What do you do in the evening to disconnect from stresses of work?
So basically, work can be extremely intense at times and a lot of that is workload, expectations, etc.
I have trouble leaving work at work and not thinking about it. I get home around 6:30 or 7 , chat with the kids and Mrs S, do kids bedtime etc – but my mind always drifts back to work. Sometimes checking work emails.
Then, come 8:30, kids have gone to bed and I am just thinking about what I have to get done tomorrow.
It gets so bad at times that I just want to go to bed so I can get back on top of things in the morning.
I have recently started a bit of a morning routine where I wake up around 6, do some studying, 20 mins exercise, cold shower (I know!) and it does help me start the day feeling positive and refreshed. But then by early afternoon as I’m trying to manage the workload I start feeling stressed, anxious, knot in the chest etc etc all over again.
Has anyone got any little routines for early evening or advice on how I can try to disconnect and get work out if my head? It is really starting to hack me off and ruin what should be quality time with the family.
I should say that work is not always like this. It is usually 1 or 2 weeks a month. And I do consider myself lucky in many respects so i dont mean to sound like I am playing a violin. 🙂
Thanks!Posted 3 months ago
I can’t offer any help other than to point out that it sounds like “proper” stress rather than being “a bit busy” stress. My advice would be to look for the root cause rather than tackling symptoms.Posted 3 months ago
Remember – having to work overtime exists because your employer hasn’t provided enough labour to do the task in time – that’s not my problem.Posted 3 months ago
I clock out at bang on 17:01 every day then spend a few hours each evening walking round behind my dog picking it’s poo up.
I can draw parallels to what you describe and myself. I have started doing 20 mins HIIT routines each day after work, and that really helps. I try and do it as soon as I get in the door or as soon as I switch my laptop off if wfh. As it’s only 20 mins it’s easy to do (just search for joe wicks hiit on YouTube – no equipment is needed). When I’m done, I’m no longer thinking about work.
Also I found having a separate work and personal mobile helps – work mobile only on during working hours, and no teams/outlook on my personal phone.Posted 3 months ago
1) one night a week band practice; some recording coming up soon.Posted 3 months ago
2) gigs – either playing, usually Friday or Saturday, or watching (coming up Echo & The Bunnymen, Stiff Little Fingers, The Mission; Opera – Carmen)
3) guitar practice. Still a beginner but making progress
4) see the Christmas Airfix thread
5) a bit of telly. Typically Netflix, or various documentary channels. Right now, Sky Sports News
Have you tried Talisker?Posted 3 months ago
Remember – having to work overtime exists because your employer hasn’t provided enough labour to do the task in time – that’s not my problem
Absolutely this. If you were short of money regularly, would your employer freely give you what you needed with no promise of anything in return? That’s what unpaid overtime is, except that time is a finite resource that can never be bought back.
We have horses and dogs – you can’t lie to animals the way you can people, so they are wonderful for de-stressing. That and infinite repeats of Modern Family and Downton Abbey 😁Posted 3 months ago
I get this, it’s mostly not workload related, I just love what I do and I’m very passionate about it more than anything, but I do find it hard to switch off, especially when there’s something bugging you from a Friday which you then carry all the way through the weekend and back in (often more than peeved off by the time I walk back in on Monday morning!)
Leave the laptop at the office as much as possible, keep work stuff on the works phone only and leave in the office if possible
Do you commute by bike? I ride an hour each way most days and although it’s spinning around my head for the first 10 minutes, dodging traffic and enjoying the view along the river, it’s usually run its course by the time I’m at my door
Yoga can be a great way to relax, I always found the grounding part at the start a great way to focus and switch on to other things, I dont get chance to do it as often as I like but I used to go twice weekly for 90 minutes for a year or so, never for any part of that 90 minutes did I think about work
Try cooking different / treat meals in the evenings?
Try to plan a ride with mates once a week, go for a run, even a solo ride i find once your away from the office/screen even if you are thinking about work you gain a better perspective – usually why the F am I thinking about work when I’m with my family
It’s tricky as it easily creeps back in but i’d just start buy leaving the physical (PC/Phone) at work and adjusting to having more free time! It’s really not worth bringing home.Posted 3 months ago
Cycle home from work is what I used to do. Burns off all the stress hormones. So a bit of exercise in the evening if you cannot cycle to and from work. 20 mins and get your heart rate up. Best to be outside as well
Also go for a walk at lunchtime even if its only ten mins
We need time outside and exercise. Its essential to a well functioning bodyPosted 3 months ago
Stress? Jesus, when I was a prison officer I’d come home, guzzle 2 cans of Stella then a bottle of red if I was off next day. If not, I’d just have the red.Posted 3 months ago
Thankfully I now have a stress free job with less money.
