Sometimes the best part of work is leaving it behind. When you want a “do-over” after a difficult day, plunge into an activity that you enjoy. Even if you only have 15 minutes to devote to it. (Or, maybe the dirty dishes can wait after all.) Relaxing activities are a wonderful way to let go of workplace stress.

Here are a variety of after-hours stress busters for you to try:

Read a favorite comic, book, or magazine – in print format or on an e-reader. A library of reading choices can be at your fingertips.

Hold a game night and invite family and friends to play cards or Monopoly. You’ll chat and get caught up with everyone, without worrying about conversational lulls or spats.

Call, write, or Skype loved ones far away. People you have a history with, and who you can trust, are worth staying in touch with. Share your hopes, fears, and everyday joys.

Sports, such as golf, tennis, or cycling can work off your jagged anxious energy.

Make something! Sew, knit, or crochet. Repetitive hand motions are calming, and it’s fulfilling to end up with a finished product.

Listen to music for pleasure, or as a meditative practice for clearing the mind and inducing relaxation.

When you’re too tired to cook, order take-out for a no-stress supper. While you’re at it, enjoy a trashy reality TV show, such as The Real Housewives.

Make a “bucket list” of everything you hope to experience in life: Places to go, things to do, people to meet.

Laugh out loud at a funny movie, TV show, or YouTube video. (Too Cute Kittens, anyone?)

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Download free or low-cost tutorials from websites such as, or take a class at your local community college.

Calgon, take me away! Nothing washes off the stress of the day like a long, hot bath or shower. For extra measure, change into PJ’s or soft jeans that say “aah, home at last.”

What activities appeal to you? If none, don’t worry. You can create your own list. Let us know what stress management techniques work for you.

Jebra Turner is a health reporter and former H.R. director for an ergonomics-focused firm, where she oversaw workplace health and safety training programs for staff and clients. She lives in Portland, Oregon, but you can visit her at

Jebra Turner
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