When you are working long hours and you are spending more time at the office than at home, it’s only natural you’ll be on the verge of snapping every single day. Sure, it all has to do with how well you are handling the pressure but then again – even the toughest of us need a moment.
To make sure you stay in good mental health, it’s essential you set some alone time for yourself after work, do things you love and dedicate your free time to activities that create a balance to your already hectic life. While letting yourself slump after work with a bag of candy and a random TV show on does sound pretty great (and so tempting!), turning it into a habit means not only risking endangering your health in the long run but potentially coming face to face with depression (we’ve all been there).
Giving up is by far the easiest option, but we know you are not a quitter. So, let’s explore options to get things back on track:
Have a moment
Coming home after a long day at work is like going for a mini vacation. You are finally leaving all your work worries at the door and stepping into your own oasis of peace. And if you are living with a partner, and they are waiting you at home with a smile on their face and a warm embrace – it’s perfect! Still, you don’t have to be in a relationship to love your after-work time at home. When you step in the house, breathe in calmly and let the serenity overwhelm you. Leave all your folders, your laptop bag and any additional carry-ons aside, sit in your favourite chair/sofa, close your eyes and relax for a bit. Let your mind empty of stress. While this may sound pretty simple and something you are already doing, it’s an exercise that demands discipline. After you feel stress has left your body, have a hot shower and plan the day ahead (or prepare to go to sleep, depends on the shift you are working).
There’s nothing like punching the life out of that bag after you’ve had a hell of a day at work. Even if the day at the office went well, kickboxing or boxercise type classes are going to help you maintain your body fit and your mind clear. You’ll decompress, go into a spiralling mind game with your own perception (especially if you are sparing with a trainer and not just working the bag) and you’ll go back to being your positive self in an hour or so. Amazing!
If boxing isn’t your thing, embrace any other type of exercise for stress-relief.
Spend time with your pets
Having a pet is the best antidepressant in the world. If you’ve got a dog or a cat waiting for you at home, jamming around with them will make all the difference after you’ve felt like killing someone at the office. Pets have a natural, inborn response to people’s emotions and they’ll manage to help you get balanced in a matter of seconds.
Stream stimulating content
Every once in awhile, we simply have to slouch. Have to. So, if we’re already going to go bad – may as well do it well. Instead of binging on a million candy bars, ordering pizza in and watching terrible trash on the TV (Hello reality TV, we’re talking about you! Studies have shown reality TV to increase anxiety and depression.), order some healthy food, put your favourite TV show on and enjoy. You may as well decide to switch it up and go for some educational shows like documentaries on historical events, latest movies or high quality drama films; also, to let things go, the perfect idea is to stream music online and enjoy the highly intellectual, beautifully crafted and gracious content that comes with every performance. Studies have shown that listening to music (especially classical) is good for our brains, so why not embrace it? Including music into your relaxation routine may do wonders for your psyche.
Organise a get-together
Sure, after you’ve spent eight plus hours at your glass office, talking, making deals, arguing or just listening to the annoying customers, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be up to socialising. However, have in mind that people we’re suggesting you meet with are the people you love – your partner, your best friends, cousins, parents… whoever makes you smile. Even a friendly chit chat and a cup of coffee with your cute neighbour can turn things around very quickly.
For everyone who is looking to find healthy and stimulating ways to unwind after work (yet is so overwhelmed that they can’t come up with any), we hope our above suggestions helped, at least a bit.