A lot of us tend to not take a break just to get more work done. It turns out, this makes us less effective at work and we get less done.
We experience stress daily in our lives, whatever our profession. It is unavoidable. But there are ways we can lessen its effects on our day-today lives (and get to do some things we enjoy too).
When you work in a high-pressure or emotionally draining job, you need to find ways to get some of that drained energy back. Imagine your daily energy like a water bottle; you use it up by drinking it, but you can fill it up with more water. As you go about your day, you’re slowly pouring out that water as you work. At the end of the day, if all you’ve done is pour energy out, you aren’t going to have much left when you get home. You might find you have less energy as time goes on. You could be going to work with a half-filled water bottle, expecting it to get you through the entire day.
So how can we refill? Taking a break. A lot of us tend to skip our break times just to get more work done. It turns out, this makes us less effective at work and we get less done. You can do small things you enjoy or find ways to disconnect from your work. For example, some nurses will simply go to another room without patients to get a little peace and quiet after a difficult patient. Other people take a short walk or go chat with a co-worker. You could bring some food you enjoy to your work and make the time to enjoy it. That’s a key part of all this – making the time to refill. You aren’t taking away time from work, you’re gaining back energy, creativity, and efficiency.
Lastly, I’d like to propose to you using transition rituals to detach from your day and leaving thoughts of the office behind. Many people develop rituals such as changing their clothes, hearing the key in the office lock as they leave for the day, or playing music on their drive home. By the time you get home, it may make it easier to transition over to who you are outside of work.