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  • Writer's picturerodney baker

Do you feel like your work day never ends? Rituals help us separate the roles we have to play.

It's rare that anyone has a 9 to 5 job these days. Even if we leave work at 5, the emails and calls continue to find us. In my practice, I often speak with individuals in the helping professions (police, fire, EMT) who struggle with how to turn off the awful things they have to see. They speak of how easy it is to replay the day and wonder if they could have done something different and it takes away from them being present in their families.

Maybe you work in a high stress job and you feel you can't ever get ahead, or you are worried about the presentation tomorrow. If you find yourself distracted by the work day or not able to be present for your family after you get home, find a ritual to separate your work self from your true self. You are not your profession: separate yourself from the job you do. (Therapist Rodney doesn't exist after my sessions end.)

I appreciate the practice of the martial arts. The dojo is a place set aside for a specific practice. There is a ritual for entering and leaving a dojo that typically involves removing of shoes and bowing. When a dojo is entered you remove your shoes and bow, the outside world stays outside. When you leave a dojo you bow and put on your shoes, what happens there remains.

Find a ritual to signal the end of your work day: the sound your badge makes when you clock out, the slamming of the warehouse door behind you, or the car door shutting. I wipe my feet on the mat by the door to leave the remnants of the day. Whatever your ritual is it will help you to separate the work stressors from your family life.

Rodney is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional with 10+ years experience working with couples of all shapes and sizes. Contact Rodney at 603-892-9777 or at to learn more and schedule your free 15min consultation.

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