Work is Stressful, and Most are Forgetting One Key De-Stressing Method

self-care
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The pants are always the first to go.

If you’re like most people, one of the first things you do after work is change into comfortable clothing. Sweats, pajamas, leggings — anything but the restrictive clothes we’ve been wearing all day.

A new study by Paychex took a look at what else we do after work, and we need to talk.

How We Chill After Work

Wondering how your after-work habits stack up to other people? Here’s what about 2,000 other folks do when they get home.

  • Watch TV: 65.2%
  • Surf the internet: 59.5%
  • Put on comfy clothes: 53.6%
  • Have a meal: 47.6%
  • Hang with friends or family: 40.5%

At the end of the workweek, the same 2,000 folks’ after-work habits look more like this.

  • Watch TV: 54.4%
  • Hang with friends or family: 53.1%
  • Surf the internet: 49.7%
  • Put on comfy clothes: 46.5%
  • Participate in a hobby: 45.5%

Only 20.2% of them have an after-work drink on weekdays, but oh boy, the weekend is a different story. At the end of the week, 39.4% of them hit the sauce.

Notice Anything Missing From These Lists?

Those are all great ways to unwind and de-stress after work, but both lists are missing something important.

We aren’t taking care of ourselves as well as we could be.

Forms of self-care like exercise, baths and napping came in at the bottom of these lists. Here’s why that’s not cool.

Post-Work Self-Care Is Important, Too

The study also shows that many of us are stressed out at work.

  • More than 80% say there’s at least one stress point in their work life.
  • Over 42% rate their stress at a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5.
  • Nearly 26% rate their stress at a 4 on the same scale.
  • About 5% rated their stress level a 5.

Clearly a lot of us are super stressed out.

Health educator Abby Wolfe says it can be tough to carve out time for personal indulgences like naps and exercise, but it’s critically important to try.

“You must be in top-notch condition to do your best work, and you must be at your best before you can help others be at their best,” says Wolfe. “That includes partners, friends, family members, co-workers and—yep—your boss (gasp).”

Find Your Happy Place

If you can’t grab a quick snooze or go for a run, here’s a relaxation method you can do anywhere.

Incorporating mindfulness into your workday is a proven way to reduce stress, and you don’t need a bathtub, kettlebell or nap space to do it.

Work stress is probably not going away anytime soon, so it’s important to manage it before it impacts your life and family.

Your Turn: How do you manage work stress? Also, sweatpants or pajamas?

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Pajamas.