I remember it well. I’d go to work and tense up almost immediately. The worst part was that I’d bring all of that stress home with me and take it out on the family. I know that it wasn’t right, but at the time I had no idea how to deal with it. Work can be such a common cause of stress in your life, and it is important that you keep this type of stress low and try not to bring it home with you as I did. It was a difficult, but important lesson for me to learn, not only for my own health but for that of Zippy and Ben as well. The following guidelines are going to be a great start to no longer having work stress that you carry around with you every day.
- Learn the signs of work stress
It may seem simple, but I can tell you from first-hand experience, that I didn’t always see it, and the first thing you should do is figure out if and when you are experiencing works stress. Since there are so many different types of stress, it is important to first narrow down what you are experiencing, then try to find the root cause so you can figure out how to best deal with it.
Here are the most common signs of having work stress that needs to be addressed:
- You feel anxious or depressed after the weekend is over
- At work, you find it hard to focus
- You can’t sleep well on nights before you head into work
- You are in a foul mood when returning home from work
- Work is causing you to experience social withdrawal
- You have frequent headaches or muscle tension
- After starting a new job, you have lost your normal sex drive
- You have very little interest in the work you are doing
Figuring out what it is about work that’s “getting to you”
Once you actually figure out that you have stress at work, you should stop and look at the issues that might be causing that stress. It could be anything from the kind of work you do, to being passed over for a better job, loss of passion, or even problems with the people you work with. Start keeping a journal so you can better identify what about your job or work environment is causing you to experience stress. You may find that on days when you have meetings with certain people in management, that you have higher stress, or that you have an increased fear of being laid off. Your journal might also look at your stress simply being from the type of work you do.
Don’t Bring Work Home With You
I have found that one of the most important things to do if you have stress from your job is to not bring your work home with you (unless you actually work at home of course). This makes it harder for you because you feel like you never have a break from the stress. It isn’t always possible to get rid of what is causing your work stress, but if you are letting that bleed over into your personal life, it can have an even worse impact on your life.
A Few Helpful Relaxation Techniques
In order to relieve the work stress, you need to find healthy ways to relax, and for me it was a matter of researching some great relaxation techniques. Remember that we all respond differently, so this will depend on your lifestyle. You can start taking walks or starting a new fitness regimen to release endorphins, you can keep a journal, or you can try things like going for acupuncture or massage and try to do some meditation at home at night (or before work in the morning).
Now that I’m home all day instead of out on the road or in an office, I definitely find it easier as I can take a nap or watch a favorite TV show. That being said, I’m always up for learning new relaxation techniques and ideas.
What do YOU do to relax and de-stress?
Feel free to leave me ideas in the comments!