Work/Life Balance

5 Free (Or Nearly Free) Ways I De-Stress When Leaving Work Isn’t An Option

By | Monday, June 11, 2018

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of work/life balance — taking time to relieve stress when you’re not at work, setting up healthy boundaries, and learning how to take regular breaks. But unfortunately, a lot of advice around stress relief only applies when you’re not on the clock, which isn’t exactly helpful in the moment. We all know that, when stress shows up, we can’t just snap our fingers and say, “Actually, I still have to finish this report, just come back in a few hours.” If only it worked that way.

While there may be times when going home really is what you need, all of us know what it’s like to have to stick it out through a physically or mentally draining day at work. We’re not about to tell you to start drastically overworking yourself, but when you have no other options but to work through a stressful day, it’s helpful to be armed with some strategies to deal with it. Read on for writer Carly Shearman’s super useful stress-handling strategies for when calling it a day simply isn’t feasible.

This week has been an insane entry in a series of high-pressure weeks. Safe to say, with the nature of my role and how heavy it is working in human management, I always have some form of “high stress” incident occur at least once a week. And what do you get when you combine a high-stress incident with a girl who is a mixed bag of anxiety, depression, and high expectations? Chest rashes with a 100% chance of Cyclone Carly.

I am slowly but surely learning how to keep my cool and stay level-headed in times of stress. And I thought you could benefit from one (or all) of my de-stressing strategies.

1. Take my shoes off

Yes, really. I don’t know what it feels like for other people, but when I feel my stress levels increasing and anxiety building, I feel like the world is closing in. Taking my shoes off helps me dramatically . Especially now that we are in winter (here in Australia, at least), I am wearing enclosed shoes and boots, and simply taking them off can giving me some breathing room.

I know what you are thinking: Ewww…. Put your shoes back on. To that I say, would you rather I politely take my shoes off under my desk and have a full-blown panic attack in an open-plan office? Life is a series of choices and I am happy with my choice. #FreeTheFeet

2. Carry lavender oil around

After lavender oil helped calm home-time-Carly, I thought it was time to take my trusty bottle to work. Now I carry lavender oil around in my pencil case, and it is always within an arm’s reach. If I am feeling stress bubble to the surface, I dab some lavender either on my wrist or on my temples.

3. Lock yourself away

My role is heavily focused around humans, and as an introvert, sometimes I need to escape my fellow people. It is not because I don’t love them — I do! I am blessed to work with some of the most incredible people. But if I am stressed, I am just going to ooze (yuck, ooze) my stress onto them and create a toxic environment. Instead, I would prefer to remove myself, work on a project or task I genuinely enjoy, recharge, and return to the group environment when I am ready. Obviously, this is not available to me all the time, but if I really need it, I try my very best to make it happen!

4. Put down the coffee and pick up that water

Do I really need to explain this? Caffeine hypes you up and can increase the feelings/symptoms of stress and anxiety. Instead, get yourself a nice, icy glass of water.

5. Put your hand up

This is not a strategy I use regularly enough, but it needs to be mentioned all the same. PUT YOUR HAND UP! Declare to your work that you are feeling the pressure/are stressed as all hell/need an hour with hearing the words “hey [insert name].” People are understanding and nothing is worth locking yourself in a toilet cubicle to cry.


That is it from me folks. I am going to go turn on my lavender infuser and pick up my book, because #SelfCare.What strategies do you use to de-stress? Please help a girl out, and share them with me over on my Instagram (or shout them out in the comments!). And did these strategies help you? I want to know!

Carly is a four-eyed, caffeine-addicted and severely-clumsy girl living down under in Australia. She regularly publishes rants, braindumps and even some tricks to survive life on her blog, The Chronicles of Carly, and on her Instagram, @thechroniclesofcarly.

Image via Unsplash

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