7 Easy Hacks to De-Stress Throughout the Work Day

Source: Mathilde Langevin | Unsplash

With enduring packed work weeks, finding time to be social, caring for our bodies, and making room for rest, staying on top of it all can be a full-time job. Between the demands of careers and our lives outside of them, we’ll admit: We’re freakin’ stressed. While stress is an inevitable part of life, managing stress is key in keeping us healthy and ready to take on new challenges.

Sure, taking a two-week vacation in the Cayman Islands to avoid all of our responsibilities sounds like a sufficient solution, but in reality, finding more practical options to deal with our day-to-day stressors is what will truly set us up for success. If “I’m stressed” has crossed your mind at all today or this week, we’ve got you covered. Here are seven easy hacks to de-stress throughout the workday so that you can show up as your best, most efficient self (no plane, train, or automobile required):


1. Take a 10-minute class on a work break

Exercise in any form can have a huge impact on stress levels, and thankfully, you don’t need an hour-long class or a fancy gym to make it happen. Even taking 10 minutes out of your day between tasks or meetings to get your body moving, blood flowing, and endorphins pumping can help you get away from your computer, de-stress, and refresh.

Obé Fitness is one of our favorite hacks to getting a solid workout in at home, trying out new forms of exercise, and making time to prioritize our bodies. Obé has a ton of 10-minute classes that help us get moving when we’d otherwise be taking a sedentary “break” (read: being horizontal and scrolling social media). With cardio boxing, dance HIIT, barre, and pilates, Obé is the perfect solution to keeping movement fresh, fun, and at your fingertips on your busiest days.

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2. Make a plan

Having a plan can be crucial when it comes to managing stress levels on a busy day. Take a step back from haphazardly jumping from task to task and look at the big picture of what needs to be done today, tomorrow, and this week. You might do better when you prioritize your easiest tasks first to warm up and gain confidence, or you might start with your hardest tasks first to align with your energy levels. Maybe you prefer to batch similar tasks so that you can avoid wasting the time involved with switching gears. Whatever the best plan is for you, having one can help you work more efficiently and better manage your time and energy.


3. Meditate

One of the best ways to recenter, refocus, and decrease stress levels is to meditate. If you’re not into meditating, it might not be on the top of your “ways to de-stress” list, but hear us out: Meditating is a game-changer when it comes to managing stress throughout your workday. Despite what may be popular belief, meditation is not about turning your brain off. It’s about tuning into your thoughts, feelings, and body to gain perspective. Practicing meditation can help you focus your attention, address stressors, and free your mind of the distractions that may bring you anxiety. If you’re a beginner (or a skeptic), consider adding meditation to your daily routine to help you de-stress throughout the day.


Source: Colorjoy Stock


4. Declutter your workspace

We don’t know about you, but when our work area is a mess, we feel like a mess. A clean workspace can be beneficial to your mental health, while a cluttered workspace can have negative effects on your stress levels and ability to focus. Taking five minutes to tidy up your desk, declutter your work bag, and close the 48 open tabs on your computer can streamline your workflow and help you direct your attention where it’s most needed. 


5. Listen to mood-boosting music

Here at The Everygirl, we love a good mood-boosting playlist for more than just an unexpected solo performance or dance party (though we do encourage mid-day choreography sessions and/or breaking out into song whenever your heart desires). Music is a powerful tool that can have a profound effect on our ability to relax, concentrate, and even boost our mood. Whether you’re looking to zone in and increase focus or to improve your mood throughout the day, there’s a playlist out there with your name on it to help make your workday infinitely better.


6. Go for a quick walk down the street

When you’re feeling bogged down and overwhelmed by tasks, focus on getting your steps in. Not only does walking promote the release of endorphins to stimulate relaxation and improve mood, but it also gives you the opportunity to physically remove yourself from certain stressors. Walking has many benefits for the body and also the mind. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, you’ll be able to return to your work with mental sharpness and an improved mood. Sign us up!


7. Connect with a friend or coworker

Call it comedic relief, venting, or the beauty of human connection, but nothing helps us de-stress quite like taking a minute to talk with our work friends, best friends, significant others, or family members. Besides the fact that we enjoy the people we surround ourselves with, there’s science behind it: When we connect with people we love, the brain releases the hormone oxytocin, which can help reduce stress levels by affecting cortisol levels (the stress hormone). If that’s not a case for catching up with your bestie, we don’t know what is.



6 Techniques to Reduce Stress That My Therapist Taught Me




This post contains a sponsored inclusion of obé, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.


