“It is about creating a space to transition from your work self to your home self”– Adam Fraser
The American Institute of Stress shows that “job stress” is far and away major source of stress for working adults that it has escalated progressively over past few decades. It is said that having little control but lots of demands have been demonstrated to be the cause of increased job stress. The worst thing is when the stress you felt at work, actually affects your home life too.
According to Kununu, the feeling of anxious caused by stress at work can be brought to home. In your commute to home, stress might hit like bricks. In turn, those with high level of work stress tend to have poorer mental health than those with lower levels. Another cause of work stress might come from unhealthy work-life balance, career misgivings, and inadequate outside-of-work outlets. Consequently, it makes you angrier, sicker, and more likely to be in unhappy marriages.
Adam Fraser, a researcher and consultant, commented that “work-life balance is an interesting thing and it is interesting because it seems that everyone wants it but no one seems to have it.” However, his research on work-life balance showed that it is how you leave your stress work at work and only bring the good mood ever since you enter your home. Yet, many have not yet discovered the button to easily transform that.
Nonetheless, Fraser comes up with a trick to help people stop bringing their bad day to home. In his theory, there are three spaces in our daily life: first is work, second is home, and third is resetting space. This “third space” is where you can do a transition from work life to home life. Fraser suggested that “how you transition home determines whether you unwind, relax, and socialise or obsess and worry about the day.” If you can deal with the third space, you are likely to be the super dad or mom or person in your own space (family).
Furthermore, Fraser said there are three steps you can do while transitioning yourself including reflect, rest, and reset.
Reflect on your day – Many employees when asked about the day at work will answer about the ‘bad’ sides which only give more burden to your mind. So, instead of doing that, Fraser advices to think or asking question like “What went well? What did I achieve? Or what might I do better tomorrow?” These questions are intended to remind you about your success, poke you to learn from experiences, and adjust for better future.
Rest by doing thing that makes you present – It does not have to be a big thing. You can rest your day by doing Sudoku, exercising, or mediating. It can also be as simple as taking a shower and changing out of your work clothes before you engage with people. Importantly, do something that makes you relax and ‘present’.
Reset by asking yourself “how will I show up at home?” – Rather than walking to your home door with your work day trailing behind you, you should try to be more purposeful as you step in your personal life.
In short, third space does only take 15 minutes approximately. Yet, it might turn your personal life all around. You might actually achieve ‘the work-life balance’ you dream of. “It is not when you show up, it is how you show up”, added Fraser.