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Stress Rinse: Create a clear definition between work and home

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Bringing work stress home with us is something that commonly happens, and it can be a hard habit to break. Just as we often start our morning off in a rush and head into our day without even thinking about it – we tend to do the same when we return home from a long day’s work. As we commute we often zone out as we process our day - thinking about everything that happened, running through our mental checklist to make sure we got everything done, thinking about what still remains to get done, that one person who really made us angry, etc. and before we know it we are home and we don’t even know how we got there. Then, we roll right into our house, bringing the stress from work with us.

And this is what gets us into trouble.

Tips for transitioning from work life to home life

So how do we turn off all that work stuff once we get home so we can enjoy our evening? A solution we find helpful is to pause and make sure you transition from work life to home life before you walk through the door of your home. Luckily, there are several ways to clearly communicate to your body that it is time to transition. Check them out below!

Stress Rinse

A stress rinse is fast and easy and is best done while you are still in your workspace before you head home. Pause and close your eyes and picture cold water running over your head and down your body. As the water washes over you, allow it to carry the days work stress with it. Picture stress leaving your body for as long as it takes (usually less than a minute), then continue your commute home.

For those who work from home, this same technique can be used before you leave your workspace for the evening.

Develop Routines for the Commute Home that Bring you Joy

Do things on your way home that bring you joy and allow your brain to engage in things other than thinking about work. Perhaps you listen to your favorite podcast, turn on your favorite music, stop for your favorite tea, call and talk to a loved one, etc.

Set Boundaries

Certain professions such as teaching – there is an influx of work that occurs that will simply always be there. When this happens, it is important to acknowledge the unreasonable amount of work that has landed on your plate – AND that no matter how many hours you put in, the work will always be there. Therefore, it is important to identify how much you can get done and still feel satisfied with your day, knowing that it won’t all get done. Then, leave your work at the workplace (stop carting it home, only to feel guilty about not doing it and then dragging it back to work again) get done another day.

Work from Home Tips

It can be hard for those who work from home to turn off work. It is always there, in the corner of your house calling you. The first thing that helps it to establish a designated workspace just for work. At the end of the day, turn everything all the way off. Turn out all the lights and lamps around your desk, turn off your work phone and work phone notifications, and fully shut down your computer (don’t just stop using it and let it sleep – fully turn it all the way off). Two things happen in this process: 1) we are signaling the brain that work is fully over so it can start to transition out of work mode. 2) we are making it a major pain to turn work back on – hopefully deterring you from doing so.

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