TIPS Unwind to Rewind: How to Relax When Your Home is Your Workplace


Rookie Wordsmith
May 16, 2018
Unwind to Rewind How to Relax When Your Home is Your Workplace.jpg

Here’s the thing about working from home: it’s not as easy as leisurely as people make it out to be. Whenever I tell my friends that I work from home whenever school’s out, they usually comment that I’m pretty lucky, and how easy it must be.

While I do consider myself lucky to work from home (mainly because I get to avoid traffic, and can set my own schedule), I wouldn’t call it easy. It has its own mix of challenges that all those clickbaity articles never address.

So for this article, I’ll be writing about the unique challenges work from home peeps face, and how we can de-stress. Yes, working from home can still be stressful! If you’re considering working from home, or if you’re looking for ways to de-stress, read on!

Working from Home: The Challenges

You work and home tasks get mixed up

I’m in charge of mowing the lawn and doing the laundry. When the school year starts and I’m teaching at school, I have an excuse for not doing those chores. But when I’m working from home, that excuse disappears.

I can say that I’m busy working, but I am still physically at home. And when you’re at home, you’re on-call for home stuff, such as chores. That can be a, well, chore. So when I’m working from home, I’m actually doing double-duty. I’m doing my paid work, but I’m also tending to the lawn and trying to get the laundry done between tasks.

Meals can end up costing more

This was a real surprise for me. At the college where I work, I usually get my lunch at the cafeteria. I don’t get anything expensive, but thought I would be able to save that money when I started working from home. I mean, there’s always food in the fridge, right?

Well, with work and chores breathing down my neck, I hardly had any time to prepare food. So I usually ended up ordering pizza or Chinese food. And that gets costly pretty fast.

Increased distraction

At school, the faculty office can be pretty noisy. I need to work in a sea of noise. There’s the endless phone calls happening around me, the sound of papers being filed, the footsteps, and the students whining about their grades.

Yeah, none of that is as distracting as a toddler crying. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the middle of recording a lesson for my Udemy account, or in the zone with my surveys. If my little one cries, I need to drop everything and check up on her. At the office, I can always ask people to tone it down a bit. At home? Not so much.

Relaxing can be difficult

Here’s another paradox about working from home. People think that just because the bedroom is ten feet away from my home office, it should be easy to relax. That isn’t really the case. And that’s because it’s harder to compartmentalize being in work and home mode when your work and living space is essentially the same.

Having a home office is a big help. But when I’m in the bedroom or in the lounge, I sometimes find that I’m still in work mode. So I need to be extra mindful about leaving my work concerns in home office when I’m done with my day.

How to De-Stress

Compartmentalize your work and living spaces

That home office is such a big help. When I was younger, I used to work in my studio apartment, and I would sometimes work in bed, with my laptop monitor set to maximum brightness. That wasn’t such a good idea, because my mind couldn’t differentiate between work and rest modes.

I understand not everyone will have an extra room they can dedicate for work. You actually don’t need an entire room. The key is to have a space, no matter how small, that is designated for work, and work alone. That could be a nook under the stairs, a corner in the living room, or even a space in the attic. The important thing is, you’re telling your mind that this spot is for work, and when you’re elsewhere in the house, you’re not in work mode.

Try to find alone time

Since I have a toddler, alone time is extremely difficult to come by. For me, alone time is when the wife and child are asleep. That’s when I can listen to music, read a book, or enjoy a calming glass of wine.

But that’s the best case scenario. More often than not, you’ll have to find time for yourself during little pockets of time throughout the day. And that’s okay. As long as you have time to breathe and chill for a few minutes, that’s okay.

Learn how to relax

Relaxing isn’t as simple as plopping into bed and mindlessly channel-surfing or checking your phone. Relaxing actually takes effort. It’s not strenuous effort - the key is to be mindful that you’re relaxing.

Let’s say you find some of that alone time. Sit down, take a few deep breaths using your diaphragm and be conscious about letting the tension go. It might sound like additional work initially, but before long, you will be able to build your relaxation skills. And that’s exactly what relaxing is - as skill!

