One powerful practice that has changed my ability to be present and engage with my family after work has been parking around the corner from my house for 5-15 minutes before walking in the door.
Now researches are catching on to how essential an “after work break” can be. The Wall Street Journal recently addressed how to make the transition home a happier one:
Shaking off the after-work blues can be hard, especially when we are tired. The human stress response is a chemical chain reaction of hormones coursing through one’s syste-m, says Jordan Friedman, a New York City stress-management trainer and author. Add fatigue, “and it’s like dousing those chemicals with lighter fluid.”
This physical state fuels the normal human tendency to recall and ruminate on negative experiences. But if people can distance themselves from the office, create a mental break and avoid thinking about work, they tend to feel more upbeat during the evening, according to a 2013 study led by Sabine Sonnentag, a professor of work and organizational psychology at the University of Mannheim, in Germany.
We know that every person has there own behavioral style and motivations, so your after work break will look different from other people. But three steps to transitioning home were suggested:
- Leaving Work – What are the practices at the end of your work day that will help you leave work well? Some people put a “buffer zone” on their calendar to allow them time to wrap things up, straighten their desk, and prep for the next day.
- Getting Home – How can you spend your commute home in a refreshing way? Consider how public transportation allows you to read, talk with others, or let your mind focus on other things than driving, how biking allows you to get exercise, and whether or not what you listen to in the car is really helping you prepare for time with your family or friends.
- Walking Through the Door – What are your, and others’, expectations when you walk in the door? Consider what routines to establish with meals, time with kids, connecting with your spouse, or having a few moments to yourself that will help you be attentive and present with those most important in your life.
Unlock how your behavioral style and motivators would customize your professional and personal development practices, like taking a break after work, by connecting with one of our Sr. Talent Consultants: