Work Stress: How Is Your Partner Coping?

We’ve discussed strategies for leaving your day at the doorstep, but what about your partner? Are you an active player in your other-half’s stress management?

In a partnership, support should go both ways. If we spend all our time managing only our emotions, we might be neglecting stress build-up in the ones we love.

You might be thinking: “I don’t have time” or “I don’t know how” to help my partner decompress after work. Rest assured, our tips are simple and can be done in a reciprocated manner—so the whole relationship benefits. Read on for insight.

The share zone

Establish an evening ritual of giving your partner uninterrupted time to share about their day. It may work best to do this as soon as they get home, and before you get on with your evening.

Set aside phones and practice active listening. This will nourish trust and appreciation in the relationship. A space of full acknowledgement and trust will naturally help ease a day’s tensions.

Keep it constructive

It’s easy to spiral ourselves into a pool of negative emotions. Bad moods are fuelled with pessimistic and even self-deprecating thoughts. We often aren’t able to recognise when we are making a situation worse for ourselves.

It may be helpful to come to an agreement with your partner: call the situation out when constructive venting turns into negativity for the sake of it. Gently ask: “Are you making yourself feel worse than you need to?”

Self-love reminder

Sometimes shaking the day off is tough, but is where self-love time can help. Self-love takes different shapes, so discuss with your partner what helps them slow down and reconnect with themselves.

It could be time to jot down the day’s successes, a hot shower or bath, and even a glass of wine. Whatever it is, gently remind your partner to make time for this at least a couple times a week (if not daily).

Make life about more than work

Once the day is discussed, “pack it all away” for tomorrow. Move on with your night: cook dinner together, watch a movie, make plans, listen to a podcast, or play a game with the kids together.

By engaging in other activities, your partner’s day will no longer be just about work. It will help remind them of the value of life outside of it.    

Help them switch-off

Unfortunately, our hyper-connectedness can make packing the day a way a bit trickier. Another agreement to make: no checking work emails, messages, or phones.

If it is absolutely necessary, schedule in a few minutes to get something done—and then put it away until morning. If they’re sceptical, ask them to give it a shot for a week to see how natural it feels.

Be helpful

“What can I do to help you unwind?” or “How can I help?” These simple questions open up the floor to discussing what your partner needs.

It may be advice, help with dinner or washing up, or just sitting and listening to relaxing music. Whatever it is, keep communication about needs flowing.

Again, these tips are helpful to both people in a relationship—so try them out together and adjust accordingly. We all stand to gain greater happiness when our partners are less stressed and feel more valued.