Life’s too short for stress, & money ain’t everything.
Bought a (Yamaha) electronic drum kit 18 months ago during a lot of stress. It’s been the best in-house no alcohol-no-drugs-no-stuffing-face de-stresser I’ve yet tried. It works magic. Lives in the utility room by the drier. I use a little clamped amber LED book light to illuminate the pads. Out headphones on. Play along to music via phone/aux or just practice rudiments.
Ok I still sit on my arse but 15 mins of smashing or grooving (often both) and I feel very destressed indeed.
Other stress-busting miracles that have worked:
– Cycling obvs. Commute or (if urban) just ride from home around aimlessly, exploring somewhere random, nip in a shop and grab self a Freddo bar/snax for the family/friend/partner. I find that hopping kerbs at night on a singlespeed/fixie is still fun and not muddy. Sometimes I’ll ride out to a local village for a 40 min circular-ride before bed. ‘Excuse’ is to check out the community phone-booth book exchange. Drop off a book, grab a new one, ride home. Try to read in bed fall asleep in minutes.
Other things that have worked/still work:
– 30 minute last-session swim at local pool and a stroll or ride home.
– 3 mile circular-walk around the block listening to some old favourite chilled choons on bluetooth earbuds.Posted 3 months ago
Music TV AlcoholPosted 3 months ago
Taken in mixed quantities depending on the day .
Primitivo, Lagrein, Cabernet Sauvignon and drugs.Posted 3 months ago
Had to resort to drowsy cough mixture in the week just to get to sleep – that’s when u know it’s bad
Mostly exercise thoughPosted 3 months ago
Mindfulness meditation stuff
It’s training your brain to focus where you want it to and dealing with feelingsPosted 3 months ago
DMTPosted 3 months ago
A decent daily walk after dinner listening to Radio 3 and following the dog.
Whilst my work is not silly stressing, it is intellectually rewarding, and I am often called to work evenings. If I do, then it’s normally a later start the next day.
You didn’t say, but are you paid for what you produce or the hours you work. Mine is mainly the former (although I do have contractual hours). If it’s completely the latter, then down keyboard at your allotted time!Posted 3 months ago
If I’m feeling lazy like this evening.
Snifter of Glenlivet reserve on the bedside.
This channel on the tablet (Night Shift activated/blue-light filter on)
What works best IME if all else fails is a dark bedroom/curtains drawn, a touch of tiger balm (the proper good stuff, made or licensed by Haw Par Corporation) rubbed on forehead and a touch under the nose then lie in dark listening to relaxing podcast* on phone speaker (not headphones, you want to lie down with no stressers/irritations)
Tend to opt for soporific rambling tales such as Unexplained
Or some ‘Brown noise’
These things will break thought-cycles. Tiger-balm/10 minute curtain-shut/alone in darkened room. Some traditional Guqin music.Posted 3 months ago
I don’t think anyone has read and understood what the OP is asking TBF, just read the title and assumed they have the answer.Posted 3 months ago
2. HookersPosted 3 months ago
I was a bit like that in my late 20s, first time having important-feeling responsibilities at work. Looking back now, I think the root cause was caring too much about work and being too emotionally invested in it. Some of the workload and expectations came from myself; I see my own work and have high/unrealistic standards – I probably cared more at times about many things than anybody else involved. Stress and voluntary overtime, much of it nobody was aware of. And for what. Didn’t have a family either so it went unchecked for many years.Posted 3 months ago
I watch DayZ twitch streams.
Currently its the RunningmanZ. And tbh its a lesson in patience.
He plays a character and as a professional streamer, his games usually last 7-10 hours. He can play the character, looting,scrounging the items in the game you need to survive,water+food,weapons,ammunition and clothing etc. only to lose everything and be back at square one without a single item. Just the basics a piece of fruit, a flare for lighting a fire and a heatpack.
You need to be totally accepting of your fate having gained all the parts to survive, then get killed/murdered after 5 hours on one life to have to start again. I like the way he accepts the fate of it and just gets on with things, and not going into a crazed ranting rage quit.
The guy also does sponsored charity fund raising streams, the last one was a straight 16 hours long and he raised $46,000 for UK alzheimer’s research.Posted 3 months ago
OP to me it sounds like you need to learn to disconnect work from home life, not just do things to mask the stress
Is it a culture of the organisation to d in long hours, or your own poor self management?
If it’s an expectation of the company, get out, they will not care about your health and the impact they have on your home life.
If it’s self imposed that’s more difficult and you may need counselling support, everything can wait job wise, not everything is your responsibility and ultimately your health and home life should be taking priority over work.
