person doing yoga on a dock on the lake

11 Ways to De-Stress after Work

Stress is a normal part of life. And, it’s often work related. Even though stress is a natural reaction, it can have serious, negative impacts on your professional and personal lives. So, it’s important to take some time after work to de-stress.

Stress can lead to fatigue, headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, and heart attacks. It can cause you to pick fights with the people closest to you. Instead of allowing stress to control your health and your life, try one of these 11 ways to de-stress after work.

1. Exercise

Exercise is one of the best stress relievers. You don’t have to work out long or go to the gym to get the benefits – you can go for a short 10-minute walk around the block. Walking clears your head and boosts your endorphin levels, so you’ll be less stressed.

2. Laugh

You’ve heard that “laughter is the best medicine,” and for stress, it can be! Laughing decreases your stress hormones and forces you to feel better. Find whatever you think is funny (old SNL skits, videos of cats getting stuck in small spaces, or your favorite comedian) and spend some time laughing.

3. Breathe

Yes, de-stressing can be as simple as breathing. Take a few minutes after work and do some slow, deep breathing to decrease your tension. Focus on your stress while you inhale for four seconds, then focus on letting it all go while you exhale for 6 seconds. Do this a few times, and you’ll be relaxed in a couple of minutes.

4. Meditate

Meditating relaxes your mind and body. If you don’t think you have time to meditate, or you don’t know how to meditate, check out “Stop, Breathe & Think” or “5 Minute Meditation” to help guide you.

Besides helping you de-stress after work, meditation reduces heart disease risk factors and reduces high blood pressure.

5. Hug Someone

Hugging someone you trust can protect you from the negative impacts of stress and fight off infections. Find someone you trust and give them a big hug – you’ll feel better.

6. Turn Off Your Phone

Your phone might be causing you more stress than you realize. After work, turn it off for an hour. Instead of checking your phone every five minutes, you’ll be able to relax.

7. Craft

The repetitive tasks from crafts like knitting or cross-stitching helps reduce your anxiety. It doesn’t matter if you’re any good at it; it’ll still help you de-stress.

8. Be Thankful

People who are grateful for what they have are happier and less stressed. Every day after work, take a few minutes and think of 10 things you’re grateful for. You’ll instantly have a better outlook on life.

9. Cook Something Delicious

Cooking helps you tap into your creative side and forces you to focus on the task at hand, instead of focusing on whatever is stressing you out. Plus, if you cook your favorite meal, you’ll be even happier.

10. Listen to Music

Listening to music takes your mind off whatever stresses you out. Classical music slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and reduces your stress hormones. However, any music you love, not just classical, will make you happier and less stressed.

11. Visit Your Best Friend

Spending time with your best friend will help reduce your stress. If you can’t physically go see your best friend, call them and chat for a few minutes.