Transitions. They are the key to helping you move smoothly between work life and home life and reduce stresses of the day.
A survey by the Family and Work Institute revealed that 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful. It’s even reported that job stress is more associated with health issues and complaints than financial or family problems.
Experiencing stress throughout your work day is bad enough, but it’s even worse if you take it home with you. So, how can you relax and unwind after work, while making the transition smoothly for more peaceful focus with yourself and your family? By creating a work to home transition routine for yourself that will help restore your soul. Here are some tips that for reducing stress and appreciating your off-time:
Hot shower or bath
Water can be so therapeutic. As you’re physically washing away the day it can also make you feel like you’re washing away the stress and emotional trials. The water soothes aching muscles and gives you some much needed time to yourself. According to Livestrong, “a hot shower is a nature sedative. If you’re stressed or having trouble sleeping, taking a hot shower for 10 minutes calms your body, mind and nerves.”
Stretch it out
Jump on YouTube and follow along with a stretching or yoga routine. Even just five minutes of gentle stretching can help you relieve tension from the day. Stretching is especially important if you spend a lot of time at a desk and on a computer. A few minutes of stretching can calm the mind, provide a mental break, and give your body the recharge it needs.
Listen to music
Listening to your favorite music can have a profound and positive effect on your mood. Music can influence both our bodies and minds providing both physiological and psychological benefits. If you want to go a step further than your favorite go-to music, try the song Weightless by Marconi Union. In experiments it has been shown to reduce overall stress in participants by 65%.
Take a walk
From reducing the risk of heart disease to boosting happiness, cardiovascular exercise can be a great way to transition from work to home. Exercise is likely to help you sleep better, taking the benefits into the next day and beyond. It can also give you an energy boost, providing you strength to get all those at home tasks completed.
“When you’re feeling exhausted, the last thing you might want to do is squeeze in a workout. But, according to experts, that’s exactly what you should do. They found that low-intensity exercise, the equivalent of a leisurely stroll, experienced a drop in fatigue levels and a 20 percent energy boost.”
Spend time in nature
If the weather permits, getting outside into some green space could be just what you need. It can be hard to leave work at work. Nature has the ability to calm us while also reminding us of the bigger picture and allowing us to regroup. One article in National Geographic says “when we get closer to nature– be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree – we do our overstressed brains a favor.”
Don’t go from your laptop at work to your laptop at home right away. Take a break and breathe some fresh air, stare at the greenery, and remind yourself of the most important things in life.
Play with your pet
The human-animal bond can be super powerful. And, it’s a good thing. As it turns out, the warm cuddle or wagging tail of your furry friend can have a hugely positive impact on your well-being.
Researchers performed a study that measured the heart rate and blood pressure of participants, when under stress, who had a dog or cat and people who had none. They found that people with a dog or cat had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure measures at the beginning of the experiment than non-pet owners.
Just coming home and cuddling your pet for a few moments can help you relieve the tensions of the day. Be present and embrace the unconditional love.
Cook a great meal
Not everyone loves to cook, but if you do, creating a nourishing meal can be a wonderful way to focus your mind on a task at hand and let go of everything else. You don’t have to make an elaborate meal every night either— there are plenty of great recipes for quick and easy dishes to make during the work week.
Grab a loved one and cook something together. This can be great bonding time smelling spices, stirring ingredients, and inventing new recipes. Tap into the creative side of your brain. Cooking can provide a creative outlet and focus your mind on the task at hand, providing relief from worries and fostering an almost meditative mindset.
There is nothing groundbreaking in this list, but the simplicity of these tasks are the key. It is the little moments and indulgences every day that add up to our lives. Choose two or three of these simple tasks and make them a priority every time you come home from work. I bet you will soon feel more relaxed and centered. Unwind, let the work day go, and enjoy your home life.
Don’t forget to de-stress before work too. Subscribe to Cafe Quill and follow us on social media for more ideas on reducing stress levels.