Balancing work and life is hard.
When you come home from a long day filled with meetings, numbers, and following your boss's orders, all you want to do is relax – but at home, the next challenges await.
- Your partner wants to talk about their day
- Your kids want to play
- Your car needs an oil change, your fridge a refill, and your body a cleaning
Most men go flat-out on their job only to have no energy left when they come home. Their go-to coping mechanisms are a beer on the couch and watching Netflix. That’s about as healthy as snorting asbestos dust from a garbage dumpster.
It’s sad, too. When you bring work stress home, your relationships suffer and your well-deserved rest turns into another grind. You can’t unwind and connect if your head is still stuck at the office.
If your job is demanding, it can take hours for you to let go – usually just in time for bed and starting the cycle anew the next morning.
Wouldn’t it be convenient if there was a simple switch to leave all the stress behind when you walk through the door?
This switch exists – during my long days as a business owner, I’ve found five methods that can destress you in under ten minutes.
1. Use The Most Powerful Tool Your Body Has
One of the best techniques comes from breathwork guru Wim Hof. It only takes a few minutes but completely resets your system, rids you of all stress, and makes you feel like a newborn baby. It’s also dead simple, which is why it’s my go-to tool after a rough day.
- Sit or lay down and take 30 deep breaths without a break between inhale and exhale.
- Breathe out completely with the last one and hold for 60 seconds without any air in your lungs. (It’s going to feel like you’ll suffocate – you won’t. Just hold your breath.)
- Breathe in fully and hold for another 15 seconds.
That’s one round, which is enough for me on most days, but you can do more. For more guidance, check out his YouTube video.
You’ll feel crystal clear and energized, almost like a rebirth – far from any stress and worries.
2. Drain Your Mental Bucket
Your mind is like a bucket – if you always fill but never drain, it overflows.
When I work long days, it’s hard to turn off the racing thoughts. I’ll sit down for dinner or a beer with a friend but my head is still spinning around what happened at work. If you feel the same, there’s an easy way to let go of the neurological traffic jam.
All you need is your phone – or a pen and piece of paper.
- Open your voice memo app or sit down at a table to write.
- Start rambling. Whatever is in your head, vomit it out. It doesn’t have to make sense or follow a certain structure – just drain your bucket.
- Do that until there are no thoughts left.
Thoughts often go in circles, but when you put them into words, you create peace of mind. You close the open loops instead of chasing your mental tail.
This creates space for all the beautiful things you do outside of your work.
3. Force Yourself Into The Present Moment With Cold Immersion
My first ice bath blew my mind.
After 30 seconds of fighting the urge to jump out, I immersed myself in the present moment. When your body goes into emergency mode, you stop worrying about meetings and appointments. But you don’t have to take a full-on ice bath for that.
A simple cold shower can kick off the biological processes that help you let go of stress.
- It lowers your heart rate, which makes you less anxious
- It releases endorphins, hormones that further reduce your stress levels
If these are difficult to do, start small. Take a quick warm shower, then turn the water cold for five seconds. You can survive anything for that time, apart from listening to the Kardashians.
The next time, add another five seconds – and so on, until you’ve hit thirty.
Pull your body into the present moment and your mind will follow.
4. Release The Stress In Your Body To Relax Your Mind
Your mind and body are inherently connected.
When you’re stressed, your neck and shoulders tense up as part of your body’s fight-or-flight response. Sitting at a desk all day makes it worse. If you want to destress, release the tension.
You can do this in five minutes with a few stretching exercises – Man Flow Yoga has an excellent YouTube video.
When I suffered from tense neck muscles, I used a short ritual with soothing music, lighting Palo Santo wood, and stretching.
A few relaxed minutes can flatten your stress levels like an SUV tire and an unlucky frog.
5. If Nothing Else Helps…
Stress is like steam in a pressure cooker – if you bottle it up, it explodes.
Sometimes, work makes you downright angry. Wasting time in boring meetings, cleaning up after your thick-as-a-brick colleagues, and a smartass boss who takes credit work your work can make you see red. If you bring that aggression home, dinner won’t be fun.
My Italian blood makes me hot-tempered, so sometimes I don’t want to calm down – I want to wreak havoc.
However, there are better ways to do it than picking fights with your spouse:
- Let out a few hearty screams
- Chop wood or pummel the ground with a sledgehammer
- Punch a pillow or beanbag
- Rip apart a telephone book
It’s not the healthiest way to deal with stress, but some days, you just want to watch the world burn.
That’s fine. Let out your aggression. Just do it in a way that doesn’t harm others.
You’ll feel much better after.
Summary To Help You Destress After a Long Day of Work
Work isn’t always fun – often, it’s demanding, stressful, and makes you tear out your hair.
If you don’t want to let work stress corrupt your private life, try these quick exercises:
- Do a few rounds of Wim Hof breathing to reset your mind.
- Brain dump your thoughts with journaling or a voice memo to create space for new ones.
- Take a cold shower to force yourself out of your head and into the present moment.
- Stretch to release the physical tension in your body – it will help your mind relax.
- If nothing helps: Wreak havoc in a safe way.
Life’s too short to stress out.