If you haven’t figured out how to achieve the ideal work/life balance, join the club. Keeping your work from affecting your personal life is easier said than done, and it can often seem like an impossible task to leave your work problems at the office.
Every member of the work force knows that a certain level of stress is inevitable, but there’s a difference between a normal amount of work stress and work stress that is so out of control that it spills into your personal life. How much work stress is too much? What happens when your work stress gets so extreme that it begins to affect your relationship, and how do you know it’s even happening?
Work stress is putting a damper on intimacy
It’s actually pretty common for work stress to affect a relationship, so if it’s happening to you, know that you’re not alone. While it might seem like you’re doing a good job of keeping your work stress from affecting your personal life, it can creep up on you and the effects are unpleasant. “When work stress is carried home, it’s essentially unprocessed activation in the nervous system,” relationship therapist Alexandra Katehakis told Health. “The stressed person is looking to discharge that energy and their partner is the unfortunate target.”
If you’re feeling a resentment for a coworker, for example, there’s a chance that you might bring that negativity home with you, making your partner feel like they’re being attacked. Be mindful of how you speak to your partner. If you find yourself lashing out, over getting mad over every little thing, it could be because of work stress.
Work stress might also be impacting your sex life without you realizing it. “Stress is the number one libido killer,” said relationship therapist Megan Fleming.
You're bringing your work stress home every day
While it’s normal to talk to your significant other about issues you’re having at work, to avoid work stress affecting your relationship make sure that you’re talking about the big picture and not just complaining about every little problem. According to Katehakis, asking your partner for their input about an issue at work or discussing potentially quitting a job are safe things to talk about. What you shouldn’t do, though, is dwell on negativity at work, such as complaining nonstop about an annoying colleague.
This doesn’t mean you can’t vent, though. “It’s okay to say ‘I’m exhausted from my crazy day,’ or, ‘I’m angry because I constantly feel taken advantage of [at work],'” said Katehakis. “These types of statements allow you to briefly vent without burdening your spouse with every little detail.”
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