7 Ways to Decompress After Working From Home
INSIDE: How do you decompress after working from home? This is a question many people have on their minds these days. Working from home isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and it can be difficult to separate work from home life when it’s all in one place. These tips will help!
Many people quickly find that working from home isn’t as relaxing as they had envisioned. The additional distractions and inability to leave household troubles behind for a few hours when you head into the office can cause a lot of stress. You are always at the office while at the same time always at home now. You can’t ever seem to “turn off” that other area of focus. Maybe you actually miss the in-between time of that daily commute!
These feelings of dissatisfaction, and disappointment, can quickly lead to job burnout, stress, poor sleep, and emotional instability. Work-from-home burnout is real and you might be wondering how do you decompress after working from home?
Are you wondering how to relax after working from home? How do you create that buffer between two worlds that need to very much remain separated and yet are never apart? What’s this elusive “work-life balance” of which you hear people speak?
What is work-life balance?
A recent study has shown that WFH burnout is a real problem right now. Not only have millions more people been thrust into a remote worker role they weren’t prepared for, we have also had to deal with a lot of additional outside stressors. A lot of things were thrown at us all at once without any time to process them. At the same time, a lot of the usual activities we do to escape the grind came to a halt. You may still feel like you are trying to catch up. You can’t even begin to imagine achieving any work-life balance.
As we enter a new season, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not. Where are the places you can set better boundaries for work, family and yourself? How can you better schedule your days to ensure things get done while still leaving time to prioritize your mental health?
I know you probably opened this post because you were ready to start relaxing. My friend, if you don’t work on the scheduling and boundaries, however, you are never going to be able to relax. It’s so important you work on the hard stuff first.
Hammer out your work day, even if it’s only starting with looking only at tomorrow. What specific tasks do you need to do tomorrow both at work and at home? Write everything down. Once you can start visualizing progress, that remote work stress will start diminishing. You will start feeling less like you are constantly running from fire to fire to feeling a sense of accomplishment and balance.
How do you decompress after working from home?
Even when that to-do list is done, you will need to make a little time to decompress. Work-life balance often requires a little transition space between roles. That’s why you may be missing that commute. It was a time to unwind your work day and prepare for home life. You can still create that space while working from home.
Let’s find out how do you decompress after working from home…
1. Afternoon Tea
Perhaps you used to unwind after work by having a few drinks with coworkers. If that’s no longer an option, or desire, you can still indulge in a little “me” time after your work day is done.
Invest in some high-quality teas. Those low on caffeine are best for this time of day. You may even choose one with the calming effects of lavender or chamomile. One thing I love about tea is that there are so many to choose from. Grab a variety pack and go crazy. Find yourself a comfy chair in the sunshine, breathe deeply and relax.
If you previously spent your ride home or made a pitstop by a friend’s house airing your daily grievances, you may feel your day is never fully unpacked. If you no longer have the private time to voice all of your complaints to a friend, get it out on paper.
You may feel your “Dear Diary” days are long behind you, but studies have shown that journaling is a great way to deal with big emotions in a healthy way. It’s a great opportunity to privately work through those things that are going on that you aren’t ready to talk about with others. It’s also good exercise for your brain.
3. Go to the Gym
No one questioned you going to the gym on your way to or from the office before. No one should now. Your physical health is an important part of your mental health. Getting moving is going to do great things for your stress level.
Make the time. Put it on your schedule. If you can’t go to your local gym yet, create your own. Carve out a corner of your garage, basement or living room for a yoga mat and a couple of soup cans as hand weights if that’s all you have.
If you have a smart TV available in your new workout space, find a streaming fitness app or even a YouTube video to follow. If you don’t have a TV, it’s not an excuse. Print off an exercise printable from Pinterest to use as your guide.
Make it a priority to workout 30-minutes a day five days per week as the experts suggest. You don’t have a commute anymore so you can find the time.
4. Get Grounded
I have spent a lot of time outdoors this past year, even if it’s just laying on the ground in the sun listening to sounds. It’s called grounding and it’s a powerful thing. I encourage you to do some research and add it into your routine. Bonus: it’s free!
5. Read a Book
When’s the last time you sat down and read a book – for entertainment. I’m not talking about reading the latest paperback from a marketing guru. I’m talking about reading as an escape.
Need an excuse? Some studies have shown that reading can reduce stress up to 68%! And faster than other relaxation techniques. Wow!
Don’t pick up a book that’s only going to upset you more. That means no politics, no work, no doomsday. Find something fiction or that covers a topic you are passionate about like gardening or travel.
6. Phone a Friend
One of the biggest struggles of being a remote employee is the isolation. As much as we complain about office politics and water cooler gossip, we eventually find ourselves longing for any in-person interaction. This is especially true in our current times. We were wired to feel part of a community. We are social animals.
Social media and texting is no comparison to the intimacy of a real-life conversation. We need to hear laughter. We need someone who cares to see wipe our tears in a literal sense.
One of your top priorities when creating your schedule for work-life balance should be carving out time with someone close to you. Schedule a regular lunch date like you had in the old office days. Block off your Sunday evenings for a marathon two-hour phone call to catch up on the week’s struggles.
Isolation is one of the biggest causes of mental health issues. Do it for your health.
7. Meditation & Prayer
I’ve been a high-anxiety girl from birth. Whenever my husband would say, “Calm down,” I’d jokingly say, “I don’t understand this language you speak.” But, I wasn’t really joking. I used to rarely feel calm and I certainly didn’t know how to get myself there.
This past year, I invested a lot of time in learning to meditate. And I truly felt like I had to learn. It was truly a struggle to get my mind to focus on just one thing – especially if that one thing wasn’t worry.
I found an app and got to work. And during my most anxious or depressing days this past year, I spent a lot of time in prayer and meditation. Talking and listening. More than anything else on the above list, this helped me most. I hope it will help you as well.
We hope these tips helped you in regards to the question, “how do you decompress after working from home?” Drop your own tips in the comments if you have one that works for you!