Everyone experiences stress. In fact, most American professionals would say they face regular stress as it relates to their jobs. But as a business owner, you face an entirely different level of pressure, tension, and anxiety. The weight of the company is on your shoulders and a mistake here or a misstep there could have a direct effect on the health of your company.
In order to maintain a certain level of sanity and avoid overworking yourself, it’s critically important that you unwind after work. But, perhaps even more importantly, you need to unwind in a healthy way.
Unhealthy Habits That Don’t Work
To unwind is to relax after a period of work or tension. Unfortunately, society tends to throw things at us that appear relaxing on the surface, but are actually just cheap distractions designed to provide a temporary effect.
Before we investigate some of the safe and effective ways business owners can de-stress after work hours, let’s highlight a few of the unhealthy habits that deliver diminishing returns.
Each evening, millions of Americans return home from work and enjoy a cold beer, cocktail, or glass of wine. But if you’re constantly relying on alcohol to relax—and it takes two or three drinks to get to that point—you’re actually doing yourself a disservice. Alcohol abuse leads to a number of unsavory consequences. Over the long run, it will do much more harm than good. There’s nothing wrong with having a drink every now and then, but don’t turn to it as a form of escape.
Watching the News
Maybe you like watching the evening news, or flipping on one of those news talk shows after dinner. While it’s good to stay on top of current events, watching the news on a regular basis will only make you more anxious. By design, the news is designed to scare you with divisive and sensational stories. In this sense, ignorance is bliss.
Doing More Work
Many business owners believe their stress level would go down tremendously if they could just “catch up” or “get ahead.” Consequently, they bring work home with them and try to get a jump start on the next day. However, the truth is that you’ll never catch up. There will always be something that needs to get done. Relaxing is a far better use of your time.
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4 Safe and Effective Ways to De-Stress
So if it’s a bad idea to pour a drink, turn on the news, and knock out a little work on your laptop, what are some of the safe and effective ways you can actually de-stress after a long day at the office?
1. Get Some Exercise
Over and over again, study after study has shown that physical activity reduces stress. While you might think your body wants you to plop down on the sofa and watch Netflix, you’ll actually get a lot more benefit out of a run around the block or a trip to the gym.
2. Play with Your Kids
Want to put things in perspective and forget all about work for a couple of hours? Play with your kids. It’s virtually impossible to stress out over work when you’re rolling around on the floor with your giggling toddler, doing crafts with your five-year-old, or playing basketball with your teenage son.
3. Take a Hot Bath or Shower
There’s something very therapeutic about ditching your work clothes, running a hot bath or shower, and soaking away the stress of the day. You’ll get out feeling refreshed and clean, both physically and mentally.
4. Turn off Your Devices
Finally, make it a point to turn off your devices after work. Don’t just put them on silent. Actually turn them off and put them away. When you don’t have your phone, tablet, or computer competing for your attention, you can do things that allow you to relax—like read a book, cook dinner, or play a board game with your spouse.
Set Yourself up for Success
There must be some division in your life. Running a business is stressful, and, at some level, it always will be. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be constantly frazzled. You must make time to relax and unwind. Otherwise, stress and anxiety will rule your life.