Over the years I’ve had a lot of different jobs. No matter how much I loved each job there was always more than a few of “those days” where I left my job unhappy, upset, stressed or fried.
I’ve often been told to leave my work at work. Or don’t bring your work home with you at the end of the day. Can I just say I hate that advice? I mean I get it, really I do but it is so HARD to leave it all behind!
Some of the things you endure at work really stick with you.
I mean it is really hard to let go of the hurt when a customer yells at you for not having the right color or size of shoes even though MY job is to fill the shelves not order stock.
It is really hard to be ducking produce some child is throwing at you when you are ringing them in as a cashier and then have the parent refuse to buy the produce because “that was on the floor.”
How do you walk away from cleaning up a shredded used pad that some customer decided to spread all over the floor, bench, and walls? Then slap a smile on your face and help the next one in line?
Or… I can go on and on. I’m going to guess you can too, right?
So how do you keep going?
You grin and bear it. Until it becomes GRIT and bear it. Then you do that until it is time to leave.
I’d love to say I shrug it off, but some days I’d be shrugging so much I’d be saying, “I don’t know!”
Then you get home and there is a whole slew of things to deal with. You have kids that want your attention and need it. You have a house that needs to be taken care of, picked up and cleaned. You have people to feed, school work to check, and don’t get me started on the animals! Who’s idea was that anyway? Oh right, mine!
For me when I have already hit my threshold of what I can handle it doesn’t take much to set me off. Tripping over the shoe I just took off is enough. Not kidding!
I get the feeling I might not be alone there.
How do you cope? How do you leave the anger, exhaustion, hurt feelings behind?
1. Think of one good moment from work. Just one, it can be as simple as walking 10 feet and not spilling coffee to a smile from a customer. If you can think of something funny, cute or charming, share that at home.
2. Realize that mistakes happen. If the “bad moment” was something you did wrong, learn from it. Decide how you could have handled it differently, be it a miscommunication, ask for clarity, prepare better and move on.
If it was not your fault, recognize that and try to let it go. This one is always a harder one for me.
3. Don’t dwell on it. This advice came from a coworker who was only 17 years old. After an older customer chewed me out for 30 minutes straight and my ears were still ringing she pulled me aside. She told me, “You are playing it over and over again in your mind. You didn’t do anything wrong, stop dwelling on it and let it go. The more you think about it the more upset you get. It keeps getting bigger and bigger. You are giving her the power, get off the crazy train.” She was right. That was exactly what I was doing.
4. Drive home a different way. On your way home think of the bad moments and how to fix them or deal with the fallout. When you feel you’ve done all you can, turn on your favorite tunes, podcast or whatever and chill out. Try not to think about work thus mentally “leaving your work at work”.
5. Use your drive/commute home as “your time”. You know that time we have such a hard time getting? So relax, play your music, chill out, stop and get coffee. Don’t rush. Take your time. Warning: Be realistic and don’t go so slow you are late otherwise getting home feeling rushed or late could stress you out more.
6. When home, ask questions first. Instead of waiting for the “how was your day?” You ask first. Then listen, give them your full attention.
7. Take a hot bath or shower to let go of the stress of the day and wash the “work” off. Change out of work clothes.Don't bring your bad work day home with you. 7 ways to let it go. Click To Tweet
Bonus tip: If you can grab a few minutes a quick workout such as yoga, a walk, or HIIT will help you let go of a bad day!
You can let some of the work go at the end of the day.
I never said it was easy and although I do still struggle from time to time it is getting better. I am starting to not only understand how necessary but to enjoy those few minutes of transition from work mom to just mom.