Starting out a career is tough. In our quest to prove ourselves we end up taking work home (not a bad thing per se) and soon we find ourselves dreaming about work that needs to be done tomorrow or laying in the bathtub making a to-do list for the following week at the office.
This puts strain on your relationships at home or keep you from properly relaxing and be ready for the next day in the office, and thus decompressing after a tough day becomes a necessity.
Here are a few tips to decompress when you find yourself constantly obsessing about work after office hours:
- Make a conscious effort to keep your mind off work. Think of any fun plans for the next weekend, or start a DIY project at home.
- Go and have a drink with your colleagues after a tough day, forbidding any work-talk. Sometimes it can be good to associate the people you work with, with things other than a current stressful project and just relax together.
- Ban work-talk during certain times of the evening. For example, no work-talk during dinner.
- Get it out of your system. If you cannot get the work-you in your head to shut up, take a solid half hour or ten minutes and write down everything you need to do or outline the scope of the brilliant project idea you just had while vacuuming.
- Leave town for a weekend. Visit a relative or book a cheap weekend away nearby. A change of scenery can do wonders to take your mind off work and keep it busy with much more pleasurable activities – and you can get back to work on Monday feeling refreshed and ready to take your work to a new level.
- Read a good book. Nothing allows you to escape reality so quickly – pretty soon you’ll find yourself thinking about your book during workhours and then you’ll have to reverse the list to ‘compressing’ for work, I guess!
While many of us may revel in the high-paced environment, decompression will eventually become a necessity because of the harmful effects stress has on the body. You may not even notice some of these, but keep your eyes peeled because according to PsychCentral
, chronic stress can lead to:
- High blood pressure. Which is also a great motivator to regularly donate blood, because you get a free checkup on your blood pressure!
- Susceptibility to infection. If you notice more frequent bladder infections, urinary tract infections or stronger reactions to allergies, it’s probably time to take let some steam off.
- Skin problems. Acne or eczema that surfaces a bit more aggressive than usual may be your body’s way of rebelling against your fast pace.
- Back and neck pain. I’ll admit, I’m the first one to suffer from this – you rarely notice it, but you may find yourself touching or rubbing your neck and shoulders more often.
- Headaches – those that lasts for days. If you have persistent headaches and no amount of paracetamol can chase it away, you need to relax. And you need to stop taking paracetamol for days on end or pretty soon you’re going to have a whole new issue to stress about!
Decompressing after work needs to be addressed before the effects of chronic stress sets in – it’s a continuous, habitual process you need to make part of your daily routine. If you have any awesome and easy ways to take the edge off after a long day in the office, comment below and I’ll add them to the list.