Stress Management For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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You’ve had a long, long day at work. You’re tired and dragging your tush. The last thing you want to do is take your work stress home with you. Consider these guidelines to make sure you arrive home in better shape than when you left work:

  • After work, work out. If early mornings or lunchtimes are impractical times to hit the gym or health club, consider exercising right after work. Take out your frustrations and worries on the stair climber or in a step class. Not only is this mode of venting healthier, you’ll still have your job in the morning!

  • Leave your work at work. One of the more common stress traps is to take your work-related stress and spread it around so that the other parts of your life become stressful. You probably have enough stress at home without importing more stress from your work.

    If you find that you absolutely have to take work home, be very specific about what you want to accomplish and how much time you want to spend doing it.

    Never take work home routinely. And try not to go to work on the weekends unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Ah, home sweet home! But is it? Even if your ride home has been relatively non-stressful, opening your front door can lead to a whole new set of challenges. Walking straight into these stressors can catch you off guard and put you into a foul mood. When you get home, be sure to build in a short period of relative quiet — say 15 or 20 minutes — that can help you make the transition into your second world.

Following are some suggestions for low-stress work-home transitions:

  • Take a relaxing bath or shower.

  • Have a drink (one will do).

  • Sit in your favorite chair and simply veg.

  • Listen to some relaxing music.

  • Read a chapter from a good book.

  • Work out.

  • Take a relaxing walk.

If, when you open your door, chaos descends, and it’s clear that none of these activities are even remotely possible, you may want to consider implementing some of these relaxing segues before you reach home.

Maybe sipping a latte and doing the crossword puzzle at the local coffee shop near your home could work. You can take that walk or spend a few minutes in a local park (with a good book?) before you open your door. You are now ready to cope with the chaos.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Allen Elkin, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the director of The Stress Management & Counseling Center in New York City. Nationally known for his expertise in the field of stress and emotional disorders, he has appeared frequently on Today, Good Morning America, and Good Day New York.

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