The Betterment Project

How To Destress at Work & Manage Your Stress After Work

Have you ever been at work and felt so overwhelmed, you weren’t sure how to decompress with only a few minutes available? Or maybe once you got home you still struggled with being able to turn off work mode and fully relax to feel recharged for the next day?


Stress at work (and after work) is an all too common feeling. Deadlines need to be met, conflicts can arise between work peers or your boss, and emails pile up — all of these factors can leave you feeling unable to tackle all of the items on your to-do list.


Sometimes it can feel like there is constant stimulation and an endless amount of work or projects for you to take care of. 


So, what can you do to alleviate the stress and take better care of your well-being whether you are still at work or at home? Let’s take a look.

 

How Can I Destress at Work?

 

Everyone’s work environment is different, and each person might have slightly varying stressors. 


That said, we have compiled a few ideas that may be beneficial for you to implement moving forward in order to achieve a calmer work lifestyle. 

 

Stress Balls

 

Do stress balls even work? Good news — the simple answer is yes, they do.  


Stress balls give your body something repetitive to focus on that becomes a background activity. The intention is for the stress in your physical body to be redirected into the ball, thus alleviating tension. 


If you haven’t tried one yet, it may be worth a shot.

 

Mini Meditations 

 

It is essential to take breaks throughout the day to refuel your body and mind. 


One quick tool is to tense every muscle in your body for a few seconds, all at once and as hard as you can. Then, let it all go. 


Try to sync your breath with this by inhaling while you are tensing everything in your body, and exhaling when you let it all relax. 


You can do this a few times if needed. Allow yourself to completely relax, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. 


Adding mindfulness throughout the day will overflow into your work environment. Often, stress is connected to the constant thinking about things that are not happening in the present moment.


Allow yourself to take a pause, even if all you have is one minute. 

 

Eat a Nutritious Lunch

 

What we ingest during the day is going to determine our energy levels. How well are you nourishing your body? 


When we are stressed, we may develop or return to habits that do not benefit us. This could look like overeating, not having an appetite, or eating out for most meals. 


Be mindful of what you are putting into your body and notice how you feel after your lunch break — do you feel inspired, or ready to take a nap?


The goal here is to maintain an even, balanced blood sugar level throughout the day, meaning your energy levels are not spiking too high or low. 

 

Team Engagement 

 

If you work with a team, do you feel a sense of community and connection with one another? 


If you have any conflicts with a team member, it can cause stress in the workplace that is felt by everyone. If this is the case, communication is key, and feeling comfortable being honest with each other can mitigate any long-term issues. 

 

Remove Unnecessary Tasks 

 

If you are in a manager position and notice that you or any employees are stressed, see if you can eliminate any low-impact assignments. If anything is considered busy work, reevaluate it to determine whether it’s truly necessary for the growth of the business. 


If you are not in a manager role but still see that some tasks are unnecessary, look for an opening to communicate this to your manager in a gentle way. 


The chances are that if you are overwhelmed by the amount of work, you are not the only one. 

 

Keep Organized 

 

This may be a no-brainer — when we are not organized, it often mirrors what is happening with our mental health. 


When you are able to keep organized, it can help you keep your brain organized too. Proper organization can help you stay on top of deadlines, complete tasks efficiently, and feel a sense of accomplishment. 

 

What Can I Do for After-Work Relaxation?

 

Stress doesn’t only occur in the workplace — it can also follow us home. And in the ages of remote work and working from home, those two worlds may blend together now more than ever. 


However, there are several methods you can use to reduce your stress after the workday ends.

 

Adult Coloring Book 

 

Creativity can be easy to overlook, but it’s the foundation for production in this world. If you need some help decompressing, partaking in something that you enjoyed as a child might be helpful. 


Art therapy is an entire industry of its own, and we aren’t saying to go home and make masterpieces that you will hang all over your walls. However, being able to tap into the playfulness of a child may do you wonders. Adult coloring books can be a highly effective means of reducing feelings of tension.

 

Self-Care Routine

 

We all have different combinations of practices that help relieve stress, and these are just a few of the most common. It’s key to find what will be best for where you are right now, and what you will stay consistent with. 


Meditation, journaling, grounding, taking a walk, or enjoying a bath can all help you ease the tension you are experiencing and put your work stress behind you.


Self-care is talked about a lot in the wellness industry these days, and sometimes it may seem like a fad. But we can promise you that finding something that works for you, even if you start small, can make a huge impact on your stress levels. 


Simply think of it this way - how can I provide relaxation to myself in a way that is just for me?

 

Nutrition 

 

What we put in our bodies is key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and balancing our energy levels. 


Certain foods have nutrients that can help lower cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenaline levels in the body, making these ideal inclusions in your diet. Potentially stress-reducing foods include berries and citrus fruits, nuts, avocados, and yogurt. 

 

Stress-Reducing Supplements 

 

Sometimes we need extra support to calm the mind and body, to fully be able to destress. Although the goal is to receive all the vitamins and minerals that we need from our food, sometimes we need a little help and can receive them through high-quality supplements. 


Supplements can be a quick and easy means of supplying your body with essential nutrients during times of stress. 


ASYSTEM’s Complete Calm De-Stress System can make for the perfect addition to your diet with a once-a-day recommendation using herbs like lion’s mane, rhodiola, and lemon balm for mood elevation and tension relief. 



Unplugging 

 

Whether or not your work environment is technology-based, we all need to unplug occasionally. If you are constantly on a computer or work phone during the day, this is especially important for you.


Turn work off when you are home — both in your brain and through technology. 


If you have a job that requires you to be on call sometimes or to check periodically due to deadlines, find a way to take an hour, or any amount of time, to block off for unplugging. 


Make it a point to go outside, have some quiet time, or do something that’s part of your self-care routine. Anything that does not involve a screen is a great option here.


Stress can make it feel like we don’t have time to do anything for ourselves, but the truth is you can always find at least a few moments to unplug and center yourself.

 

Conclusion 

 

Society often emphasizes the idea that we have to be in the daily grind twenty-four seven to succeed in the world. We want to remind you to work smarter, not harder.


When stress strikes both in and out of the workplace, it can be easy to lose sight of your own personal health and your body’s needs. Finding time to unplug, properly nourishing your body, and engaging in relaxing activities like coloring can help you soothe your stress and unwind. 


Our bodies give us signs when we need to slow down. Let’s do our best to notice these signs early or be proactive about taking care of ourselves. 


Sources:

Eat right, stress less: 8 stress relieving foods to snack on | American Institute of Stress

How to handle stress at work | Harvard Health 

10 Quick Ways to De-Stress | Virtua Behavioral Health

Meet our Experts

This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.

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