6 Ways to Decompress After a Stressful Work Week
Work often fuels development and gives meaning to life, but it is increasingly becoming a significant stressor, with 44 percent of Americans reporting increased stress levels over the past five years. Stress can build up and cause many health issues if not appropriately addressed. The workplace is one of the most common places known to breed anxiety.
Unfortunately, many people often bring work-related stress back home at the expense of their well-being, relationships, and family. If you experience a particularly stressful work week, the weekend is your time to decompress, so be sure to use it wisely. Failure to unwind tends to have significant consequences, including severe health complications. While it is nearly impossible to find a low-stress job, here are some ways to decompress after a stressful workweek.
Turn Off Technology
You are likely to be on a computer or phone much of the workweek. Unplug from technology and give your eyes a break from the blue light. Any phone calls or emails coming in can wait until Monday. Use an automated answering service or auto-reply email to let people know you will be back on Monday.
Amid the numerous options available today, a multi-level IVR (interactive voice response) is one of the best alternatives to consider. It refers to an automated telephony system that offers callers excellent self-help features through IVR technology. This feature helps boost customer satisfaction, optimize contact center operations, and improve KPIs (key performance indicators) while you decompress.
You can also turn off notifications on your phone to avoid unwanted stressors. Keep your work email to your work phone or computer, and try not to overlap with your time. Also, remember to set an out of office message when taking the day off to ensure your coworkers know you’ll get back to them at a later date.
Do something that you usually do not get to do but brings you great joy. It does not have to be something extensive. For instance, this could be cooking a fun meal, going on a long hike, or starting a home renovation you have been planning. It could also be as simple as getting lunch with a friend and having a good vent session.
Whatever your interests are, engaging in them often helps to lower the heart rate, reduce boredom, and improve mood. This will keep you from fixating on stressors but allow you to leave work stress behind. Be sure to exercise the creative part of your brain and take a break from spreadsheets and computers.
Self-care is a great way to relax and get your mind and body back in shape to face another work week. Most self-care activities are calming in nature and usually help maintain emotional, physical, and mental reserves to manage stress and decompress. Go to a spa, take a hot bath, clean your house, take care of yourself in any way you need. This is a time to show yourself gratitude for all your hard work.
You can also incorporate aromatherapy into your week. Calming scents like lavender or chamomile can help you destress and add a nice addition to your daily routine.
Take Your Mind Off of Things
It is nice to vent or share your frustrations with others after a stressful week, but it is also good not to think about it. Getting your mind off of things can give you a break and help you have a clearer perspective when things start back up again.
When doing a fun activity or practicing self-care, try to clear your mind of all the stress you endured. There are also mindfulness and meditation techniques to help.
Volunteering is always an excellent way to put life back in perspective. You can give back to your community or help those in need to get your mind off work and put effort into a positive outlet. Consider making volunteering a part of your routine by coaching a kids’ sports team or joining Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Volunteering is also a great way to find new hobbies and interests. This can allow you to find new ways to destress and enjoy time off in the future.
Physical activity not only keeps the mind and body healthy but also makes you better at handling stress. It relaxes the body and often sends mood-elevating signals to help minimize mental tension. Go for a jog or head to the gym to be active on your days off. Consider taking a fun class that you do not usually get a chance to take, like yoga or cycling. Getting involved outside is another great way to boost your mental health.
Decompress After a Stressful Work Week: Address the Stress
Work often plays an intrinsic role in life and is increasingly becoming one of the leading causes of stress. If not managed well, stress can negatively affect your health and personal life. That is why it is not advisable to bring stress back home with you. Make sure you set up a healthy routine to address the stress before it takes over.