No matter what your job is, odds are you find it stressful at least some of the time. You might work in an incredibly demanding profession such as a lawyer or doctor, or you might work in a grocery store that's slammed during the holiday seasons. No matter your position, coming home with stress from work is never fun. It can take over your evening and make it nearly impossible to decompress or fall asleep, which leads to other health problems and even more stress. This is why it's important to have a tool belt of helpful ways to relax when you get home and leave the stress of your job behind.
Easy Stress Relief Techniques
The relaxation process can start as soon as you get in your car and pull out of the parking lot. Maybe you listen to your favorite radio station on the way home, like WBDK or KLFY, but you still have road rage all the way home while cars cut you off or you're stuck at red lights. If that sounds all too familiar, then you're probably still battling the stress of your day on your drive home. One way you can start decompressing before you even reach your front door is deep breathing exercises. These are wonderful relaxation techniques you can do anywhere any time. Simply take a deep breath through your nose and let the air completely fill your diaphragm. You know you're doing this correctly when you feel your belly expand instead of your chest rising. Hold that breath for five to ten seconds or as long as you can comfortably, then release it through your mouth for another five to ten seconds and focus on feeling your muscles relax as you let go of the tension in your body. Depending on how long your commute is, you could repeat this exercise over and over until you make it home so you're fully relaxed when you get there.
Maintain a Safe Space
If you have a pet cat, then you know that when you move homes you're supposed to create a safe space for the animal to avoid undue stress. What you might not know is that this trick works for people too! Having a safe space in your home that's dedicated solely to being relaxed and at peace can work wonders for your body. You can choose any room in your house, but preferably the quietest spot you have that isn't subject to foot traffic. For example, the living room might not be a good spot because people and pets will be roaming around, but your bedroom or a spare room could work perfectly. Utilize comfortable lighting, soft pillows and seating, soothing sounds, and comforting activities. Once you're in the habit of going to this space after work or when you feel stressed, the room itself will become a trigger to your body that it's time to calm down and unwind.
Leave Work at Work
Have you ever heard the phrase, "Don't bring work home with you?" Your spouse or roommate may have told you this before if you constantly feel stressed out by your job, but what does it mean? This phrase can address any number of ways people struggle to leave the stress of their workplace behind them when they clock out, such as thinking about the project that's due all evening, venting to a loved one about your coworkers or boss, or literally taking things home with you and working remotely from your home office. Leaving these things behind can seem hard, but there are a few ways you can separate your work stress from your happy home life.
One easy way to do this is to tie up all the loose ends of your day before you leave your desk. This helps you to know you've accomplished everything that needed to get done and lets your brain focus on other things. It can also help to make the ride home enjoyable. Listen to an audiobook or your favorite band on the radio; pick something that makes you happy so you're focused on joy instead of worry and frustration. Finally, it's important to have a post-work ritual because the human body thrives on routine. If you know exactly what you'll do to relax when you get home, you can have something enjoyable to look forward to when you get home.
The last, and maybe best, thing you can do for yourself to relax is to get outside. Leave your phone and devices inside and go for a walk, run, bike ride, or whatever you enjoy! This allows you to disconnect from the source of your stress, soak up some vitamin D, and rest your brain for a little while. Decompressing from work can be tough, but these techniques will help you relax in no time!