Does work seem to follow you home? And you feel like you just can’t shake it? Well, there’s something that you can do. A new study says that the more strife you’re dealing with at work, the more you need a fun, relaxing, or at least distracting cushion activity to jump into after work before you lock into your normal nightly routine. As simple as that might sound, the benefit can’t be undervalued: you’ll sleep better, and that can improve everything else you’re facing (including work strife).
Researchers surveyed about 700 employees of the U.S. Forest Service to find out the level of distressing behavior they experienced at work. What they found out was telling. Employees who experienced more difficulties at work, including verbal abuse, also experienced more insomnia. Nothing surprising there. But those who experienced work strife and had also developed the discipline of detaching after work with a relaxing activity of some sort tended to sleep far better. The type of activity didn’t really matter as long as it was a consistent go-to for decompressing before sliding into a nightly routine. Just going for a walk helped a lot, or even spending an hour listening to music. It’s really just about taking a mental break.
Drinking alcohol really doesn’t help. Believe it or not, alcohol is a potent sleep disrupter. Plus, drinking to mask feelings of distress can become a dangerous pattern.
What helps is getting separation from the drama and investing mind space in something else entirely. If the activity has a physical component, like walking or yoga, all the better.
The takeaway from this one is simple: if you’re dealing with tension on the job (especially if it includes heavy strife like rudeness and verbal abuse), a detachment activity after work can help to preserve your sleep, and that has implications for your overall health.
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