Get enough rest

We’ve stigmatized rest. People like to say they’ll keep working, only to sleep when they’re dead. That attitude sounds good when you’re trying to impress your boss, but it’s not a very healthy mindset in the long run.

The irony here is that to work harder, faster, you will need ample rest. So don’t forget to unwind after a day’s work. And don’t feel guilty about need rest. In fact, don’t look at it as rest in the traditional sense. Look at it as refueling.

The Verdict

These are all legit ways for us work from homers to de-stress and relax. Don’t get me wrong; working from home has its challenges, but it’s been an awesome experience overall. But to fully reap the benefits of working from home, you will also have to pay attention to rest and relaxation.

Your Turn

This review is based on my own experiences as a work from home dude. Now it’s your turn to share! What challenges do you face while working from home? And how do you overcome them?

Let’s hear your stories!


May 15, 2018
Great article! First up let me say in my opinion working from home is not for everyone and by that I don't mean whether or not you as a person are capable of doing so, because anyone can work from home if you ask me. No, I mean that if you do work from home you also need to make sure you have the setup for it.

I am of course talking out of experience and I think the single biggest issue by working from home is setting boundaries. Both for work but also for family. It's vital that your family understands that once you shut that door that they are now allowed in and that they shouldn't knock unless its an emergency. Likewise, it's important that you as the person working from home understands that you need to set work hours, otherwise you will find yourself dragged in time and time again, like an email pops up on your phone and you decide to go into your office but end up doing other work and so on and so forth. Of course if the business is your own it's a bit different but still I think it's important you establish clear boundaries.

Regardless of these obstacles I still prefer working from home due to the freedom it gives me with life and family. Sitting in a train 2 hours every day literally sucks the life out of me and I could never see myself going back doing that.


Rookie Wordsmith
Jun 13, 2018
I agree with Holden. Working from home has its own unique set of challenges. While working from home is totally awesome, it’s still work. You still get tired, you still experience stress, and sometimes you wanna get away from it all.

But how do you get away from it all when you place of work is also where you live? You know what they say: you don’t s*** where you eat. But when you’re a work from home peep, things aren’t so compartmentalized.

My trick is to work early. That’s because my common problem is settling down after a long, stressful day. When I worked in construction, my drive home was my signal to relax. But now that I have an office in my spare room, I don’t have that opportunity to wind down.

But when I finish work early, I have a few hours to putter around the house. I would tidy up a bit (my SO would like to hear that) while making myself a cup of coffee (for some reason, coffee helps me relax). So by the time it’s like 5pm or 6pm, I am fully relaxed and no longer in work mode. :)

Another thing I like to do is have a hobby I can do at home. The funny thing about hobbies is that it keeps your mind occupied while at the same time winding you down. For me, that hobby is building model kits. It requires lots of focus and work, but it isn’t stressful or tiring.

So after work, I channel all that excess energy into my hobby. This also gradually switches me into relaxed mode. After an hour or so of doing that, I am fully relaxed.

Sorts also helps, if you need to drive to wherever you play, that could also add to the stress. I used to live close to a public pool, but I kind of regret not taking full advantage of that.

Anybody else have tips for relaxing?


Jun 13, 2018
Lots of great ideas for relaxing in this thread! Everyone has their preferred way for unwinding and relaxing. I usually default to plopping on my couch and watching Netflix (Russian Doll is awesome! Been bingeing on that since last night) After three or so episodes, I prepare dinner and get on with my other evening activities.

I gotta admit, this is not the best way to relax after a long day working – it just so happens the TV is right there. And when you’re tired all you want to do is plant yourself in front of the TV and switch your brain off.

But I do try to do other stuff in addition to watching TV. Listening to podcasts has a calming effect on me. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve found keeping busy actually relaxes me as well. I clean the kitchen, do my filings after work, and it’s a great way to transition from work to home mode. I think that’s a popular misconception: that to rela, you need to be idle. But I’ve found dong stuff can actually be a potent way to relax. So don’t stay idle! Find a relaxing activity to do to help you wind down.