Clocking Out: Creative Strategies to Decompress After a Long Day at Work

business office at workIf you believe that stress can’t seriously hurt you, do think again. Stress and anxiety not only steal the smile from your face, they can lead to a host of horrid health problems, too. If you arrive home at the end of your workday too tense to enjoy your evening, learn to enact a few creative strategies that will help you decompress after a long day at work.

Common causes of physical and mental stress

When you recognize your stress triggers, you may be able to do more to avoid them. According to Mayo Clinic, common causes of stress include relationship troubles, work-related worries and financial difficulties. Interestingly, positive life events such as an upcoming wedding, a pregnancy or a pending promotion may also cause the same burst of brain chemicals that signal to your body to fight or run away.

What stress does to people

Scientists now know that when a person feels fearful, their brain begins an instantaneous chemical reaction that makes it easier to respond quickly. This ‘fight or flight’ reaction includes adrenaline and cortisol and is normal. When the immediate threat is removed, the brain should return to a relaxed and serene state. Unfortunately, in this day and age, there are so many stressful situations to contend with, many people live in a near constant state of stress and fear.

Adrenaline is produced in glands that sit atop the kidneys. When released in response to stress, adrenaline increases heart rate and elevates blood pressure. The other major stress chemical, cortisol, is a hormone that elevates blood sugar immediately. Cortisol also slows non-necessary functions, such as the digestive and immune systems, says Mayo Clinic.

If left unchecked, stress contributes to anxiety, depression, lack of motivation and digestion problems. Stress may also cause rapid weight gain, headaches and insomnia.

Get rid of stress naturally

Make your home a zen-like retreat, and mutter a mantra on your way home from work. Leave your stress at the door and walk into a serene after-work experience, recommends MindBodyGreen magazine. Turn off your techy devices and leave them off until the next morning. Instead of slurping a quick cup of coffee when you get home, opt for a slow, soothing mug of chamomile tea, instead. Even better, sip your relaxing tea whilst up to your neck in a nice hot bath.

A great way to take a load off your mind and boost your creativity at the same time is to install a free Android art app on your smartphone. The Android mandala coloring book app from Apalon fits the bill quite nicely. With dozens of designs and an endless supply of digital ink and colored pencils, this amazing app helps people relax in a beautiful manner.

Inactive methods of stress relief, such as watching television, may actually lead to more stress. Instead, opt for yoga, tai chi, canoe paddling, art and other ways to relieve your own stress.

Bio: Mark Rogers is a team leader and knows how important it is to get the team spirit flowing, as well as enjoy some downtime away from the stresses of work.


  1. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I am often looking for ways to decompress. Sometimes I shall drink tea. I am going to start painting again and have started yoga. I also enjoy reading novels.

  2. I read a lot of articles on the MindBodyGreen web site. I didn’t grow up with a computer and initially used it in college, so I still like the paper magazines, yoga, dancing, running, etc, to relieve stress. When my Internet goes down, like it did today, I try not to stress too much (got some cleaning done today!) and grab a cup of green tea!

  3. I am always looking for ways to decompress after a long stressful day. I had no idea that the television can cause stress. I do like drinking tea and I also love art projects. I really want to get more into quilting and I think that will be a big stress reliever. Thanks for sharing this post I really enjoy reading posts like this one.