9 Trader Joe’s Products I Pick Up When I’m Extra Busy

Source: Julia Birkinbine for The Everymom

The weeks in which I want nothing more than to order takeout for every meal are the weeks my body needs anything but another Chipotle bowl. It’s when my calendar is jam-packed with meetings, deadlines, and events, and my meal plan looks a lot like 20 random minutes here and there. On my busiest of weeks, eating healthy is probably the hardest task on my plate, but it’s essential for feeling good and saving money. In those weeks, I always turn to Trader Joe’s products.

So, what does this shopping list entail? It’s foods that are easy, quick, and involve minimal mess, but it’s also foods that pack a punch and give me the extra energy I need to both get through busy work weeks and still have time for Bumble dates, yoga classes, bottomless mimosas, and endless hours of The Real Housewives of Potomac on Hulu.


1. Mandarin Orange Chicken Bowl

We all know and love the TJ’s Mandarin Orange Chicken, so when I saw they came out with this bowl, I figured it would never live up to the deliciousness of the original. I was wrong. It’s the perfect lunch when I only have a few minutes to make something for myself, and because it already comes in a bowl, there’s really no clean-up. I keep at least one of these in my freezer every single week.


2. Cold Brew Concentrate

During a busy week, who doesn’t need coffee? I have a French press that I love so much, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t time-consuming. When I know I’ll want a few cups of coffee without the hassle of brewing it myself, I pick up this cold brew concentrate. One bottle lasts me so long since it’s a concentrate and I only use a little bit mixed with water, and it tastes so good. My favorite way to drink it is with some ice, a drizzle of caramel around the cup, and classic French Vanilla creamer. It has a bold taste and surprisingly doesn’t make me feel sick like a lot of other coffees do.


3. Hi-Protein Veggie Burgers

I’m all about efficiency when I’m short on time. Protein is a big part of my diet because I love weightlifting, and I’m always looking for new ways to add it to my routine. These veggie burgers have become a staple in my freezer. I usually eat them as a protein with salad, but I make them as burgers quite often too. I’ll also eat them alone with some eggs in the morning or put them on top of rice—I find pretty much any way to add this to my day.


4. Chicken Chow Mein

After a long day, the last thing I want to do is spend a ton of time cooking a meal. However, I’m also usually craving comfort food when I’m busy. I avoid pulling up Uber Eats and opt for this Chow Mein instead. It’s absolutely delicious, feels like I’m eating something from a restaurant, and takes me just five minutes to prepare. I add a little bit of sriracha to make it spicy, and it’s my perfect mid-week dinner when all I really want to do is order out.


5. Smoothie Packs

I love making a smoothie with protein after a workout, but I usually come home from the gym and head straight to the shower and then my computer to get back to work, leaving little to no time to throw in a ton of ingredients in my blender. A few months ago, I started buying these packs, and they’ve saved my life. I pop this in the blender with oat milk and protein powder, and that’s it. If I have extra fruit on hand, like bananas, I’ll throw that in, but these work super well on their own too. They taste so good and are the perfect post-workout snack.


6. Collagen Powder

I’m saying it one last time: I love protein. It keeps me full, and I’ve noticed such a shift in my workout performance since adding it to my routine. (Oh, and it’s given me the healthy hair of my dreams). When I know my diet will mostly consist of snacks instead of full meals, I like to add in extra protein whenever and wherever I can. Collagen powder has been great because I can easily add it to coffee or tea, smoothies, or any beverage without it adding extra taste or texture.


7. Bagged Salad

When I don’t know what to eat for lunch, I go for a bagged salad. They have so many options, and it comes with everything you need to make it taste just like a $14 one you can pick up from Sweetgreen. I’ll add chicken or ground turkey to keep me fuller longer, and it’s the perfect midday meal that keeps my energy levels up. My favorite is the organic caesar (I have it in my fridge every week), but I also love the southwest salad and just tried the vegan taco salad and am obsessed. They all taste delicious and feel like a complete lunch.


8. Trail Mix

Any snack I can keep at my desk and munch on all day long is a good one in my book. Trader Joe’s has a plethora of trail mixes that I love. They are the perfect snack—mixing salty, sweet, and savory—and keep me full until my next meal.


9. Matcha

As stated above, I love a caffeinated beverage when I know I’ll be at my desk, in meetings, all day long. However, my stomach isn’t always happy with coffee, so I usually opt for matcha in the afternoon. The TJ’s matcha is easy to keep on hand because it’s inexpensive and tastes good. (My favorite matcha of all time is from Golde, but I usually reserve that for special occasions!)


Coffee Lovers: I Tried All of Trader Joe’s Coffee So You Don’t Have To
Ready to take fewer walks to your nearest Starbucks? Here’s my ultimate guide to all of Trader Joe’s coffee.