10 Relaxation Hacks to Reduce Stress at Work

John Rydell

April 9, 2024

9 min

Table of Contents

Any workplace can be stressful, although it certainly seems that the sales field is a leader in that regard.

No matter what kind of work or work environment you find yourself in, it's good to have a plan to relax and combat stress, pressure, and anxiety when the need arises.

It's important to a healthy career, a healthy life, and your ability to return to your best and most productive self.

To help you with that, here are ten relaxation hacks that will help you lower your work stress levels. They include proactive habits to help you avoid stress, as well as activities you can do to relax and refresh when you're under pressure.

1. Take Some Personal Time

For the most part, when you're at work... you should be working.

But there's a reason breaks exist.

Research recently found that while breaks don't directly increase productivity, they do improve many other outcomes such as higher job satisfaction and reduced burnout. That's a win for both you and your boss.

The effects are enhanced when you're doing something you enjoy (ie. pursue an interest rather than scrolling through your social media feeds).

So make sure you set aside personal time throughout the day when you disconnect from everything, even if this is only 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

2. Do Breathing Exercises

There's nothing like deep breathing to let go of everything that has been stressing you out. That's especially true when you consider that anxiety often results in shallow breathing.

In as little as a minute, a simple breathing exercise can return your body to a state of calm, and have you feeling lighter and happier.

Here's a quick and easy one...

Start with a deep breath. As you exhale slowly, think about the weight of your body settling into your chair. Take another deep breath, then return your breath to normal. Focus on each inhale saying "in" and each exhale saying "out." If your mind wanders, just bring it back to the breath.

3. Develop Routines

It's much easier to get into "work mode" when you have a routine specifically designed for that. So try to design your day, or your week around a plan.

You'll not only be more productive, you'll spend far less time worrying about what to do next.

4. Set Priorities

We all know the feeling of having several balls in the air at once.

Trying to handle everything at once not only contributes to stress, it spreads us thin and results in shoddy work.

That's why we prioritize. Figure out what really requires your attention, and what can wait. Then tackle tasks one at a time.

5. Delegate

This goes hand in hand with prioritizing.

Sometimes we find items on our to-do list that shouldn't be there at all. If you find yourself bogged down with tasks that keep you from your highest value work, see if you (or your supervisor) can delegate them to someone more equipped to handle.

6. Keep Stress and Adversity in Perspective

When things go awry, it's easy to get frazzled and annoyed.

But here's the thing...

Adversity is a part of life (and work). The measure of success is not in your ability to avoid adversity, but rather to react well to it.

With that perspective, you're more likely to overcome stressful situations than let them get the best of you.

7. Give Yourself Things To Look Forward To

A life that revolves entirely around work won't keep you very satisfied.

Whether it's a vacation at the end of the month, a date night, or just spending an evening watching Netflix, make sure there's always something you're looking forward to doing.

8. Spark Creativity

Using the creative side of your brain is an underappreciated relaxation method.

So make time for creative projects, and utilize breaks for things that inspire you such as writing, drawing, painting, or playing music.

9. Get Physical

Physical activity is a secret weapon to many for combating stress.

Even if you're not hitting the gym every day, you can still take a brisk walk or do some stretching on a break. Or consider a pre-work jog or yoga session... to set yourself up for a day of calm and mental clarity.

happy feeling good GIF

10. Put Your Headphones On

Music can put people in all kinds of different moods, making it a useful tool for relaxing.

If you're getting worn out, play some of your favorite songs and you should start feeling better.

Or for a more proactive solution, you can try classical music, white noise, or nature sounds while you work. Unlike your favorite artist, these are less likely to compete for your attention, and can help you stay calm and focused.

Wrapping Up 10 Relaxation Hacks to Reduce Stress at Work

Knowing how to relax, even during the most pressure-packed moments, will do wonders for your performance and your health. To recap, here are ten helpful hacks to help you relax and reduce stress at work:

  • Always have personal time where you don't focus on work.
  • Spend a minute or more on breathing exercises.
  • Set up routines that help you get into gear.
  • Prioritize what you need to do and focus on one thing at a time.
  • Delegate tasks whenever possible when they compete with high-value activity.
  • Have a healthy perspective on adversity and your ability to overcome it.
  • Make sure you've got things you're looking forward to in the near future.
  • Find a way to be creative.
  • Give yourself a dose of physical activity.
  • Listen to music that feels good, or sounds that calm and focus you.
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