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5 ways to destress after a long work week

Work can be stressful and leaving work at the door and not taking it home can be a hard thing. Sometimes we carry the stress of work back to our home. This stress can have many symptoms; such as, headaches, fatigue, digestion problems and it can cause difficulty with paying attention just to name a few (Verheyen, 2016). There are various techniques that can be used to help lower stress after work. Not all techniques will work for everyone; so find the one that works best for you. Some people may find it difficult to use these techniques for health-related reasons. Consult your doctor before trying any of these techniques. If you experience any pain or discomfort while using any of the techniques, stop the technique and consult your doctor if needed.

Deep Breathing:

We start off by taking a deep slow and steady breath in and releasing the breath at an equally slow and steady rate. We do not have to pay particular attention to the breath in, but focus our attention on the breath out. As we release the breath, we have to release all the air from the lungs. The body will pick up on this quickly and will adjust the breath in automatically, so our attention is on the breath out. This will limit or eliminate the stress we feel when we are trying to breath in (Boyes, 2016). We continue these breaths for at least five minutes.

Square breathing:

Find a comfortable position to sit in. I like to start this technique by taking a slow and steady breath in and releasing it. Start by taking a slow and steady breath in while counting to four, filling your lungs as you breath. Your lungs should be full by the count of four. Hold the breath counting to four again.  Then release the breath as you count to four; all the air should be out of your lungs. Hold your breath for the count of four and repeat the cycle three more times. Some people may get lightheaded when they practice this technique. If this happens to you, stay seated for a minute and resume your normal breathing.


Walking is a great way to relieve stress. Choose a safe place to walk, whether a park, sidewalk or an indoor gym with a track. When walking, clear your mind of the day. This can be done by various means. For instance; pay attention to the surroundings as you walk. Walking raises the body’s natural Serotonin levels and increase hormone levels used to lower stress (Boyes, 2016). Some people enjoy listening to music as they walk. You need to find what works best for you. Your walk should be within the limitations of what you can do, so do not strain yourself; know your limitations.


Take ten minutes and think of three good things that happened today. They do not have to be big, they can be small or seemingly unimportant. Write down each good thing that happened and think about them. How did each one make you feel in the moment? Why did each event happen, or what was your contribution to each positive event?

For example:

Good thing: It was sunny outside

How did it make you feel: It made me feel good to see the sun and feel the warmth it offered.

What was your contribution: I chose to go outside and enjoy the weather for my lunchbreak instead of being trapped in the lunchroom at work.

Visual Meditation:

Take a seat and get into a comfortable position. Start with breathing in from the nose and out through the mouth. Pay attention to the breaths as you draw them in and release them out. Continue to do this for a about a minute as you feel the tensions of the day release from your body. Continue to breath throughout this exercise. Now imagine you are a stone near a pond. Visualize the pond and the grass around you. Imagine a boy comes along and picks you up and throws you into the pond. Visualize yourself as the rock leaving the boy’s hand as he throws you. Feel the excitement and the air as you go flying through the air. Feel the warm water as you reach the pond. Feel the warm water and as you sink lower in the pond. Imagine that you reach the bottom of the pond and the soil covers you; you are connected, you feel safe and you are at peace. Now slowly open your eyes and take a deep breath in and release the breath. Stay seated for a couple of seconds before standing.

Work Cited

Boyes, A. (2016, July 12). Breathing techniques for anxiety. Psychology today. Retrieved  



Verheyen, M. (2016). Stop Stress : A New Approach to Stress and Anxiety. Dr Marcel  


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