April is Stress Awareness Month. The definition of stress: “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.” The part of that definition that we want to pay attention to is “may be a factor in disease causation.” It is important to remember that we all experience stress in different ways. It is also important to remember that long-term stress can cause physical problems. Stress is one of those tricky things that we are not always aware of and can hide as a low-level condition that builds up over time. Use these 6 strategies to leave work stress behind.
When your workday is done, do you still carry much of the stress of your workday with you into your off-work hours? Whether you work at home or go to an office, it’s important for there to be a separation between your work and personal life. Without a clear gap, you will not be able to de-stress, and being able to leave that stress behind is crucially important to your quality of life. Keeping your stress with you can also result in chronic stress, which can contribute to many serious health issues.
If you’re finding that you continue to think about work events after working hours or you’re having difficulty with letting go of your stress, consider these strategies to de-stress, so you can enjoy your time away from work.
Try these 6 strategies to leave work stress behind:
- Put your phone down. Pause your work email and social media notifications. Turn your tech notifications off for a couple of hours while you have dinner and enjoy the company of your family and friends. This will help create separation.
- Exercise. Hands down, the best way to limit stress in your life is to exercise. Not only can exercise help to lower cortisol (stress hormone), but you’ll also be focused on the exercise and not what’s going on at work. Even it is just going for a 30-minute walk, do something that is good for your mind and body.
- Get a plant. Having something very simple to take care of and nurture can be a really easy way to limit your stress. Plus, if you grow food like a tomato plant, you’ll also get to eat the tomatoes. Growing your own food makes you feel good in so many ways.
- Vent when necessary. If you tend to keep things bottled up inside, consider making a healthy change in your life and discuss the stressful issues with a close friend, family member, support group, or counselor when you feel it’s necessary. They can help you work through and maybe even resolve the issue.
- Engage in an activity. Whether it’s a hobby, dancing, or playing with your kids, doing something that you enjoy takes your mind off work and reduces your stress. Taking care of yourself benefits not only you, also those around you.
- Meditate. Remember it doesn’t have to be that long. Even if you meditate for 5 minutes, meditating can reduce stress, strengthen your mental and physical health, and bring you a calmer mind. Meditating for a few minutes daily will help you leave your work stress behind and help create a better work/life balance.
Especially if what is causing your stress is something you don’t have control over, find a way to let it go. It isn’t worth worrying about if you can’t change it. Don’t feel continuously tied to your work any longer. Remember, it is important to take care of yourself. Try these strategies and lower your work stress and create a better work/life balance.
If you would like help reducing your work stress, please reach out, happy to help!