9 Different Ways to Relax at Work (With Helpful Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 27, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you have a busy workload, challenging tasks, or tight deadlines, you may start to feel more stressed at work. Remaining calm at work often makes it easier to manage stressful situations and avoid becoming overwhelmed. This can be crucial for any professional who works in a fast-paced environment with a hectic schedule or whose job comes with a lot of responsibility. Learning more about ways to reduce work-related stress while you're in the workplace can help you feel more relaxed, energized, and inspired to perform your duties.

In this article, we list nine ways to relax at work and explore various tips you can evaluate to improve your work-life balance, increase your productivity, and achieve your goals.

Related: Common Causes of Manager Stress at Work and Ways to Cope

9 ways to relax at work

Here are nine ways to relax at work and reduce your stress levels while still performing your duties:

1. Have lunch with a colleague

Having lunch with colleagues provides an opportunity to discuss inspiring aspects of the workplace and share hobbies and interests you have outside the office. It can also allow you to exchange culinary skills, food knowledge, and favourite recipes, which might assist you in mitigating work-related stress and improving your mood. Sometimes, these lunch meetings are useful for socializing, meeting new people, expanding your network, and better understanding your coworkers' perspectives and interests. You can use this information to create better connections with them and improve your relationships at work, which might lead to a more collaborative work environment.

Related: 175 Creative Lunch Ideas for Work (With Factors to Consider)

2. Listen to relaxing music

Depending on where you work, listening to calming music may be an effective way to avoid stressful distractions and stay focused. If this isn't an option where you work, consider listening to this type of music during breaks and combining it with uplifting music that helps you feel good about yourself.

By following this approach, you can create a relaxing atmosphere that helps you mitigate the effects of stress and continue your work more focused after your break. You can also use online music apps and websites to create customized playlists with music you enjoy and songs that help you feel calm at work.

Related: A List of 19 Techniques for Stress Management at Work

3. Practise breathing exercises

Learning how to inhale and exhale in a way to relax your body and mind may help you relieve work-related stress and anxiety. This is an activity you can perform before initiating your activities, while you're at work, or during a break. It's beneficial to research breathing techniques before you begin the activity or consult an expert to make sure you're practising them correctly.

Here, you can consult with a wellness coach, yoga instructor, mindfulness specialist, or psychologist to learn how to use your breath to help you relax. You can also look for videos or apps that demonstrate the technique and discuss the topic with your colleagues, as some might be practising this activity already.

Related: How to Stay Calm under Pressure (12 Steps to Follow)

4. Walk outside for a few minutes

Getting out of the workplace for a short break may help you distract yourself from stressful situations and refocus your thoughts on different activities, such as interests, your surroundings, or catching up with friends. You can use your breaks to walk around the company's building and complete errands, meet up with friends or colleagues, or look around stores in the area. Moving around also provides an opportunity to stretch your muscles, increase blood circulation, and relieve stress. You can even record your steps and set goals for the week.

Related: 16 Helpful Tips on How to Handle Feeling Stressed about Work

5. Read a book or listen to a podcast

Books are great resources to help you relax at work, as they often encourage you to think about a specific topic or use your imagination to visualize scenes and stories. Consider reading a book during your lunch break and writing your thoughts in a journal to record your experiences, ideas, feelings, and impressions. You can also invite one or various colleagues to create a book discussion and exchange ideas and opinions about what you're reading.

Another resource to help you entertain yourself, feel inspired, and mitigate work-related stress is listening to a podcast. These can help you focus on what the speaker is saying and the topic they're addressing. There are podcasts for many topics, so it's essential for you to find one according to your interests and needs.

Related: Benefits of Taking a Break from Work to Reduce Stress

6. Enjoy a calming drink

Going for a coffee or tea gives you a chance to get up from your seat, walk around the office, or take a break outside. It might also involve waiting for your drink and eating a snack. This routine may help you refrain from work-related thoughts and relax more quickly. Hot beverages usually require patience because it's necessary to wait for the drink to cool. You can use this time to enjoy the place where you're getting your coffee or tea, talk with another customer at a store, or even provide advice to a colleague or client.

Related: What to Do if You're Always Tired at Work (With Tips)

7. Massage your head

Getting a relaxing massage might be difficult during a short break, but you can perform a self-massage on your head by learning the right techniques. You may wish to learn these procedures by taking in-person or online courses with massage therapists who are experts at performing massage on different parts of the body. A massage on your head can help you relieve tension and any discomfort you may be feeling.

Start by performing short self-massages and progress after learning how to perform longer massages. You can also record yourself while performing a massage and ask your teacher to evaluate your work.

Related: 8 Important Wellness Activities to Include at the Workplace

8. Meditate for a few minutes

Meditation is a technique used to focus your mind and accept distracting thoughts that interfere with your concentration and lead to more stress. There are different ways to learn how to meditate effectively, such as guided meditation provided by an instructor, courses, seminars, or even meditation apps. This practice might involve techniques to meditate during short periods, which allow you to implement them at work to relax. Learning how to meditate for 10-minute breaks may help you become more productive, as it often helps reduce anxiety and improve focus. Many meditation techniques can even be done without sitting and closing your eyes.

Related: How to Avoid Burnout in 10 Steps (With Definition and Signs)

9. Take a course in mind development

Mind development means self-control, self-awareness, and self-responsibility. These qualities may help you control impulses, understand yourself better, and know what you want and need in your career. Mind development can sometimes make it easier to recognize your value as an individual and reinforce positive ideas, such as self-esteem and self-worth. Consider taking online courses or attending workshops where an instructor or therapist can help you work on these skills.

Related: 10 Beginner Mindfulness Courses to Improve Your Well-Being

Tips for improving your work-life balance

Here are various tips you can evaluate to enhance your work-life balance:

  • Ask for feedback from your family members and friends. Sometimes, your family members may notice if you feel stressed, so asking for their feedback can encourage you to look for ways to relax at the office. They might also provide you with support and ideas on how to find the most effective methods for relaxing and taking breaks at work.

  • Assess the time you spend at the workplace. It's important to monitor how much time you spend at work, as this might be a factor in your stress levels. It's important to dedicate time to your family, friends, hobbies, and personal interests.

  • Start a hobby that you can do with your family. Consider asking your family or friends to share a hobby with you outside of work so that you can spend time with them. This activity helps improve your relationships and may make you feel more relaxed when at work.

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