Work is an essential part of being human. Not just to survive and sustain, but also for self-fulfillment, self-awareness, and for achieving your ultimate dreams. However, after a while, this work takes over our lives. It takes over us in a way that everything in our life becomes about work. Every recreation activity, every outing, every plan is canceled, postponed, or missed because of work. Not just that, but most times we even had to give up our desires to acquire skills, to get an education, because we fail to pull ourselves out of the busy work life.
It’s not just our physical involvement in work that prevents us from doing many things, but it is also the mental involvement that traps us and keeps us stressed, and anxious long after the working hours are over, and we are at home.
Work-life balance is even poorer in Pakistan than in other countries. There are people in Pakistan who worked all their lives without ever going on vacations, without finding mediums to de-stress and relax. One of the reasons why hypertension is a very common condition in Pakistan is due to this factor. Vacations and even small breaks in Pakistan are considered an extreme luxury as opposed to a basic necessity for good mental health.
The Real Reason behind Nerve Wrecking Work-Life That Bleeds Into Our Personal Life
There is an extreme class divide in Pakistan, yet almost everyone suffers from work-related stress. The high rate of business activities, the workplace challenges, and the unstable economy of the country, the tough competition, lack of jobs, and just the challenges of work keeps us on our toes.
And when we come back home at the end of the day, we are still mentally trapped at work, which also leads to extremely volatile behavior at home. This leads to a chain reaction and everyone else at home.
Problems after problems at work lead to emotional overloading on employees. Additionally, many workplaces put so much workload at employees, that they have no choice but to bring the work home and even work during transit.
Let’s learn how doing simple things and investing in the right activity can help us de-stress from nerve-wrecking jobs.
Detach and Unplug With Meditation and a Novel in Hand
If you are already a reader, then you’ll know exactly why we recommend reading a novel. If you are not, then pick up a good book, and then you’ll understand why we recommended it.
The thing about reading novels is that it separates you from your own life, albeit for a little while, and allows you to detach from stressful thoughts. However, it doesn’t negatively distract you. Matter of fact, you couldn’t have found a better and more valuable distraction.
Books allow you to learn lessons, to draw inspiration, and even take a page out of your favorite character’s life and apply it in your own. Another good thing about books is that it truly allows you to put your phone and laptop away and disconnect from the highly connected world we live in. Sometimes a text or an email is all it takes to reel you back in. A paperback is your best chance at detaching, decompressing, and unplugging.
Another thing that books do is give our minds a little creative streak and allow us to come up with our original ideas and thoughts. Ironically, many of the times, you find the solution to your work problems after detaching and while reading a book.
The next best thing you can do to unplug is meditating during your commute. You can do that while coming back from work, so that by the time you reach home, your thoughts are arranged and your stress nowhere in sight.
To switch off from work mode, you can meditate with a few simple steps. Sit extremely comfortably, with your back straight. Drain your mind from all thoughts and focus on your body. Breathe deeply, inhale and exhale 4 to 5 times. Now close your eyes and focus on your body, on all parts of your body from your head down to your very toes. Keep yourself relaxed, thinking about nothing at all. Once you have done a mental body scan, open your eyes, breathe deep, inhale and exhale again, and you are done.
Whether you work in an office behind a desk all day, or you work from home, sometimes all you need to give yourself a break is a short walk.
That’s correct. Just stand up, step out, and take a walk, preferably in an outdoor place where you won’t see any other colleagues.
It's more efficient if you find a natural setting, but any place would do. Walking is a very effective solution to keeping your stress in check, at work. If you manage to deal with your work stress, right there in the office, then there are very little chances you’ll bring it home.
What this trick does is, it allows your body to release endorphins. Endorphins are the feel-good hormones that boost energy levels, subdue anxiety, and makes your mood better. Make sure your walk lasts at least 15 minutes.
Once you get back at your desk after the walk, your mind will be refreshed, and you’ll work faster and smarter.
Also, make sure to wear comfortable shoes at work so that you have one less thing to worry about.
Do not be afraid to use new methods to calm yourself down. While essential oils have been part of natural wellness regimen for 5000 years, they’re still somewhat an uncommon method of de-stressing in Pakistan.
Yet all we need to know about them is that they work. Invest in some high-quality essential oil such as lavender and a diffuser. While there is an endless number of essential oils, each targeting a different issue, lavender is known for its calming properties.
High-grade pure oils are much more potent than the flower itself and help alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety such as headaches, muscle pain, tiredness, and panic.
