11 Simple Strategies To Relax at Work

Updated August 31, 2023

When you have a lot going on at work, you may begin to feel your stress levels rising. If you have various deadlines and responsibilities to meet, it's important to find time to manage your stress by using relaxation methods. Doing so can not only help you feel calmer, but it can also give you the motivation you need to take on your next task.

In this article, we share 11 tips and techniques to help you relax at work.

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Why is it important to find ways to relax at work?

Finding ways to relax at work is important for the following reasons:

  • Combat feelings of burnout: When you're feeling stressed for prolonged periods of time, you may experience burnout at work. By finding ways to relax during a busy day, you can feel more committed to your work and increase your longevity at a job.

  • Feel more productive: Stress can often get in the way of being your most productive self. When you can relax and clear your mind, you may feel more refreshed and energized to get back to work.

  • Enjoy your work more: Feeling relaxed as you do your work can increase your job satisfaction. By managing your stress levels, you can remember why you were drawn to this profession.

  • Have a positive attitude: When you feel relaxed, you are more likely to treat yourself and others with kindness. Finding relaxation techniques can help you feel calm and able to have a positive mindset.

Related: What To Do When You're Feeling Overworked

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Ways to relax at work

Here are 11 ways you can manage your stress levels and relax at work:

1. Enjoy some fresh air

If you are able, take your work breaks outside. Consider taking a brief walk outside, enjoying the sights and sounds around you. Feel the sunshine on your face and try to live in this present moment. As you appreciate the world around you, take in some deep breaths. This quick change of scenery can help you feel refreshed and ready to get back to work in a better headspace.

Related: 16 Tips for When You're Stressed About Work

2. Try aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment where you use scents to evoke certain feelings of health and well-being. Consider finding scents that promote feelings of relaxation in yourself. For instance, breathing in peppermint or lavender can help you feel refreshed and calm. There are many ways to try aromatherapy, with diffusers, aromatic spritzers and lotions being common ways to enjoy your favorite scents.

3. Practice meditation

Taking even 10 minutes before work to mediate can help you come into the office with a better, more relaxed mindset. Start by solely focusing on your breath, while making an effort to keep your mind free of any thoughts.

While meditation can take quite a bit of practice and self-discipline, after a while, it can become an excellent relaxation technique. If you ever need to relax while at work, step away from your desk for a few minutes to focus on deep breathing.

4. Listen to calming music

Finding the right playlist can help you feel more relaxed at work. Consider listening to instrumental music quietly as you work. Many streaming services have curated playlists designed to promote better focus and relaxation. Music is a great way to change your mindset and feel centered as you work.

Related: How To De-Stress at Work

5. Eat a snack

Taking care of yourself is an important part of being a calmer, more relaxed person. When feeling your stress levels rising, grab a snack. Eating food can help you feel more energized, which can make you feel more productive. By having the energy to get your work done, you'll have more time to relax and unwind at the end of the workday.

6. Be mindful of your tension

As your stress levels increase, you may notice yourself clenching your jaw or tightening your shoulders. After a full day of this, your body may feel fatigued. That's why it's important to be aware of this tension as you work. Every so often, check in with your body to make sure you are sitting in a comfortable position. Take a moment to scan each part of your body, making an effort to release any tension you have been building.

7. Socialize with coworkers

After focusing on your work for a while, you might benefit from some socialization. Use your breaks to have some light conversations with your coworkers. This is your chance to get to know them better and develop your professional relationships. Striking up a conversation can help you infuse some spontaneity into your workday and increase your well-being.

Related: 8 Do's and Don'ts of Socializing at Work

8. Do some stretches

Doing some stretches throughout your workday is good for your mental and physical well-being. After finishing a task, take a moment to get up from your desk to stretch out your body. Even walking around the office can help you feel more relaxed.

Related: 15 Workplace Exercises To Keep You Healthy at the Office

9. Drink more water

While coffee and other caffeinated drinks may help you feel more energized, they may not help you feel relaxed. Rather, they may make you feel hyper or jittery. That's why it's important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated can help you feel your best.

10. Create your ideal work environment

Take some time to set up a relaxing workspace for yourself. Schedule time in your week to get your desk clean and organized. You may even be able to add some personalized touches that make you smile. Adding little trinkets, pictures and plants can make your workspace one-of-a-kind and help you feel relaxed.

Related: 20 Ways To Improve Your Work Environment

11. Learn to say "no"

While it's important to show that you are a helpful employee, it's also important to know your limits. If your to-do list is already full, you may need to decline to take on additional work. By creating these boundaries, you can ensure you have enough time to get your priorities done at a steady pace. Then, if you have more time, you can choose to take on additional tasks.

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