Personal development

Personal Development Institute psychologist suggests ways to relax after work and reduce stress

At some point in your life, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced stress, both good and bad. While it takes a certain amount of stress to function, too much stress can negatively impact your health and daily life.

All people are subject to varying degrees of stress, but adults between the ages of 30 and 50 tend to be particularly sensitive.

Why is that ? In general, people are more stressed when they have multiple requests. Work can create conflicting priorities, but at the same time, people between the ages of 30 and 50 are also juggling additional demands such as their social life, fitness routine, parenting duties, or other commitments.

The added pressures associated with fatigue from work can make it difficult to relax at the end of the day. While everyone’s response to stress is unique, common symptoms of stress include:

• Excessive worry that is difficult to control;

• Gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea or upset stomach);

• Headache;

• Difficulty in breathing;

• Fast heartbeat;

• Difficulty sleeping;

• Acting with more irritation, fatigue or emotional sensitivity than usual;

• Clench or grind your teeth;

• Feeling dizzy or overwhelmed;

• Struggling to make decisions;

• Carry out the actions of the day without having any intention.

When trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance, properly managing stress is essential. These days, it can be difficult not to bring your work-related worries home, especially as remote working has become the new normal for many.

However, there are some easy ways to deal with stress. First, set hard limits for when you’re going to stop working. If you are working remotely, create a dedicated workspace and separate it from your personal living space, and if you are at work, try not to engage in assignments once you leave.

While you’ll probably never end your workday with a clean slate, keep in mind that if you don’t have a task that needs immediate attention, save it for the next day.

Dealing with stress at work and in personal life allows you to feel healthier, be more available to friends and family, and have an enjoyable lifestyle.

The influence of technology has created an “always on” lifestyle, blurring the lines between home and work.

To help you de-stress, set up an after-work ritual, such as putting on comfortable clothes or listening to music. Plus, plan something fun for the off hours, like grabbing an ice cream or taking the time to watch a movie you wanted to see.

To further alleviate your stress, make your living space as comfortable as possible. Dedicate a space where you can surround yourself with beautiful things that make you smile, reminding you of the people and memories you love.

Another tip? Find your “happy place” outside. Getting out for a while during the work day or going for a short walk after work can do wonders in reducing stress.

Breathing fresh air promotes the production of serotonin, which is a key hormone in stabilizing mood and increasing feelings of well-being.

Taking deep breaths and thinking positive thoughts will allow you to relax and move on with your workload.

Another thing you can do to reduce stress is nothing! In today’s society, there is more and more pressure to always be on the move. Simply doing nothing can ease the burden of a day’s work as it allows your mind and body to rest and recover. So, don’t feel guilty for sitting still and unplugging yourself.

Planning for the day ahead can also help reduce your stress. The night before work, do what you can to manage your time more effectively and reduce your stress levels. For example, pack your work bag, pick your outfit, or cook breakfast tomorrow.

Stress is a natural part of life and work. If you learn to control your stress in an appropriate way, you can gain a new perspective on your work and career goals, allowing you to meet any challenges that come your way.

• Dr. Nicole Thompson-Wilson works with the team at the Personal Development Institute, a member of the DuPage Medical Group, which is dedicated to providing psychological, psychiatric and integrative medicine services to patients. She specializes in a variety of conditions including ADHD, anxiety, behavioral issues, depression, family conflict, mood disorders, PTSD, stress, trauma, and women’s issues. For more information on IPD or to make an appointment, visit

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