Essential oils can be used in many ways. One of the methods is to pour a drop into your palm, rub them, and then cup your hands under your nose for a few minutes, as you take deep breaths. Another way you can use lavender oil is to put it in a diffuser and run it in your room as soon as you get back home. Take a shower, remove your makeup, and change into your comfortable clothes. Sit down in your room for a few minutes, take deep breaths and you’ll feel yourself relaxing and the stress almost leaving your body.
Take Advantage of Your Commute Home
At the end of the day, as you are making your way back home, you couldn’t help but replay the events of the day back in your head. As a result of this, by the time you reach home, your mind is still thinking of work. You fail to be present with your family members or even focus on yourself. To get out of this stress, before you reach home, take advantage of the time it takes you to reach home. There are many things you can do during the transit to clear your head and de-stress. If you are in your car, invest in a high-quality car humidifier. You can also use it for aromatherapy and pour a few drops of lavender oil.
While driving, you can also listen to audiobooks, which will not only keep the work stress away but also prevent you from stressing over traffic and bad drivers. Matter of fact, you can even utilize this time to read non-fiction books in areas you’d like to grow and develop, killing two birds with one stone. Also, don’t forget to purchase a long-lasting USB car charger, so you have no fear of your phone dying on you while you’re listening to your audiobook.
Create a Soothing Home Environment for Yourself
Stressful work life can only be balanced by having a very soothing and calm environment at home. When your life at home is completely stress-free, no amount of work stress can undo you. Make sure your house environment is the one where you can recharge your energy and not a vibe that puts you in even more stress.
Some subtle things can make you feel a lot better and relaxed. Decluttered room is one of them. Utilize your weekends to introduce some orderliness in your home. Getting rid of non-usable items, cleaning up, and organizing everything is de-stressing in its own. On the contrary, cluttered desks, scattered items, and chaotic décor have a way of getting on your nerves and instead of relaxing you, it makes you feel even ickier.
In addition to decluttering, you can also add other things in your home and make it your haven, a place that makes you forget all about rude clients, deals on the brink of collapsing, and capital falling short. You can always light up your house with scented candles, or LED candles if you have little ones and pets in the house.
One of the best stress reducers are our furry friends, and we are not the only ones saying this. There’s a large number of scientific studies that agree. According to research, interacting with animals release oxytocin in our brains that are known to reduce anxiety and improve our mood.
Even if you don’t have your pet, you can always visit that friend/family who has one on your way back from work. You can even visit a pet shop and quick pet alone will make your day! Trust us, you don’t even have to be a very enthusiastic pet lover to alleviate the symptoms of your stress.
Sometimes your brain just needs to shut-off for a while to deal with the storm at work. All the stress, long working hours, and new problems make our minds suffer badly. A point comes when it simply stops processing thoughts. When you are at work, we suggest taking a 10 minutes power nap. That is all it takes for your mind to recharge and start working at its best. A little sleep helps stabilize emotions, restore the functionality of the brain, and boost energy. You can sleep at your desk, in the dining area, or if your workplace’s infrastructure is ahead of its time and already have a nap room, then go there.
Once you have taken the nap, the solutions, the answers, and the ideas will come faster and better to you.
Opt for Tea Instead of Coffee
While coffee is the key to staying awake and getting that boost of energy, tea is what works when you are stressful and not sleepy. Go for green tea or chamomile tea instead of the regular kind as they are more calming, reduce inflammation, and give you a manageable dose of energy.
Coffee, on the other hand, heightens all your senses, which means if you are stressed, you will become even more stressed after that.
Go-Ahead and Deal with That Stress
This is one of the best advice you’ll ever receive about dealing with stress. Instead of avoiding it, or delaying thinking about it, embrace the root cause of your stress. If all the relaxation methods have failed for you, just look the stress in the eye and do something about it. It’s better if you have a diary handy.
Here’s how you go about it. List all the things that are worrying you, every little thing, and leave some space beneath each stress-causer. Now, write a solution for each one. If it’s an important meeting next week, then assign 2 hours of a day before to prepare for it. If there’s an email worrying you, plan your day early and commit to writing that email first thing in the morning when you are energized, etc.
This way, your mind, and your thoughts will settle down as you find a solution for each stress causer. Once your mind is at ease, you are good to go.
Now that you have every trick in the book to deal with your work stress and lead a healthier lifestyle, we suggest you make some quick purchases if there’s anything you need. For de-stressing tools, head to Farosh.Pk as it’s offering up to 80% discount on all their products.