7 Quick Ways To Relax After A Stressful Work-From-Home Day

You deserve a break!

exhausted woman in sweater getty

Have you learned how to relax after a long, stressful day working from home?

If you were one of those people who always used to say how great it would be to work from home, you've probably realized that it has its perks — no tedious commute, you see more of your kids, have more control over your schedule, and maybe dress down a few days a week, not just Fridays.

Well, since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve all had the opportunity to experience the joys and challenges of having a home office.


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There are definitely some advantages, but there are also a ton of new stressors you probably never considered.

Whether those stressors are directly connected to COVID-19 or not, it still translates into feelings of anxiety, fatigue, and overwhelm. Even the most positive, optimistic souls among us are grappling with stress levels we’ve never dealt with before.


Maybe you’re already an avid meditator or have become a regular runner to cope better. Really, you can’t ever go wrong ramping up your self-care practices, whether it’s cleaning up your diet, drinking more water, or exchanging foot massages with your partner.

But you also really need to have a handful of quick-fix ideas in your back pocket.

Here are 7 quick ways to relax after a stressful work-from-home day.

1. Aromatherapy.

Your sense of smell is directly connected to the limbic system in your brain, which governs your memories and emotions. So, choose some essential oils that are specifically geared for relaxation, like bergamot, chamomile, and clary sage.

Add a few drops to a diffuser or spray bottle, and have them handy when the going gets rough. Or just keep a bottle of suntan oil in your desk drawer when you need to be transported to the beach in a nanosecond!


2. Get moving.

One of the downsides of not having a commute is that you can get stuck in your chair for hours at a time.

So, even if you’re wiped at the end of the day, figure out a way to move! That could be as simple as putting on a favorite song and dancing around your office — your kids will love that, too.

Learn some simple chair yoga positions or, if you’re more adept at yoga, just a few sun salutations can loosen you up and relax you at the end of the day.

3. Practice conscious breathing.

Be sure to take some time after you walk away from your workspace to sit somewhere so you can just slowly follow your breath.

There many breathing meditations out there.


One of my favorites is to "inhale" those qualities you want to take into your being at the end of a stressful day — energy, joy, peace. And then on the exhale, focus on what you want to release — anger, anxiety, impatience.

Experiment with some of your own and see what soothes you best.

4. Get outside.

In fact, you can do your intentional breathing in your garden or sitting under a tree. Either way, the idea is to make contact with the Earth.

Some doctors are now actually prescribing time outside for their patients to help bring them back into balance. It doesn’t take much.

I live in New York City and have my favorite trees in nearby parks that I commune with every day.


How about you? Where can you practice a little bit of that "eco-therapy"?

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5. Listen to music — and sing!

Just as you can choose essential oils to help you relax, crank up your favorite tunes at the end of a stressful day shake out the cobwebs.

If you pick music that you can sing along with, that’s even better — there are now studies that show the positive effects of singing on the brain and heart.

Specifically, group singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins. So, get your partner and kids to join you, too!


6. Journal, draw, paint, and create.

Do something with your hands — other than pecking at a keyboard!

Adult coloring books are incredibly relaxing, even meditative. Or if you’re more of a free spirit, get yourself one of those kids watercolor paint sets with a little brush and literally, paint outside the lines.

The idea is to get out of your overstimulated, rational, linear left brain that’s been working hard all day, and sink into your creative, intuitive right brain.

7. Try some psycho-sensory techniques.

This can also be called "self-touch therapy," and it’s getting lots of traction in this time of social distancing.


One example is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which involves tapping different acupressure points to stimulate a de-stressing response in the brain.

Havening also involves self-touch, but it’s systematically rubbing your arms and hands while visualizing calming places in nature.

Do a little research, then experiment with them and see if they work for you.

It’s way too easy to just binge-eat in front of the TV when you’re wiped out. It just takes a little imagination and a commitment to stop the downward spiral before it sucks you in.

Consider which of these ideas resonates most with you so the next time you’re looking for a healthy way to relax at the end of a stressful work-at-home day, you can whip out one of your new tools and bring yourself back into balance.


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Deborah Roth, MA is a Life Transition Guide, Relationship Coach, and Interfaith Minister who founded Spirited Living™ to help overwhelmed, under-nurtured women reclaim their sanity and their soul-selves. You can read about simple but powerful ways to do that when you download her e-book, "Circle of One: The Art of Becoming a SELF-Centered Woman", or contact her at deborah@SpiritedLiving.com to schedule a free 30-minute introductory coaching session.