When your workday is done, do you still carry much of the stress of your work with you into your off-work hours?
When working remotely and you’re sharing your home as well as your living space, it can be difficult to separate work and personal life. 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 reduce levels of stress, and being able to leave that stress behind is crucial to maintain a good quality of life.
Keeping your stress with you can also result in chronic stress. Which contributes to many issues affecting your physical and mental health. Look out for warning signs of high levels of stress on your physical health, such as poor sleep, stomach problems, headaches or muscle tension. Some of the mental effects include poor concentration, constant worry, forgetfulness and struggling with decision making.
If you’re finding that you continue to think about work events after working hours or you’re having difficulty managing or reducing stress, consider these tips to de-stress, so you can enjoy your time away from work.
Try these activities to melt away your workday stress:
1. Pause your work email and social media notifications.
Turn your tech notifications off for a couple hours while you have dinner and enjoy the company of your family and friends. You can turn notifications back on when you get back to work the next day.
You can also use this time to unplug by disconnecting from social media, scrolling through your news feed at a snail’s pace instead of at lightning speed, and turning off your phone. Research shows that disconnecting from technology for just an hour a day can significantly reduce your stress and blood pressure, improve your creativity and mood, and make you feel more connected to others.
If possible, block out an hour each day where you are not connected to anything. You can connect in the morning, do what you need to do, and then unplug again at the end of the day. It’s important to keep a healthy dose of both work and social media.You’ll feel less anxious about work when you have a healthy social media diet.
Hands down, the best way to limit stress in your life is to exercise. Not only can exercise help to lower cortisol (a stress hormone), but you’ll also be focused on the exercise and not what’s going on at work.
Be sure to find an activity that you enjoy, and make sure to schedule in some time for it every week. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, it’ll help you get your daily dose of stress reduction. Even a little bit of exercise will do, so try taking a walk, doing some stretches, or even going for a light jog. Even something as simple as taking a few deep breaths or going through some yoga poses will help to reduce stress in your body.
3. Learn to delegate
You can’t do everything yourself, and especially in a business setting. Establish a strong work-life balance and learn to delegate tasks to others.If you find that you’re spending an excessive amount of time on routine tasks, hire one of our virtual assistants to help you.
Remember that delegating doesn’t mean that you should give up control. You still need to be involved in every aspect of your work, but delegating tasks gives you the freedom to do other things, like spend time with your family or pursue other interests.
4. 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.
Keeping things bottled up inside can lead to a host of negative physical and mental health effects. On the other end of the spectrum, venting will help you release unnecessary stress and negative emotions so you can feel better and function at a higher level.
5. Avoid stimulants.
Coffee, tea, energy drinks - they all contain stimulants like caffeine and taurine which can make you feel wired, and in some cases, more prone to feeling stressed out. Furthermore, consuming too much caffeine can have negative side effects too, like raising your blood pressure, causing anxiety, or making it harder for you to fall asleep. This is why it's recommended to consume no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day.
You might be asking, “But what about a cup of coffee in the morning to wake myself up? Or a glass of wine at the end of the day to relax?” While these activities might fall under the category of “social drinks”, they still fall under the category of “stimulant-rich foods and drinks”.
- Avoiding or limiting your consumption of stimulant-rich foods and drinks can help your body to feel more balanced and lower your cortisol levels.
6. Engage in an activity that you love.
Whether it’s a hobby, dancing, or playing with your kids, doing something that you enjoy takes your mind off work and melts away your stress. Taking time to do these things is never selfish, but a vitally important part of healthy self-care!
- Best of all, find an activity where you move around, like dancing. You’ll get a double dose of relaxation from the exercise and the enjoyment.
Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Even something as simple as taking a long walk will set you on the right track to self-care. It doesn’t matter if it’s something you do every day or once or twice a week. As long as it helps you feel better, it’s self-care.
Meditating can reduce stress, strengthen your mental and physical health, and bring you the serenity of greater inner peace. While everyone can benefit from a bit of mindfulness, it can be especially helpful for people who experience high levels of stress. All it takes is practice - daily is best!
Meditating for a few minutes when your workday is done will give you that much-needed gap between work and free time, so you can leave your work stress behind and fully enjoy your off-work hours.
- Remember to breathe, focus on your mind and let go of anything that’s stressing you out. If you’re not used to meditating, start with short sessions.
Work shouldn’t control your life. It’s important for you to find balance in your life by doing things that you enjoy outside of work. Don’t feel continuously tied to your work any longer, try these tips and get the freedom from stress that you deserve.
If you find yourself dreading going to work each day, it’s time to make a change. There are plenty of ways to stay productive while also enjoying your work.If you're looking for a career change consider becoming a virtual assistant and check out our job postings here.