My wife has had quite a complex situation at work recently, but part of the issue was that she was thinking every cancer patient on a waiting list was her responsibility to see. It’s taken counselling for her to be able to see it is not all her responsibility and to work out the triggers and control them from when she is having rational thoughts to going into manic/stress of it’s her to solve everything.
I’m not convinced that doing high intensity training sessions is the answer as a coping mechanism. Stress itself is erm stressful and fatiguing and not sustainable long term, adding high intensity physical work out will just contribute to the burn out
Address the real issue don’t just look for sticking plasters
Reality is learn to leave work in work with reasonable working hours, and if the company won’t let you do that, then get out.Posted 3 months ago
1. Don’t worry about the things outside of your control.Posted 3 months ago
2. Learn to manage upwards. You clearly have to much / unachievable tasks. If you are fire fighting all (or even most of) the time the system you are workt in is broken.
3. I’d you work desk based do something in the evening that is not eyes focused close and ideally physical. I chop wood.
I commute to work on the bike steadily and try to spend some time looking around as I do it (quite easy – I ride over the Humber Bridge). I’ve found that I can get my work thinking done on the bike and it acts as a buffer zone between home and work.
We’ve had quite a bit of “resilience” training and these sessions nearly always suggest exercise outside as a method of de-stressing.
It sounds like you have an unsustainably high workload – can you identify any tasks that you can delegate or pass back to your management? I think it would be a good idea for you to speak with management and explain your situation with a view to offloading some of your work; if they are unwilling to support you then it’s probably time to be thinking about alternative options.Posted 3 months ago
Good luck with it
Low-hanging suggestion: 10+ mins of a full body stretch/yoga (apps like Sworkit are a useful guide).
If you like it, get it to 20+ mins and simultaneously work on breathing.Posted 3 months ago
I have gone through this, here are some things that worked for me.
Get rid of the work phone, use the laptop for audio and call through there, once you step away you are not contactable.
One massive one for me was having a WFH office, I used a bedroom while the youngest was still in with us, I’ve since built a shed to work in, being able to close the door and walk away is key.
Use a pen and paper to make notes, I often found myself planning the same things over and over in my mind to check they still made sense – rather than that plan once, make notes, then don’t allow yourself to pointlessly replay things again.
I would also do my exercise at around 2pm, so like you, start early and get ahead of the day, eat at 12, then by 2 I’m ready for a run, back at 3pm feeling superhuman and with things all settled in my mind. It also teaches you that there is very little which can’t wait an hour to give you time, you don’t have to reply to everything as soon as its sent, or even as soon as you see it, an hour away in the day is no big deal.
In the evenings, once you are in a state of stress it’s hard to not think, I would find my brain going at 100mph so I would find other things to point it at – planning a multi day hiking and camping trip, learning to swim and watching the technique videos, hit golf balls at the driving range and obsess over my swing, planning holidays. I found this better than thinking about work for a short time while the stress levels drop down and things calm down again.
All the above I think of as solutions to the overwork portion of the issue, the expectations part is different.
I have been in situations where the expectation from mgmt is that I will deliver 10 things when the reality is I can deliver maybe 2 well and say 4 if doing them badly is acceptable. As people above have said that’s not my problem, that’s my bosses problem, I would put that in a mail, explaining the situation, listing the tasks, suggesting which I thought were priority, and ask them to confirm if that priority was correct and I should focus on getting X completed before starting Y.
I have had expectations from clients that things which are fundamentally impossible will be delivered. Again I found explaining the situation and having that awkward conversation where you have to tell them sorry, no, you won’t be getting that, that isn’t what you’ve paid for was what I needed to do to get the monkey off my back.
Now whenever I’m faced with a situation like this I am much quicker to flag it up as its better for my mental health and it feels less awkward than saying no to something after ignoring the elephant in the room for 3 months then having to raise it, I dont think you can get around the expectations issue with distractions and coping mechanisms the same way you can the workload one.
Looking back now its almost embarrassing the things that used to get me to that stress point, objectively now my work life is more stressful, but I’m better equipped to deal with it and it doesn’t even register anymorePosted 3 months ago
One thing I found useful was to write a list of what I need to do the next morning so I’m not constantly think ‘can’t forget about this…’
A bit of fresh air and a stroll is definitely good. Especially if you are still working at home
I have found mindfulness good in the past but it’s more for a long term reduction in stress rather than a switch off.
While people have suggested booze – I found even having a non-alcohol beer has the right connotations in my head to help me switch off.Posted 3 months ago
Lots of good suggestions already, but definitely try a few to find the one that works for you. Various doctors and counsellors keep recommending mindfulness to me, and it just makes me worse.
