Getting wrapped up in your work can be easy, especially if you’re in a highly demanding, high-stress profession. There’s no shame in working hard and being passionate about your job, but drawing a line between your work and personal life is essential.
This is an easy task for some; they can flip a switch and be done with it. Others might be more difficult. The laptop gets taken home, the conversation always drifts to work, and the professional life begins taking more and more time away from your personal life.
Depression and stress rank among the top two workplace problems among professionals. Whether that be because of long hours, an inability to disconnect or a hostile work environment, it’s an important issue that cannot be tossed to the sidelines or overlooked.
Take a look at some suggestions below to find that perfect line for you.
Find the Line
Let’s say you’ve had a long day at work. It was one of those days where you look at the clock at noon, look back three hours later, and it’s only 12:05 pm. How is that possible?
It could be a client giving you the runaround or a patient who just wouldn’t even let you talk, claiming they know more than you because they read WebMD on their phone right before you came in.
On your drive home, you can’t get past the day you had. Everything you think about leads back to your work and the issues that the next day or week may bring. Those thoughts follow you home, drive your conversation at the dinner table and keep you up at night.
How do you stop thinking about work?
One of the ways that some people find helpful is having the perfect cut-off time. That could be anything from a physical marker like the elementary school on your way home or when the clock strikes 5:30 pm.
Does that mean you shouldn’t talk about or ever not think about work? You’re most likely to get questions of “how was your day” or “how’s work going” from someone, but your work isn’t your identity. It’s called time off for a reason!
Make Sure You’re in a Healthy Work Environment
One of the most significant factors is ensuring you’re in an environment you feel comfortable in, where you can grow and be the best employee possible.
You can tell a lot about a workplace by doing some basic investigating and seeing what hours you are expected to work, who you will be working with and what specific demands a job may have.
If anything about a work environment makes you cringe or causes you to raise an internal red flag, it’s OK to skip that position. Sunday evenings are always sad times because the weekend is ending, but you never want to feel a sense of dread or anxiety because you’re going to work tomorrow.
Even if you can bear it initially, it may be hard to continue going there every day. Make sure you’re in a great environment to be the best professional you can be and the best individual.
Find an Activity
Once you’re out of work and on your way home, you have the whole evening ahead of you. Sure, you could be busy with a family event or a friend’s birthday party, but chances are you’ll have at least a little time to yourself.
This is the perfect time for you to explore your activity or hobby. Pick up the guitar again, take that art class or finally try and beat that video game. You could start going to yoga with your friends, focus on training your dog or find some volunteer opportunity.
It’s great to find something that’s yours since most of your day is more than likely dedicated to your work and what others ask of you.
Not only will you be able to keep your mind occupied, but you’ll be able to learn something new or improve on an old skill. They give you a feeling of confidence and give you an extra sense of purpose.