Work hard, play hard: How to relax at work to restore your energy
Burnout, poor sleep, low motivation… Sounds familiar? Sometimes, work can take a toll on your mental health. Working long hours, skipping much-needed breaks, and multitasking can cause you long-running health issues that you’ll have to recover from.
But we’ll tell you this: sometimes, there’s no need to take a long vacay to restore your energy and feel like you’re ready for new accomplishments. In fact, you can simply try some relaxation techniques each day — and actually feel better and more inclined to work. Small steps do work, and we’d love to advise you on what you can do to relax at work.
Below, we’ll list 14 proven ways that will help you recharge as you take a break during the working day.
Why do you need to relax at work?
The key to productive work is maintaining a delicate balance between managing your tasks and taking time to relax. Here’s exactly what relaxation can help you with:
- Feeling more productive. Stress is productivity’s worst enemy. In fact, a recent Workplace Stress and Productivity study found that higher stress scores are associated significantly with lower productivity scores. So, you need to find your ways to relax and avoid stressing out too much.
- Preventing burnout. Burnouts happen to everybody, especially to overly emotional people who take on more tasks than they can actually complete. A study by Deloitte found that over 77% of U.S. corporate workers experienced burnout, and it’s frustration that negatively impacts the quality of their work.
- Enjoying work. Work is to be enjoyed, then why work at all? Taking a good break from tasks every once in a while can actually help you feel more in tune with yourself as a professional, and enjoy what you’re doing.
14 ways to relax at work to recharge
We bet you’re excited to learn about how you can relax at work to restore your energy. Because there are countless options, we suggest choosing the ones that fit you best. Let’s talk about 14 ways to relax at work:
1. Take a walk
Nothing is more beneficial to your energy restoration than a good walk. Hopefully, you have a nice park nearby. Plan yourself a 30-minute walk as a part of your daily routine. In case you’re lucky enough to have water in your neighborhood, spend some time by a local lake or river during your break.
Quick tip: for more health benefits, get some fresh air right after you lunch.
2. Try aromatherapy
Cardamon, ylang-ylang, tea tree… Oils are here to help us renew energy. Aromatherapy is a great way to reduce work-related stress, agitation, and anxiety. In addition, oiling up also helps treat headaches and migraines that are common at the workplace.
Quick tip: choose rosemary and lavender to improve performance, and opt for peppermint to reduce stress.
3. Get a good laugh
The positive effects of laughing are countless. According to VeryWellMind, laughter brings distraction from anger, stress, and other negative emotions better than other distractions.
So, plan yourself a 10-min Twitter session to laugh at some new memes. Watch Youtube standup shows. Play with your pet. Do something that makes you laugh regularly — and you’ll feel way better.
4. Stay hydrated
Quick question here: how many glasses of water did you drink today? Staying hydrated is important because it helps our cells function properly. Take a sip or two while you’re working. When you take a break, pour yourself a big glass of water (better two). Note how you feel afterwards.
Quick tip: it pays to always have a glass of water on your table.
5. Talk to your close ones
As humans, we need to feel interconnectedness with each other. Next time you’re having a break from work, try calling your friends or relatives. Have an easy-flowing conversation, exchange your latest news, inquire how they are holding up.
This way, you will feel the support coming from your peers. You can also plan to go for lunch the next day. Knowing that you have a great pastime ahead will keep you in a great mood.
6. Have a meditation break
Meditation is a go-to solution for people dealing with stressful jobs. Mute your phone, sit calmly, and try to focus on your body’s sensations for 10-15 minutes. If you find it easier, you can simply count your breaths as they pass. For a little guidance here, try free meditation apps like Headspace or Meditopia.
Quick tip: when you’re stressed and low on energy, but lack time, even a 5-minute meditation session will do.
7. Massage your hands
Get the energy flowing! Massaging your hands can give you relief, especially if you’re working on the computer all the time. Get yourself a hand lotion, take a break from emails, and massage your hands for 5-10 minutes. Remember, you can also massage your feet, shoulders, or ears to feel better.
8. Do a quick workout
Perhaps one of the most rewarding pastimes on this list. A simple 20-minute workout can give you a powerful energy boost, and you’ll feel even more energized than you did before the exercises. Try doing some push ups, jumping rope, or dumbbells.
If you’re not into a big workout, simply try yoga or some easy stretching. Oh, and get those running shoes ready — running is also a great way to get your energy back.
9. Engage in journaling
It pays to note your thoughts and feelings once in a while. Get yourself a beautiful notebook and try to write everything that’s on your mind. This could be your plan for the upcoming week, your current emotions, or some prose. Once you release your thoughts on paper, you’ll feel a lightness of mind and it’ll be easier for you to get down to work again.
Quick tip: if you feel like it, you can also do a little painting exercise.
Need help in arranging your journaling routine? Try out these VistaCreate templates.
10. Take a powernap
Naps work, period. If your energy is scarce, this may well be due to a lack of good night’s sleep. Allocate half an hour in your daily schedule, tune out, and go to sleep. According to SleepFoundation, napping can help with memory formation, regulating emotions, as well as improving alertness in shift workers.
11. Clean up your workplace
Why not introduce some changes to the environment you work in? Reorder your table, clean up the space, throw away some garbage. Water flowers (we hope you do have some around).
You can also go a little further and change the order in your room. If you work from home, try moving your desk from one place to another, reorder furniture, and get yourself some nice room decorations. This way, you will feel a sense of newness and are likely to get more ideas.
12. Play some good music
Music is a powerful tool to help you distract from work and recharge. Make a playlist of your favorite tunes, close all working tabs, and let the music do its thing. If you feel like it, dance a bit along the way. You can also mix this technique with stretching or playing with your pet.
Need inspiration? Check out our list of 10 Youtube playlists to get in the zone at work.
13. Eat a snack
Snacking around is great, too. As you’re off working tasks, grab a tasty snack — could be a fruit, some nuts, or a good cup of tea. Eat or drink slowly, take your time to enjoy the taste.
Quick tip: try not to eat too much, as you might feel sleepy afterwards. It’s best to have a small snack and plan a break after lunch to get ready for work again.
14. Do less and relax more by simplifying complicated processes
Why complicate things when you can actually enjoy the work? At VistaCreate, we offer you the opportunity to create designs that look like they took hours, in minutes. Next time you face a design task, simply head over to VistaCreate’s library of templates and choose your one and only. Edit it as you feel — and save some time to relax.
Relaxing is as important as work. To prevent fatigue and emotional burnout, we suggest you allocate some time each day to restoring your energy. As you take a break from work, try walking around in nature, socializing, or working out.
Remember you can always mix these techniques — for example, try listening to your favorite playlist as you’re relaxing by water or stretching. This way, you’ll feel recharged and ready for new work challenges.