16 Vital Back to Work Stress Reducers to Save Your Mind and Body Today

Does going back to work mean having the same high-stress dynamic? Avoid and eliminate stress with these 16 vital stress reducers!

Denise Everheart

If you’re just back from hiatus, vacation or your at-home job is heading back to the office- the idea of going back to work might be a major stressor! Not to mention the daily stress of nearly any job. And don’t forget the stress at home! Stress can be with us from the moment we awake to the moment our heads hit the pillow. That’s a lot of STRESS!

How can you handle all that stress in healthy ways? Maybe I should say, easy and healthy ways! ‘Cause nobody has time to do healthy that isn’t also easy! That would be stressful, right?!?

Let’s focus on what we can easily reduce, eliminate and add for stress relief as well as prevent stresses from ever being an issue. 

Reduce or eliminate these things

1. Staying up too late. I think we all know the value of a good night’s sleep but for one reason or another, it doesn’t happen as often as we need it to. Either we are trying to unwind from a long and demanding day at work or we are working well past normal work hours to complete a project. Ironically, we'd be better off getting a good night's sleep and working on the project in the morning when we feel refreshed and rested. Don’t worry, we’ll talk about great ways to unwind before bed soon! 

2. Caffeine. A vast majority of Americans rely on caffeine to start their day, as well as survive the mid-afternoon slump. But what most people may not realize is that caffeine is classified as a psychoactive drug that can alter moods and behavior. This stimulant can have negative effects on the health of both our mind and body. It is one of America’s most popular drugs. Reducing caffeine might seem more palatable than eliminating it completely. And make sure you’re not drinking coffee (or energy drinks) too late in the day. Either way, drink lots of water to help flush the system.

You may want to try substituting coffee and tea that have high caffeine amounts with drinking matcha tea. It is a type of green tea that claims to be a gentler caffeine experience, more like 1000 butterflies rather than the freight train that coffee can feel like.

3. Triggers. If you know your triggers, and you probably do, avoid them if possible. If you find yourself triggered you might like Grounding Exercises for Anxiety to Bring You Back to the Present, Now!

4. Bad company. That negative person in the office, or even at home, can influence how you feel. Until you have developed a non-stick coating for your mind, at least during high-stress periods, spend less time with negativity and more time with positivity. It can really make a difference.

5. Unhealthy foods. A stressful situation requires proper fuel to deal with the demands that stress puts on our bodies. If we are eating processed and difficult-to-digest foods our bodies cannot respond to the needs of the moment. Whereas if we are prioritizing fresh healthy foods our bodies can better respond to a stressful situation. So maybe eat that salad (feels good in the mind and body) and skip the deep-fried pastries (might not feel so good in the mind and body)?

Add these things

1. Yoga. Who has time for yoga!?! Everyone! That is if you do Sukshma yoga! Sukshma means subtle. Consisting of simple stretches and massaging parts of your head and face. You can even do subtle yoga from your office chair! Five to ten minutes and you are relaxed, refreshed, and ready to give that high-pressure presentation.

2. Prioritize fun. If you aren’t lucky enough to work for a company that prioritizes fun at work, find ways to squeeze in some fun after work, especially if you can include co-workers. Bonding while releasing stress in fun ways increases productivity!

3. Hug more, stress less. Hugging releases oxytocin, a chemical in our bodies that scientists sometimes call the “cuddle hormone.” This is because its levels rise when we hug, touch, or sit close to someone else. Oxytocin is associated with happiness and less stress.

Depending on the workplace rules where you work, you might need to get your hugs outside of work.

4. Massage. Just like hugs, touching that comes in the form of a massage can go a long way to improving your overall mental health and lower stress. Most cities now have therapeutic massage companies that offer a monthly membership at a reduced price making this an affordable stress reducer and the best way to release muscle tension.

5. Silence. Have you ever hidden away in a supply closet for just a few minutes of silence? Good for you! Having time away from noise and distractions helps you to replenish your energy and increases mental clarity. Carve out a few minutes to an entire weekend and reap the benefits of silence.

6. Breathing. Breathing exercises are very popular for quick stress reduction that can be done almost anywhere. Emma Seppälä Ph.D. writes for Psychology Today in “Breathing: The Little Known Secret to Peace of Mind”, “A revealing research study by Pierre Phillipot showed that different emotional states are associated with distinct respiration patterns.” The connection between your breath and your emotions can be felt when you use various breathing exercises. 

Want to learn more about breathing and stress management? Read Stock Your Survival Kit with these 7 Relaxing Breathing Exercises Now!

7. Meditation. Another popular stress management tool is meditation. The three most popular meditation techniques are guided, breath-based, and mantra-based. To learn about these three methods click here.

Other actions you can take

1. Learn to say no. Balance doesn’t come when we say yes to everything that comes our way. Sometimes saying no is actually saying yes to our well-being and can result in less stress. If you find yourself struggling to put yourself first when it really matters, decide to just say no once in a week or once in a day. But you get to decide what you want or need to say no to.

2. Plan and let go. Stress can happen when we feel unprepared. Taking a little time to make a plan can be helpful, but letting go is equally important. Clinging to a plan that isn’t working will only create more tension. Acceptance, a.k.a. it is what it is, prevents additional stress. And having less stress ensures more mental clarity so you can figure out how to improve the situation moving forward.

3. Leave a little room for imperfection. Another aspect of acceptance is to leave a little room for imperfection. How many times have you visualized how you thought things would or should be and they turned out exactly that way? Never, right?!? But it’s ok. Imperfect or different is fine, we just need to remind ourselves of that from time to time.

4. Faith. Many of the things that cause us stress can be traced to worry. Worry that things won’t go well or maybe worry that something won’t happen. Worry in many forms can be alleviated with faith. Faith or trust that only the best will happen. You may have heard the Tracy McMillan quote: “Everything works out in the end, if it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end”. This kind of faith that everything will work out saves our minds and reduces our stress level.

Scientifically proven stress reducer

The whole point of this article is to show you ways to invest in your mental health so stress is no longer a major issue in your day-to-day life. Of all these stress reducers, there is something uniquely powerful yet easy to do that makes a significant difference, especially in chronic stress. SKY Breath Meditation is an evidence-based technique that new participants, long time practitioners, and scientists all have reported:

  • Reduced cortisol levels (stress hormone)

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Enhanced deep sleep

  • Significant reduction in anxiety

  • Improved cholesterol levels

  • Greater mental focus

  • Reduced addictive behaviors

  • Increase in life satisfaction

What more could a stressed-out professional want? Less work, more money! ; ) Well, while you work towards that, do something that will save your mind and body from all that stress- learn SKY Breath Meditation

Your first step is to attend a free breath and meditation session, Beyond Breath. You will experience a guided meditation as well as learn a deep breathing technique nicknamed “Yogic Cappuccino”. Hmmm, might come in handy if you’re cutting back on caffeine! A certified SKY instructor will also answer any questions you might have. Seize the day and choose your spot by clicking the image below. 

Wishing you less stress and more relaxation!

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