. This isn’t healthy for your well-being – or for those who have to deal with you. Stress contributes to a number of health conditions including high blood pressure and heart disease. Who needs that?
Here are some tips to help you unwind and let go of the day’s worries. You’ll sleep better if you learn to “turn off” and “tune out” when you go home at the end of the day.
Listening to music on the drive home
Music is a powerful stress reliever if you choose the right tunes. Slip a CD that plays classical or new age music on the drive home from work. Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower your heart rate and blood pressure and reduce levels of cortisol, a hormone that increases when you’re under stress. It’ll also help you better deal with the frustration of being stuck in traffic on your drive home.
Release your Frustrations through exercise
Exercise is another powerful stress reliever. When you get home at the end of the day, don’t plop down in a chair, do 30 minutes of exercise instead. Certain types of exercise are especially good for melting away work stress such as kickboxing and running. Keep a few kickboxing DVDs on hand to slip into the DVD player for a fast post-work workout. You’ll be surprised at how fast work stress melts away when you start kicking and punching. At the other end of the exercise spectrum, yoga and tai chi are slower paced exercises that help to relieve stress.
Write it down
At the end of the work day, write down tomorrow’s goals. Make a list of what you’ll accomplish the following day, and put it aside. Putting it down on paper gives you closure so you won’t have to spend the rest of the evening worrying about what tomorrow holds. Then take the time to organize your desk. Doing your job in an uncluttered environment makes work less stressful and is better for your well-being. Make this a daily ritual so you can start the next day off with a clean slate.
Take a relaxing bath
When is the last time you relaxed in the bath? A warm bath after work is one of the best ways to unwind. Add some soothing essentials oils to your bath such as lavender or geranium. Then close your eyes and let the cares of the day dissolve into your bathwater. Try playing soothing music in the background while you soak. You’ll emerge from the bathtub feeling refreshed and stress-free. What could be better than that?
Use the power of humor
One powerful antidote to work stress is humor. Tune in to a funny television show or read a humorous book when you get home from work. Or make a little human contact by reconnecting with a friend by phone who makes you laugh. Laughing not only clears your mind, it helps to lower blood pressure and decreases levels of stress hormones. It’ll even give your immune system a boost. Learn to see the humor in life’s little annoyances, and don’t obsess over them.
Connect with a pet
Pets of all types help to reduce work stress. When you get home from work, take your favorite canine for a walk or spend some time cuddling with your cat. Even staring at a fish tank helps to reduce work stress and lower blood pressure levels. Spend some time with a four-legged buddy when you get home from work, and feel the stress melt away.
The bottom line
Workplace health is important in controlling the stress of work and family life. Try one of these six stress relievers when you get home from work, they’ll make your evening a little more stress-free. Don’t let work stress make you edgy and anxious.