Employee burnout is becoming a more common problem than it once was. One study found that nearly a quarter of workers felt burned out often, or even always.
To combat burnout, you need to learn how to relax at work. While it may be tempting to set a breakneck pace and push yourself every day, burnout will harm you in the long run. It can make you a less capable worker, diminishing your performance on the job.
Luckily, there are many ways you can relax by taking short breaks at work. Here’s how to unwind while you’re still on the clock, so you can get back to the next important task on your list.
Take a Breath
Sure, you’ve been breathing the whole time you’ve been at work. But sometimes, you need to slow down and focus on the quality of your breathing.
Slow, deep breathing helps kicks your body’s natural relaxation response into high gear. It signals your body that it’s time to rest, so you’ll get a much-needed break from your high-stress day.
You can easily do this at your desk, or anywhere quiet. Just close your eyes, and take a slow breath in, focusing on only the breath. Try to make your breath long and deep.
Then, exhale slowly and completely, before starting the slow-breathing process over again. Try not to think about anything besides your deep breaths. In just a couple of minutes, you’ll notice your body relax, so you can get back to work minus the stress.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
Most productivity hacks focus on getting more done. But the famous Pomodoro Technique actually hinges on built-in breaks, as well as designate work time. Simply working with those dedicated breaks in place can help you with work stress.
With this technique, you’ll set a timer for your work. You can use a special timer or just the one on your phone. You can even download special Pomodoro apps to help you time yourself.
Then, you’ll work for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, you’re allowed a 5-minute break. You’ll repeat this work-break cycle several times, then you’ll get a longer break.
Those short, built-in breaks can be better than you’d think for relaxation. Five minutes give your brain just enough of a break, so you can get back to work with a focused mind.
CBD has been hailed as a miracle with a host of promising health benefits. One thing many people have noticed is that this non-psychoactive product also helps them relax.
While CBD comes from the marijuana plant, it actually doesn’t get you high — knowing the difference is key. Instead, CBD isolates many of the plant’s other benefits, such as relief from pain and anxiety. This is great for people who work in the high-stress programming industry.
There are lots of ways to take CBD, such as vaping and tinctures. Some of them can even be done right there at your desk.
Take a Walk
A quick walk around the block, weather permitting, can work wonders for your work stress. If the weather isn’t nice enough, a brisk walk around the building can offer similar effects.
Motion and fresh air help you stay healthy, reducing the negative effects of sitting all day. These short walks also give you just enough time to clear your head, so you can come back to work with a fresh perspective.
How’s your workspace looking these days? If it’s a cluttered mess, that could be part of the reason you can’t figure out how to relax at work.
Your brain responds to what it sees and senses. If you’re looking at clutter, you’ll find it hard to stave off the feeling of being overwhelmed. If you’re looking at a clean desk, tackling your hard tasks can suddenly seem much easier.
Throw away your trash, put non-essential items away, and do any other tidying that’s fast and easy. This usually takes less than 10 minutes but can have great results.
When you have a bit more downtime, try doing a more thorough reorganization. Have a place to put everything away, so tidying your desk in the future will be fast and easy. You may even want to add some personal touches, like photos, quotes, or beloved artwork, to brighten your day.
Eat a Healthy Snack
Sometimes, you’re working all day and forget to eat. But even when you’re sitting still, your brain needs food for fuel. Without it, you’ll soon find the stress of work harder to combat.
Taking a break for a healthy snack may be all you need to get back on track. But if you’ve been working for many hours, it might be time for a longer break and a proper meal.
Healthy foods will power your day more effectively than unhealthy, salty or sugary fare. And don’t forget to hydrate, while avoiding overdoses of caffeine. Eating at work does double duty — it gives you the fuel you need and gives you the chance for a much-needed break.
You have everything it takes to give yourself a short, relaxing massage at work.
Try rubbing your hands, which may get tired of working at the computer. You can also rub your ears or temples for a stress-reducing feeling. In just a few minutes, you’ll start to feel your stress melting away.
Why Knowing How to Relax at Work Matters
It’s often easy to feel like knowing how to relax at work isn’t important. After all, you’re there to get a job done, not eat snacks and give yourself massages.
However, that stress can hurt your quality of work if you don’t manage it. These small break time techniques aren’t a waste of time. Instead, they’re a way to maximize your workday by keeping you primed for top-quality work.
When you know how to destress, your employer will see the results in the quality of what you do. That alone makes knowing how to relax at work important. For more ways to stay on top of your game, make sure to regularly check out the tips on our blog!