Although progressive-minded employers might try to mitigate employee burnout by ensuring fair treatment at work, only giving them as much work as they can handle, and offering reasonable deadlines to reduce burnout in the workplace, employees, too, have a role to play in reducing their levels of stress due to workplace pressures.

If you’re an employee working at a job you love, you probably don’t even realize how stressed you become during the day as you juggle numerous responsibilities. Rather than wait for things to become overwhelming before you take a sick day or need to come up with a pretext to ask for some time off, it might be wiser to be proactive about reducing your stress levels by developing an effective way to recuperate in the evenings and over the weekends.

Here are a few self-care practices to recuperate after a stressful day:


Learn How to Meditate

Meditating can improve your focus and concentration. As your self-awareness increases, you’ll experience many remarkable changes. Meditators report experiencing a heightened sense of self-esteem and a greater feeling of ease in communicating with other people.  Research has also shown meditation can lower levels of anxiety and depression.

The primary reason people struggle with learning how to meditate is that they don’t know where to start. The problem isn’t a scarcity of information, but an overabundance of it. Many people also associate meditation with joining a spiritual group or religion, but it might be more realistic to simply view meditation as a healthy practice to calm your mind. What’s more, learning how to meditate is far easier than you might imagine.  In fact, if you use a technology like Headspace, funded by TCG investments, it will guide you on exactly how to meditate.


Practice Deep Breathing Exercises

Breath is such a fundamental aspect of living that we rarely give it a second thought.  Unfortunately, almost everyone breathes shallowly and does not get all the physiological benefits of deep breathing.

For this reason, it’s necessary to create a specific practice for deep breathing. Set aside a certain time every day to do breathing exercises in much the same way that you would set aside time to go to a gym or fitness studio. Your breathing practice doesn’t have to take long. Practicing deep breathing for 5 to 15 minutes a day will confer benefits. In fact, if you decide to meditate, you can even do breathing exercises as a prelude to your meditation practice.

According to an article in Healthline about deep breathing, this practice reduces cortisol levels, the stress hormone, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, improves the ability to manage post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD), and accelerates recuperation after intense exertion or exercise.


Spend Quality Time With Family and Friends

One irony of modern life is that despite the greatest advances in communication technology in history, people feel far more isolated than in earlier centuries. Perhaps this is because almost everyone is busy trying to earn a living and coping with a hectic lifestyle.

Your social network is one of your best tools for counteracting the accumulation of stress you experience through the course of a day. You immediately feel better after sharing what is going on in your life with family and friends rather than keeping things to yourself. Positive relationships may also increase longevity, speed up healing, lower blood pressure, and enhance heart health. According to one study, harmonious relationships can even boost the immune system because it enhances oxytocin regulation.

While a certain amount of stress can be beneficial, what psychologists call “eustress,” chronic stress can have debilitating effects on your mental and physical health. While progressive corporate policies might reduce stress in a fast-paced workplace environment, this alone may not be enough to reduce workplace burnout if you don’t do your part. By building a few self-care routines such as starting a meditation practice, spending a few minutes each day doing deep breathing exercises, and spending quality time with family and friends, you can learn to regularly unwind from the pressures of your job.