A lot of the stress we experience day-to-day is work related. So, what can we do to de-escalate and keep the feelings and bodily reactions in check when at work? And, importantly, what can we do at the end of the day to let it go? When you next notice your stress levels beginning to rise, give these 5 F U to stress tactics a try…

Frequent breaks 

Removing yourself from a stressful situation or a particularly challenging piece of work will help to decompress and take a literal breather. Even a toilet break, or stepping away to make a drink or top up your water bottle can help you to drop some of those stress hormones from circulating. 

The added benefit of taking a walk will help to send blood flowing around your body which can even help to release some feel-good hormones (as well as aid digestion and help reduce your blood pressure!). This is also why a prolonged lunchtime walk is beneficial; it’ll have you feeling more prepared and able to take on whatever the afternoon throws at you.  

Additionally, stretch breaks, even at your desk, can help to alleviate some of that stress and tension that gets built up in your body. 

You should aim to stand and stretch at least every 30 minutes to remain flexible, prevent those painful knots from building up, and to help keep stress at bay. 

Focus on your breathing

Your breathing can be a telltale sign that you’re feeling stressed. If it’s shallow and short, you’re likely suffering the effects of stress. 

Focusing on your breathing is an extremely effective and very quick way to de-escalate your stress levels. 

Box breathing, a technique widely reported to be used by the U.S. Navy Seals, is a simple, four step process that returns your breathing to a normal rhythm. This in turn calms the bodily response to stress and helps to vanquish those feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Find a scent that helps to calm you

Aromatherapy is a proven method to help trigger desired feelings and emotions, with some scents more prominently known to alleviate those stress markers (lavender, chamomile etc.). 

Although it would be amazing to light a candle at work, it’s sadly not an option. However, there are other means of using aromatherapy and essential oils when at work. Look for creams, balms, and oils you can apply directly onto your skin to get those stress neutralising benefits throughout the day. 

Our particular favourites include:

Fuel your body with the right foods

When your body is stressed, it wants fuel. Which is why you’ll often be craving sugary, bad foods because it thinks it needs it to tackle the threat it is facing and it needs energy quickly (and it can convert sugary, glucose, foods quickly). But these foods actually increase the feelings of stress once it converts to energy and increases your blood sugar levels. Additionally, as the effects of these foods wear off, you’ll feel worse off for it. 

Instead, feed your body with slow-release energy foods to help you fuel your body in the right way and help it maintain normal levels of function. These include:

  • Pulses: Beans, lentils and peas
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Lean protein 
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains: Oats, quinoa, wheat, corn, brown rice, rye etc. 

Forget about it…

You don’t want to take your stress home and it’s good to have a clean break between your work and home life, if you can. By this we mean leaving your work at the office for the next working day, or closing your office door at home. Also, if you’ve experienced a particularly stressful day, a cleanse of the bad energy to help instill that separation would be extremely beneficial to help you let go of any stressful experiences, feelings and emotions. 

Talking therapy

On your way home, talk to a trusted friend, family member, or your partner to help go over any particularly challenging moments of your day. With permission, air your frustrations and get it off your chest. But try and reflect on some of the positives too – even if it was just a moment of good feelings – end your conversation on a positive note and hopefully you’ll go home with that positive moment in mind. 

Do something that relaxes you

As you walk through the door, do something to aid relaxation. It could be putting on your favourite music that gets you up and dancing around the house, or a chill playlist to help you feel more relaxed. Light a candle, if that’s what you like, take a bath or shower and change into something more comfortable. 

Have a good wind down routine

Give your brain some space so you can get a restful and restorative nights’ sleep. If you’re still feeling the effects of a stressful day, that can turn into a restless and uncomfortable night. 

If a bath helps you sleep, do that, or maybe a short yoga routine that is designed to help you sleep is more for you. Puzzles are proven to help your brain refocus and can help you to wind-down, or read a book shortly before you want to go to sleep. Maybe just a couple of moments quiet to focus on your breathing is enough to help you feel more calm and ready for bed. The important thing is, you have a routine that helps you to feel more relaxed, calm and ready for a good night’s sleep – and more able to tackle whatever comes your way the next day.   

Featured image: Yan Krukau

You may also like...

  • How Is Stress Affecting Your Health?How Is Stress Affecting Your Health? What is stress? How bad can it be on the body really? We talk to nutritional therapist Tracy Tredoux to find out! (Includes tips to bust it).
  • 6 Tactics to Prevent Burnout & Manage Stress6 Tactics to Prevent Burnout & Manage Stress Feel like you're chronically stressed and anxious? We look at some of the CBT models that we've found most helpful and how you can apply them.
  • 5 Easy Ways to Relieve Stress5 Easy Ways to Relieve Stress We're all under so much pressure in every aspect of life. Its important to deal with that stress. We share 5, simple, ways you can relive stress.
  • Ways You Can Reduce StressWays You Can Reduce Stress When you're stressed, you can struggle to sleep. We share some tips on how you can reduce the feelings of stress to help settle you to sleep.