Discussion Thread

How do you let go of work stress?

  • 1.  How do you let go of work stress?

    Posted 07-13-2020 02:44 PM
    There is a lot of advice out there during this pandemic on how to reduce stress. What I'm curious to know is how you unwind or let go of the stress from work.

    When I was younger I loved to read. I went to the library multiple times a week. When I started to really see the impact stress from work was having on me, I tried to start reading again. I found it difficult to focus, and it wasn't as relaxing as I expected it to be.

    Then, I read something that really struck me. It basically said that if your work primarily involves your mind, you should relax/refresh by doing a physical activity or something using your hands. If your work is primarily physically tiring, you should relax by using your mind.

    That inspired me to reassess how I unwind. Now when I need to slow my thoughts I go for a walk, watercolor, or listen to an audio book while moving.


    What strategies have you found for relaxing after work? Are there any activities you find particularly rewarding?


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    Heidi Wallace EI,P.E.,M.ASCE
    P.E.
    Tulsa OK
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  • 2.  RE: How do you let go of work stress?

    Posted 07-16-2020 10:55 AM
    Hi @Heidi Wallace - this is such a great question, and very relevant as this was discussed as a stand-alone topic during YMLS last summer. My go-to way to manage my stress is one that you already mentioned - going for a walk! The fresh air helps me to unwind and is even more important now during work from home as most days these walks are the only reason I go outside. My partner and I recently adopted a dog (See photo of Nemo below), so now I have a walking buddy as well as a reason to go on more walks throughout the day. 

    Also, I wanted to mention that I created a thread on the topic about a year ago here: https://collaborate.asce.org/careerbydesign/communities/community-home/digestviewer/viewthread?GroupId=10417&MessageKey=32422ac9-784a-42d8-89cc-bcb6e83f1f2c&CommunityKey=78ae5b12-b515-4f9b-803f-739cb4239b86&tab=digestviewer

    Although some of these examples are more relevant to the in-office setting, there might be some examples shared there you might be able to incorporate!



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    Danielle Schroeder EIT, A.M.ASCE (She/her)
    Associate Engineer
    Pennoni Associates
    Philadelphia PA
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  • 3.  RE: How do you let go of work stress?

    Posted 07-16-2020 01:21 PM
    I found that watering my plants and cleaning up my whole place helped reducing stress :)
    Another effective way for me is to do a quick 10-15 mins Yoga for relaxing in the morning or evening before bed.

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    Tung Nguyen, PhD
    Washington State University
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  • 4.  RE: How do you let go of work stress?

    Posted 08-08-2020 04:10 PM
    You don't.

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    Oanh Le (She/Her)
    Rochdale MA
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  • 5.  RE: How do you let go of work stress?

    Posted 08-10-2020 09:44 AM
    It is a few things. First off, it needs to be a mindset that when you leave work, leave work. Let the work wait until the next morning. It can't always be done but if you don't try, then it won't happen.

    Second of all, during the pandemic I've used three things to reduce my stress. Walks have been great. A little exercise and sunshine really, really help. Spending time with my family and kids without being distracted helps you remember why you work so hard. Also, I set aside time each week to spend in my favorite hobby, board games. I find it is important to have time each week that you simply enjoy. If that's reading, then great!

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    Anthony Mason P.E.,M.ASCE
    Project Engineer
    PSI, Inc.
    Plainfield IN
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