The time between finally leaving the office and eventually being able to relax on the couch with wine and Netflix can feel a bit like dead time. You’re still trying to unwind from your day at work and you know you have to fight traffic / go grocery shopping / pick up new lightbulbs before you can get some down time.
So, it’s no wonder we arrive home cranky and disinterested in our boyfriend’s day. But, a recent post on The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says you can make your after-work routine a happy one. And it might just end up bringing joy to every evening.
1. Tie up loose ends before you leave the office
The post says, ‘Before leaving work, consider setting aside your unfinished to-do list and instead write down all your accomplishments, says Deb Levy, a Cambridge, Mass., business and life coach.’ Use the last 30 minutes of each day to finish up any task you can do relatively quickly. It will help you feel productive, and let you end the day on a high note.
2. Ditch the car
‘Biking or walking to and from work can ease unhappiness, and taking a bus or train allows time to relax or read, according to a study last year at the University of East Anglia.’ And while you’re on the bus, talk to a stranger. The post reveals that a ‘University of Chicago study found talking with strangers can lighten one’s mood.’ And, add in a stop to do something you love; go to gym, have a walk or simply buy a coffee for the commute.
3. Pre-empt a bad-mood maker in the morning
Before you leave for work, make sure your home looks like you’ll want it to look when you get back. ‘If your mood tanks at the thought of cooking dinner, buy takeout, or prepare and freeze meals in advance. If you get stressed at the sight of piles of dirty laundry, throw a load into the washer in the morning…’ suggests the WSJ.
4. Check your mood over time
It’s one thing to occasionally feel annoyed after work, but if your bad mood just isn’t letting up, you may need to seriously reevaluate your work life. According to the post, ‘Deeper solutions are needed if the after-work blues drag on for a week or more. “A mood is like a fever,” Dr. Kahn, a Severna Park, Md., psychologist, author and executive coach, says. “It’s a signal your system is giving you that something isn’t right.”’