Making smoother transitions from work to home and vice versa can help you enjoy all aspects of your life more. While bringing work issues home seems to be the most common problem, some simple strategies can help ease the transition in either direction.
Use goodbye rituals
Whether it’s saying goodbye to your family members and pets, or playing a quick game with your kids, it helps to use a consistent pattern for your farewells. A dependable kiss and a phrase of affection can steer everyone toward having a good day.
Glance at your planner
To prepare for the day’s activities, take a quick look at whatever type of planner you use. This can trigger some creative ideas and strategies for the day. Each evening, check what is on the schedule or needed for the next day.
Try to cut down on the daily rush
When driving to work, ease up on the gas pedal. Try to leave a few minutes earlier so that you’re not weaving in traffic or tailgating slower drivers. If you work from home, try preparing the night before your work day. If you’re going to be on your computer, tidy your home office, and pre-program your coffee maker or tea kettle.
From work to home
Leave work issues at work. If you’ve had a bad day, whether it be in your home office or at work itself, the last thing you want to do is bring those issues and feelings home with you. For everyone’s benefit, mentally remove yourself from work before coming home or logging off for the day.
Start fresh at home
Familiar returning-home rituals can help clear your head and refresh you. Do something simple like changing clothes or washing your face. Or, stand out on the back porch for a moment to breathe. Put on your favorite soothing music or do your favorite exercise. Sweep out the garage. Experiment and find out what works best for you.
Enjoy a little down time
Don’t rush right into preparing a meal if you can help it. Grab at least a few moments of relaxation with your partner, children and/or pets first.
Make a clean break
At home for the evening, avoid work-related email and messaging if possible. If you can’t fully avoid it, limit it to just a set time, away from the family space.
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This document is for your information only. It is not meant to give medical advice. It should not be used to replace a visit with a provider. Magellan Health does not endorse other resources that may be mentioned here.