Certainly harder with both of us working from home, getting time and space to disconnect is much harder.Posted 3 months ago
Cycle home from work is what I used to do. Burns off all the stress hormones. So a bit of exercise in the evening if you cannot cycle to and from work. 20 mins and get your heart rate up. Best to be outside as well
Good call from TJ. When I was working in the office (pre-Covid), the commute bookended my work (plus I left the laptop in the office each day anyway).
With WFH, I started doing a Not Commute – get up, do an hour’s ride from my door then get home, shower and go to my desk. I’d sometimes do the same again at the end of the day. I’ve sort of drifted out of that habit now, a mix of boredom at riding the same local routes, the bad weather over winter etc. It was fine in the first lockdown when it was spring, nice weather and there was nothing else to do anyway. I really do need to get back into it cos it really helped.Posted 3 months ago
I’m similar. The normal work cycle results in end of month reporting and forecasting.last year it was becoming too much and I really came close to cracking. I started going for a walk at 0615, aiming to get 10,000 steps in before starting work.Posted 3 months ago
I wanted to get a break in the middle of the day, though this remained aspirational. I often took to doing press ups when I had a spare 5min. Sounds easy,it wasn’t.
At the end of the day I rode on the turbo and watched a film or box set. If there wasn’t time for that I re started building my balsa wood airplane. The plane really forced me to focus on that only and removed work from my mindset.
Later, I avoided the tv as my mind could drift back to work, but reading distracted me and this would be the pre bed routine.
I’ve also tried yoga abd pirates classes, these work but for me only when I could escape the house and go to a class.
Most of the above are focused on the symptoms, not the cause.
Why is your job so important to you that you accept it being detrimental to the rest of your life?Posted 3 months ago
I change into dedicated lounge wear which is a mental indicator work has finished. 🙂
And also, when I’m not training on the turbo I literally do nothing after the kids are in bed. Phones and iPads are away, I just flop on the sofa and mindlessly digest whatever Mrs K puts on the TV.
I also practise mindfulness to calm my thinking down, as my mind is as active as the op’s. One things I learned from cbt is not to chastise yourself for a busy brain, doing so increases stress and anxiety. Just accept it and continue with your relaxation methods.Posted 3 months ago
but my mind always drifts back to work. Sometimes checking work emails.
IT discipline. I have a work phone separate to my personal phone, my work phone is turned off when I get home (personal phone doesn’t come to work) & my work laptop stays at work.
Don’t dip back into work when home.Posted 3 months ago
I think it was mentioned above, I find that a 5-minute wash-up of the day is invaluable before finishing work. I just write notes – what time I have meetings next day, what the main things are that feel like priorities, nagging issues, etc. Even noting down things I’m quietly putting off helps me to feel like I’m on top of them even if I still need to do them.
Longer term I find doing things like this encourages me to keep taking a step back from the work to appraise it, and get it in perspective. Particularly things also mentioned above like workload, managing up/delegating, etc.
Then I ride home!Posted 3 months ago
You can’t lifestyle your way out of a situation like that, nor should you have to. You’re overworked and overstressed, and that’s because your management is abusing you. That’s what you need to address. Because if you don’t, they will keep doing it thinking you’re ok with it.Posted 3 months ago
I think the root cause was caring too much about work and being too emotionally invested in it. Some of the workload and expectations came from myself; I see my own work and have high/unrealistic standards – I probably cared more at times about many things than anybody else involved. Stress and voluntary overtime, much of it nobody was aware of. And for what.
I can definitely relate to this. One thing that has really stuck with me is the section of this video between around the 2nd and 4th minute. The subject of the video isn’t directly relevant, but remembering that each hour of your life you spend working is an hour you will never get back is a good way to motivate yourself to switch off from work and do what you actually want to do with your life.
I find I am not short of ideas of things I would like to do with my evenings, rather I too often lack the mindset to recognise that the right thing to do is to forget work and do things for me.Posted 3 months ago
Get the girl, kill the baddies and save the entire planet.
Video games and exercise.Posted 3 months agoPosted 3 months ago
1. Do you like what you do?
2. Do your management expect this, or even know it’s happening?
3. If you worked less hard would anyone care, or would they just work round. This might not be management inflicted
4. What do you want from your job?
I have to work some weekends and evenings, I have a pretty hefty work budget and expectations, but the upside is that some of it is interesting enough to make the rubbish worthwhile. Personally I think you’re wise to do some exercise in the morning and I do that as well. In the evenings, exercise, mainly climbing , as it very much pulls your attention away, so I’d suggest some efficient exercise and do stuff with your family.Posted 3 months ago
I’d advise NOT going to alcohol, or frittering time away on the TV or youtube as you’ll get to a point of thinking ‘what have I done today’, and TV, youtube will likely look a waste of time.
If you don’t like what you do, and dont see an end in sight , change jobs and fast. You sound very stressed,
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