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Do You Know How to Relax?

Tips to Help You De-Stress

By

A businessman relaxing at his desk

A businessman finds time to relax.

Paul Bradbury / OJO Images / Getty Images

Relax? What is That?

Do you have trouble leaving work at the office? There's always more stuff to get done, right? Few of us can leave our jobs every night and forget about them until the next morning, or heavens forbid, go on vacation and not check email for a week or more. Far too many of us can't resist bringing work with us when are supposed to be taking a break from the daily grind. For that we have to thank the creators of tablets, smartphones and lightweight laptops for making it so easy to do that ... or do we? If it wasn't so easy to bring work with us, maybe we'd have an easier time leaving it behind.

Taking a break from work is very good for your physical and mental well being. Believe it or not, it can also benefit your employer. Even a brief respite can heal your mind and body by relieving stress which can make you physically ill and emotionally drained. You may find that you have less of a need to take sick days. That's certainly a plus for your employer. When people are relaxed they are also able to bring more creativity and enthusiasm to their jobs.

Finding Ways to Relax

While taking time off from work is the best thing you can do to relax and, in turn, relieve stress, re-energize and renew your creativity, you may not always be able to get away for more than several hours at a time (at least you get to sleep!). You should still find ways to relax even if it means you are doing it during a short break. Surely you can spare a tiny bit of time for your own well being. Let's look at some ways to relax whether you have a week, a day, an hour or just a few minutes to spare. You'll even find out what to do if you have no time at all.

If You Have a Week:

  • Take a trip. A change of scenery can be very relaxing but that doesn't mean you have to spend your life savings to go to an exotic location. Any place that isn't home can be a change! If money is an issue, look for off-season deals, for example a stay at the beach after the weather turns cooler, or other wallet-friendly options. Mark Kahler, The About.com Budget Travel Expert, has many suggestions on his site.

If You Have a Day:

  • Visit a museum, amusement park or other special attraction in your city. Many museums have admission-free days. You can look for discount tickets for many attractions through sites like Groupon or Living Social.

If You Have an Hour or Two:

  • Exercise. The release of endorphins that happens when you exercise helps relieve stress. It also reduces depression.
  • Go for a walk. If you don't have time to engage in a full exercise routine (followed by a shower), how about a stroll around the neighborhood near your office or perhaps a post-dinner walk in the evening.

If You Only Have a Few Minutes:

  • Practice mind-body relaxation techniques. In this short video About.com Alternative Medicine Expert Cathy Wong demonstrates a two minute one that will give you instant stress relief at work, at home or anywhere.

If You Don't Have Any Time:

  • Listen to music while you work. Put on headphones and turn on the tunes, but only if it's okay with your boss. Elizabeth Scott, the About.com Guide to Stress Management, has put together a list of seven CDs she says are among the best for relaxation and stress relief.

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