It is no secret that concerns with work can take over our lives. After a long day in the office, many of us take the stress of our jobs home without even realising it. With even the calmest individuals exploding at any minute. This also applies to people who work from home too! Work may be stressful, but when you’re supposed to be relaxing, from the minute you walk out of the office / or are done with work until the next morning when you open up your emails— many people often let job stress sink in, instead of making the most of their time off. But when you leave the office after a particularly stressful day, it is essential that you focus on de-stressing so that you can be productive at work the following day… as hard as that may be.
Need some inspiration as to how exactly you can de-stress after you have left work at work? No matter how stressful work can be, it’s easy to unwind after a tough day at the office with these simple, 10 happy-boosting tips.
1 . Create a zen space in your home
Because we spend so much of our non-work hours at home, it should be a place where you can escape and unwind from the stressors of work life. Because clutter has an effect on your stress levels, de-cluttering and cleaning your home as regularly as possible helps. Other great tips include, use more soothing colours, incorporate as much light as possible and buy some plants! If your home is a haven from stress, it’s easier to let job stress simply melt away once you get there. This is also applies to those of you who work from home (which is many of us right now). A great way to remove yourself from work after a long day , even though your home is now your office is to create an area just for ‘work’ and an area to ‘relax’. If you’re home is small, make sure that the area you use for work can be easily packed away, so you can’t see it from the corner of your eye when you are relaxing.
2. Be active
If you really need to reset your mind and body, try exercising. Any activity that boosts your heart rate and causes you to get a bit sweaty will help relieve some of your stress so you’re better prepared to tackle tomorrow. Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. Exercise is also proven to have some direct stress-busting benefits, buy pumping up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. To wind-down after work, why not go for a walk or run, do some yoga or take up a dance class? There is no doubt about it: fresh air and sunshine are two of the best natural stress-zappers, so doing exercise outside is even better. This especially applies to you, if you are working from home and are foregoing your daily commute.
3. Get Creative
Art has proven to be a great way to help to reduce stress! Creativity in general reduces anxiety, depression, and stress. Studies have found that writing helps people manage their negative emotions in a productive way, and painting or drawing helps people express trauma or experiences that they find too difficult to put in to words. A study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association showed that just 45 minutes of art-making decreased cortisol (the main stress hormone) levels in the study participants. When you’re focusing on being creative, your mind wanders from the issues that might have stressed you out in the first place during the workday. After a particularly stressful day at the office, you might want to swap your computer for a set of paints and paintbrushes.
4. Turn your screens off
Going on a mini daily tech detox, by not looking at your phone or computer for an hour or two at a time—may be just what you need to get rid of some of that work-related stress. This is because too much technology can stress you out, according to a recent Huffington Post article, especially when your email notifications start to pile up in the corner of your eye. To de-stress after a long day of work, how about a healthy level of escapism in a light-hearted novel instead of scrolling endlessly through Instagram on your phone?
5. Cook a great meal or go out for dinner
Cooking can help reduce stress as it allows you to tap into your creative side. Even better is to cook a healthy meal. Consuming a dinner high in sugar, grease, bad fats and processed additives can cause a spike in blood sugar, lead to further cravings, and result in irritability, mood swings, and a subsequent crash a couple hours later. Yet, healthy foods can make us feel less stressed and happier, especially those with serotonin and magnesium, which will relax you. However, if you are not much of a chef, you probably don’t want to attempt to cook after a long day in the office or at home, so why not treat yourself to a nice meal at your favourite restaurant after an extremely difficult day at the office. Or if that is not possible, order a takeaway – you deserve it!
6. Watch comedies or funny videos
Time to line-up some hilarious, feel-good shows on Netflix for when you’re done with work, because who doesn’t love a good laugh? Laughter is one of the most effective ways to relieve stress, and this is also true when it comes to forgetting about work. Laughing joins exercising, cooking and creating art in the long list of well-proven stress-relievers, as it allows your brain to wander from the thing that was stressing you out in the first place. Studies show that by watching something funny, you release endorphins, soothe muscle tension, relieve pain, and improve your mood.
7. Listen to soothing music
It is so tempting to get off work and immediately turn on a thought-provoking podcast or the dreaded news (especially at the moment), but do your best to resist! Instead, play your favourite album or playlist from start to finish to try to get your mind off serious topics. Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies.
8. Treat Yo-self!
Many of us have so many responsibilities in life that we forget to take care of our personal needs. And while it’s hard to prioritize something like taking a bath when you have so many other items on your to-do list, self-care is an important aspect of stress management. Think about those little treats in life that make you smile, and get more of them into your day. These little happiness-boosters can lift your mood while reducing stress in the process. It can be running a bath, eating your favourite meal, chatting with a close friend, a zumba session or a relaxing walk . Just anything that brings you a bit of joy, which can trigger the relaxation response and allow you to come back to the reality of your life feeling refreshed and relaxed.
9. Connect with people
It helps to enlist some support by connecting with people. It might sound small, but the power of chatting to someone about how you’re feeling and having a real conversation is often overlooked. This may be catching up with a friend, or chatting to a relative. After all a problem shared is a problem halved. Venting can help you feel heard and release accumulated emotional residue, however set a time limit on it!
10. Make Your Non-Work Time Count
Finally, one of the most fun and effective ways to leave job stress on the job is to really focus on making the rest of your life while taking your mind off of stress of your work life. This means creating enough balance in your life to include leisure time and hobbies.
Now leave work where it belongs, to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
All images via @thepouf Instagram