How do you leave the stress of work at work?

How do you cope with the stresses of your job? What do you do to make sure that you aren’t spending all of your free time thinking about the problems that you have at work?

Personally, I am having a hard time forgetting about what happened the previous day or days at work and also find myself thinking about the next day’s events. I already spend more time at work than I should, and it’s not like I get paid for overtime. I’ve always been someone who is highly critical of myself and who wants to make everyone happy and do my job well. It seems that I can’t do that in this job, as there is always something someone thinks I could have done better. :frowning:


This is why Karana created various forms of intoxicants. Pick your poison, and indulge.

Or. . . you could do something a little more constructive like exercising to fatigue, focusing on a sports goal, take up a hobby, do some meditation, focus on some other relationships in your life, start a business after work to put your mind on something else or think of your work differently.

I got this book Awake at Work. It’s about using your work as a spiritual journey, so instead of thinking about your work as work, you think about it as some life lesson or something. It’s a Buddhist book but there are others like it for Christians, and the Buddhist book is more about reframing so it’s not really religious like that.

That said, I suck at all of these except for the meditation one so I’m probably not the one to ask. But I have tried them all. And I haven’t taken to intoxicants yet. . . unless he meant some of these things as intoxicants. :dubious:

I talk about work with my husband for a few minutes when we first get home, then move on to other stuff.

I’ve found a half hour at the gym to be very helpful. 30 minutes on the cardio machine while reading my book is enough to distract me that by the time I’m done, it doesn’t bother me anymore.

I think part of it is just learning to discipline your mind (which people usually do through meditation). You simply tell yourself, “Okay, work is over. I’m not thinking about it any longer. I’m going to focus on what I’m doing now {watching tv, reading, playing with family/pets, etc.}.” Note I say “simply,” not “easily.” :slight_smile: Really, what good are you doing by dwelling on work things at home? You can’t do anything until you go back to work, so why waste time thinking about it?

I found walking to and from work was really helpful, too. It makes sort of a natural transition time - you’re not home, and you’re not at work.

I make a ritual of changing from work clothes to relaxing clothes. Wearing a tie is particularly useful for this: I can rip it off, fling it to the ground, and stomp on it until I feel better.

Well, I don’t actually stomp. I only buy very pretty ties, and I can’t bear to abuse them. I’m such a girl sometimes.

Oh, I thought of another one. Post on the Dope a LOT. If you do it enough, you’re bound to be annoyed by something someone says around here. Then you’ll be focusing on that annoyance instead of the work annoyance and voila!, you’re not thinking about work anymore. You’re still annoyed, but well. . . :stuck_out_tongue:

A lot depends on just where the stress comes from. I was a mailman and the thing that caused me the most stress was my lack of control. No control of how much mail there was, what weather I had to deal with, no choice of work method and no approval of my work no matter how well I did it.
I took a lot of solace from my hobbies (guitar playing and model airplane building/flying) because I was in control there. I did it when I wanted to, to the best of my abilities. And occasionally got approval from others when I did it well.
So…find something you enjoy doing and learn to do it as well as you can, and enjoy the learning, too.

Beer. Gotta love that post-work, with dinner drink.

I actually came in to post what ivylass suggested. Hitting the gym after work is a great way to de-stress and leave work at work.

I also often tell myself, “They are not paying you enough to think about this shit at 3:00 am.”

Thanks everyone. These are really helpful! I’ve been prolonging joining a gym for some time, I guess now’s that time. I’m also going to check out that book Heffalump and Roo, thanks!

Keep 'em coming!

How do I do it? I date a co-worker, so that we can keep stewing over workplace frustrations while we’re out having a beer or in watching Iron Chef, and I drink too much.

You know what, on second thought don’t take my advice. :(:slight_smile:

A 26 mile commute, and a home gym. I yell and grumble and fuss and cuss during the drive, and finish with an intense workout. Then I start drinking.

I hate my job, but it pays well.

My advise is basically the same as Pansy’s. I go to the gym before I get home so I’m forced to think about something else and if that doesn’t work I live 50 miles from the office so I have an hour to hash things out. I’ve had some problems that almost made itthrough but none that succeded. Plus I have a puppy to play with once I’m home and who can bead when playing with a puppy.

I love the location at my job now. I go hiking after work 3 days a week. Nothing could be better than this.

As an alternative, I’d suggest a gym workout after work. While I prefer to get outdoors, a gym workout is an acceptable alternative.

I got a low-stress job. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to an idiotic high-stress crappy job.

It depends on the nature of the stress.
In my last job, the stress was mostly caused by an inability to leave work at work. At any time, you could get a message on your Blackberry to respond to some made up crisis. It’s stressful because you need to be constantly responsive to a bunch of childish assholes otherwise you could fall behind on the cartoonishly rapid promotion track or not get picked up for future projects or eventually laid off.

At my current job, stress is caused by the fact that it is a dead end job in a giant buerocracy and the people there are essentially losers - unmotivated, barely competant with terrible work ethics, senses of entitlement and terrible attitudes. It’s not so much “stress” as it is a nagging sense that I made a horrible career choice.

Well, can you blame them?

Also, maybe they just work like losers. Or are we how we work?

That’s a good point - there comes a time when you realize that all the stress-relief in the world isn’t going to fix a bad situation.

The way I see it, you are how you chose to work and what you chose to work at. And organizations define what sort of work culture they want to encourage. Some people want an interesting and challenging career. Other people just want a 9-5 job where they can coast and hide out until retirement.