Tips for decompressing before and shortly after returning home at the end of the day
Going home at the end of a workday should be a positive experience. If the stress of the workday is making it difficult to transition back into your home setting, try some of these ideas:
- Leave work at work—when possible.
- Don't race home. "Fighting" traffic will do nothing to create a positive mood.
- If your automobile is your "portable office," it needs a "closing time."
- Decompress on the way home by listening to music, an audio book, or turn everything off and enjoy the quiet.
- Try to arrive home every day at the same time if possible and plan an enjoyable routine.
- Plan to join the family for the evening meal at home or at a restaurant on the way home. Sharing a meal with loved ones helps most people relax.
- Upon arriving, greet everyone like you missed them and are glad to see them—this will set a positive tone for your evening.
- Change into casual clothes that help you feel relaxed.
- Ask about your spouse's or children's day—then listen. Ask follow up questions if you do not feel like talking. They will love it and keep the conversation going while you begin to relax.
- If you never want to talk upon your arrival home, let the family know you need some quiet time to decompress before catching up on everyone's day. This will help to prevent misunderstanding or others from feeling you are rejecting them.
- If you have children who want your attention, take time to play with them for a while when you first get home.
- If you are picking up children from school or daycare, shift your focus to them by asking about their day. Most will be eager to tell you about it.
- If you have several small children waiting for you—well…may the force be with you!
- Finally, if you feel you must take work home with you, plan your work space and work time with your family before you begin so they know to give you their consideration during this time. If you have children, invest in a noise-reduction headset.