5 ways to de-stress at work without leaving your desk

Kelly Hayman 06.05.2019

Do you get stressed at work? Let me explain why there is no need.

There are many different ways experts keep drilling into us about helping to reduce tension in our bodies and most of all, our minds. Many people have their own ways of relaxing, but if you are like me, maybe you find it hard to switch off?

If you are not sure where to start, don't panic - I've done the legwork for you!

Here's five simple tips to relieve that tension, diminish the stress and help you work in a more relaxed environment. More importantly, the majority can be done from your desk.


Many of us get caught up with phone call after phone call, running to and from the printer or in back-to-back meetings with little time to do anything else. Even though breathing is a natural physiological process, most of us forget we even do it. However, what you must not forget is that the more oxygen we have circulating our blood stream, the better your brain and muscles will function. So, stop, sit tall and take five deep inhalations through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

Here's a further look on the subject from personal coach Matt Ireland:

2) No work emails before bed

As tempting as it is to go through your emails on your phone or tablet before bed, don’t do it! Thinking about work before you sleep will leave your mind thinking about what the next day is going to bring. This will disrupt your sleep and leave you tired and exhausted for your next working day - not very productive, after all!

3) Listen to an upbeat song on your lunch break

Music can change your mood. If you are having a busy morning, take five minutes out to plug in those headphones and listen to your favorite song. This will allow an escape from your surroundings. You’ll come back to your keyboard feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon. Better still, encourage the whole office to do this in the same five minutes and have your very own silent disco!

4) Do you really need another coffee?

FACT: The caffeine in coffee increases your stress hormones. The stress response increases insulin production. Insulin increases inflammation and this makes you feel lousy. So, are you feeling groggy? Don’t reach for the coffee, but the green tea or an instant energy boost, a banana!;


Do you often feel tightness and tension in your back from sitting at your desk all day, but do not have the time for a 90 minute yoga class? Try a simple chair exercise that will help you lengthen your spine, release your back and provide some much needed space between your vertebrae:

ACTION: Sit up straight and slightly forward in your chair, ensuring your feet are placed firmly in front of you. Inhale and suck your stomach sucked in. Slowly turn the upper half of your body to the left, with your head looking over your left shoulder. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then slowly exhale. You should feel the length of you back stretching. Repeat the process for the right side of your body.

Regular practice of just one of these steps will, in time, help alleviate any work woes. Relax your way to a better productive and stress-free work life.

Kelly Hayman's picture
Manager | HR