Disconnecting When You Should: Handling Stress After Hours

by Mar 19, 2018

Downtime and disengaging at the end of the work day and on the weekend is important. Any expert will tell you that working and/or thinking about work 24/7 isn’t sustainable, and won’t improve your work performance either. In fact, most studies show that a healthy work-life balance is key to being able to focus and succeed at work. But if you care a lot about your job, and if your job has it’s share of challenges (don’t they all?), disengaging from work at the end of the day can be hard. Especially after a particularly stressful day, it’s not always easy to put work out of your mind and enjoy time to yourself.

So what are we to do when work feels all-encompassing but we need to wind down?

Everyone’s process and interests are different, but a commonality among stress-relieving activities is distraction. Basically, try to find something that you enjoy that doesn’t involve work, and do it! In her article, Emma Sturgis recommends two things: exercise and hobbies.

  • Exercise is a great day to wind down from the work day. Working your body releases tension and stress from the day, and also makes you feel great afterwards. It feels good to take care of your body, and exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good too. Even better, exercise helps you get an optimal night’s sleep, making you even more prepared for the next day.
  • Hobbies allow you to explore your interests outside of work. This could be anything that you enjoy doing, from painting to reading, or from volunteering to watching a favorite show. It’s healthy and normal to have activities and interests outside of work. They also offer an escape from that stress when you don’t need to be thinking about it.

Sturgis also recommends taking time off when you need it. If you’re truly sick, stay home and get better. If you have a family commitment that makes you happy to think about, put in for the time off ahead of time so you’re not stepping on any toes and you have time to plan ahead.

And with that, I hope you enjoy your evening and find things to take your mind off of the Monday you just finished. Remember: taking care of yourself (physically, mentally, emotionally, and more) isn’t a distraction from work; it helps you succeed even further.


Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

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