Do you bring your work home with you? I don’t mean literally, but figuratively. Do you get home, change clothes, sit down in the living room with your family and then begin to complain about your day? Or do you get home, change clothes, pet the dog and look forward to the evening ahead? I choose to do the latter.
We all have bad days at work, daily annoyances, frustration and pressure. We can’t control everyone and everything during our day but we can control how we react. If we choose to complain, bitch and moan about work during our time off, we aren’t allowing ourselves to take advantage of that time off. Why would we rob ourselves of the opportunity to fully engage with our loved ones, focus on a hobby or of our time to rest and recuperate? Why would we waste a precious evening complaining and rehashing what someone said to us; what someone did (or didn’t) do or a company policy we don’t agree with?
It’s natural for us to want to vent and receive support from our families or friends. However, to vent on a daily basis is not only disruptive to our own personal time, this behavior also disrupts the personal lives of our captive audience. I learned many years ago, for the sake of my own happiness and the happiness of those around me, to leave work where it belongs, at the office.
This ability took training and a conscious effort to not talk shop at home, at the tennis court or out to dinner with friends. Once you make the decision and effort not to unload the minute you get home; switching gears from work to personal time eventually gets easier. We can be truly in the moment and allow ourselves to enjoy our pau hana activities, be more efficient in personal matters and be someone our loved ones look forward to spending time with.
We will still have those overwhelming days and those workplaces where something so egregious is happening that you need to actively job search. In those situations, I’m not saying fake it and act like nothing is wrong. It’s ok to let your loved ones know you had a bad day or that your job is not working out. What I am saying is I try not to get in the habit of letting work stress permanently take over my personal time and I understand that no job will ever be stress free. My approach is to embrace my time away from work; to be grateful. My glass may be cracked at times, but it’s always half full.
I find having an activity does help to clear my mind. Walking, swimming, watching the sunset or writing helps me transition into a more personal and positive frame of mind. How do you get your mind to switch gears at the end of the work day?