Remember the days when work ended at 5 p.m. and you went home to disconnect from your job until you returned to your office the next morning? TBH, we don’t -- and if you do, it’s probably a distant memory at this point.
Don’t get us wrong -- the ability to work remotely is pretty much life-changing, and mostly in a good way. But you’re probably aware that it can become a problem when remote work, or at the very least communication with your colleagues, is expected at all hours. If you’re answering emails or working on projects until you go to sleep, you’re risking not only burning out at your job...but also ruining your sex life.
Even if you’re not glued to your work email after hours, if your job is so stressful that you’re regularly feeling anxious at night, sex is probably one of the last things on your mind.
Of course, there are a number of factors that affect how frequently you have sex, so you may not realize that work could be the culprit. If your sex life isn’t quite what it used to be...and if you have a hunch that it mayyy have something to do with the intensity of your job...consider these 4 signs (and solutions!)
1. When you get into bed at night, are you rethinking your workday or planning ahead for tomorrow’s?
If you are, that means you’re not focusing on your partner -- and if he or she attempts to make moves, you’re not going to be in a place to accept them.
What should you do? Before you leave work in the evening (or, if you must take your work home with you, before you close your laptop for the night), take a few minutes to reflect on what progress you made that day and what’s on your agenda for tomorrow.
If you made a mistake or had an unpleasant conversation with your manager, let. it. go. Sure, you may want to come up with a plan for smoothing things over, but don’t let yourself dwell. Of course, that’s easier said than done -- so if you’re really hung up on something, confide in your partner over dinner. Being vocal about your concerns, especially with someone who’s disconnected from the situation, will probably give you some sense of relief.
And when you climb into bed, resolve to devote your attention to the person next to you -- and not to the coworker you’re in touch with almost every other hour of the day.
2. Are you so exhausted after the work day (or week) that the thought of having sex feels like too much physical work?
We’ve all been there. Sometimes after a tough day at work, it’s hard to muster the energy to brush your teeth, especially if you’ve just spent half an hour trying to get your kids to brush theirs.
What should you do? This may sound counterintuitive, but get some exercise! They keyword here is some. Running a half marathon before or after work is obviously going to leave you totally drained, but jogging for even just 20 minutes or taking a yoga class can be very rejuvenating -- and not very time consuming. And if you’re exercising post-work, showering after your sweat session will give you even more of an energy boost.
3. By the time you’re going to bed, are you just trying to get as much sleep as possible?
Most of us are. If you tend to work a 10+ hour day, chances are you’re usually setting your alarm for just 6 or 7 hours from bedtime -- and at that point, it’s hard to make the choice to stay up any longer than you have to.
What should you do? Make a point of prioritizing sex. You probably manage to spend some nights watching a TV show (or four) or cooking an elaborate dinner. These can be great, relaxing activities, but you better make sure that sex isn’t always being pushed out of your schedule.
If it’s been awhile since you and your partner have gotten physical, save your show for the next day and get into bed half an hour earlier. Alternatively, don’t wait for the end of the night to have sex -- just before or after dinner is a good a time as any. In fact, it can actually be ideal; you’re more likely to be into it when it feels spontaneous rather than like an afterthought or something you feel like you should do before you fall asleep.
4. Are you feeling particularly irritable during the week?
It can be hard not to! For most of us, work is stressful enough to sometimes put us in a pretty crappy mood. And by the time you get home, you may be dealing with cranky kids who protest their bedtime or a needy boss who won’t stop emailing you. But don’t let your partner become another source of frustration.
How? If you feel yourself getting agitated, try to consider the source of your feelings. Are you irritated because of the way your partner is acting, or does it mayyyybe have to do with the fact that your manager is stressing you out? It’s probably the latter, but either way, make an effort to connect with your partner back at home. Have a glass of wine (or three) and do something fun together. Whether it’s as casual watching a show or it’s a more scheduled routine, like taking a weekly cooking or yoga class together, bonding over something you enjoy will put you more in the mood to focus on your physical relationship.
Remember that work is always important, but it shouldn’t be so stressful or invasive that it compromises your relationship. No matter how anxious or exhausted you may be feeling, make an effort to get your sex life back on track. While it might feel like work at first, it’ll ultimately help you relieve your work-related stress -- and if you’re feeling good about your relationship at home, that will help you feel better about your work!
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