A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday night, I kept myself awake, dreading going into work; my brain was haunted by the big list of to-dos I had waiting for me on my desk. As the weekend came I vividly remember not feeling even a little excited (I know this seems like such a first world problem)…I wasn’t excited because waiting there for me as I left the office was a big list of to-dos waiting for me to tackle on Monday.
I went back the following Monday, tired from a restless night, stressed from the list of work I had to do, annoyed by office politics and bottling up all my emotions and, just like a fizzy bottle slowly being shuck, I exploded. I went to the bathroom and I cried. I took an early lunch and realised something had to change. Now, I’ll be the very last person to say that showing emotion at work is unprofessional; I cry basically every day. But this was different. I wasn’t in a good place. So, I did what I always do in a time of crisis – I made a list.
The list made me realise that no job or work is worth being unhappy for, nothing is permanent and I didn’t deserve to feel this way. Hooray for oversharing on the internet but if I could help at least one other person, who feels like their life has been negatively changed by work, then my list is valid. Here it is:
How to stop taking stress into the weekend:
- Take at least two hours away from work before bed. My brain slowly started to adapt to being out of work mode when I did this. On the weekend I totally close off from it, unless it’s a big emergency. To be honest, this has come in very nicely with a much-needed social media break where I was looking at fabricated posts about how much other people love their job.
- Make little changes in your life. More than anything, this is a simple reminder that nothing is permanent and you are in complete control. No matter how big or little this change is, you can do it, you are strong and motivated.
- Talk to somebody. I made the mistake of keeping all my feelings to myself until it was too late. If you really have to, talk to your boss about your workload, see what changes you can make.
- Do not entertain work-related matters once you step foot in your house. You see, my freelancing made this a little difficult for me so I allocated certain times. No 9-5 work stuff out of those times and no freelancing issues past 10pm. If an email, text or post came through about work in any way, I would put it to the side until I had to deal with it. This was weirdly hard to get into at first – it seems like second nature to answer emails or pick up the phone, but you don’t have to.
- Say no. Know your limits, know your breaking points and say no every now and then. This could even be at work itself. Obviously, don’t make it so abrupt (unless you really want to) but lear to decline certain things. At work, I now say to people, with honesty, when I don’t have the time to do things, when something doesn’t match my skills or when you don’t want to do something that you know won’t benefit you. It’s completely okay to do this.
- Learn to let go. If you’re in a nightclub, worrying about work, then there’s an issue. Learn to let go once in a little while and just forget about it all – you’ll pick it up when you get back in the office. Afterall, I’m only 21, I should be enjoying myself.