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How To Handle the Stress of Working from Home

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

copywriter is stressed working from home

I thought I knew how to handle the stress of working from home. I am, after all, a mother to three children. A mother who has continued to work at home throughout each of my children’s births and throughout their childhood.

I never put my children in daycare; I was fortunate that way. But in that fortune of being able to watch my children grow, I have had to deal with a different kind of stress. Any woman working from home knows that it can be difficult to balance home life and their job.

If you are like me, then you too have likely found yourself to be overtired and pulled in multiple directions simultaneously. Maybe you even feel like an uninterrupted and complete thought is like winning the lottery. Or maybe you feel like everyone moment is rushed through to get a task done.

The question then becomes, how does one deal with the stress of working from home? Is there some magic, secret recipe that we can follow? In truth, no. But what I have found is that I need to slow down, to find some time for myself, in the same way I need to breathe air.

When I take these moments for myself, my work and my sanity seem to magically fall better into place.

Why Slowing Down Helps Us to De-Stress

The problem with stress is that it is ever-building. Imagine a small snowball rolling down a hill that continues to build up into a giant snowman. Often, completing one task frees you for a moment only to remind you that you have another task looming right behind it.

Success in one job only makes you want to be successful in another, and so you strive to be the best and work harder only to feel the weight emotionally and physically. You begin to ask yourself, do other women really do this?

Do they balance work and home life successfully?

And how do they do it without all the stress and anxiety that comes with it?

Do you want to know a truth that just happened? Last night my daughter, my youngest at almost two, woke up twice in the night, crying. I went in to comfort her and tell her to go back to sleep. Today, as a result, I am tired, but I know that I have work that needs to be done.

As I write this on my computer, I can feel my eyes getting tired. I know that despite the cup of tea I am sipping, I need to give my mind and eyes a break. So, what do I do? I step outside to my front porch and I give myself a moment.

I take a moment to slow down and give myself a break from the task at hand and take care of my own needs. I breathe in the fresh, crisp air. I close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun peek through the clouds and onto my face.

And I let my mind wander.

Moments like these are not only a treasure, they are a needed treasure. Stress can break us down, both mentally and physically. So, we need to know how to slow down and take care of ourselves.

Moments like the one I just took are not the only ones I do; I also practice yoga asanas (poses) and meditate when needed. Although any practice you do will benefit you greatly, some key poses will help you with the stress you may be feeling working from home.

Best Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress and Open Your Heart

I have been a long-time practising yogi for years now and I can honestly say I couldn’t live without it in my life. Yoga has always taught me to appreciate myself for who I am and to recognize the strength I have.

But more recently, it has taught me to be kinder to myself and to lead a slower, more balanced lifestyle. I knew that when my life was becoming more chaotic at home, I had to make more time for myself and my needs.

Many women believe that yoga requires too much time, but in truth, a pose can be completed in a minute or two. Also, one big benefit of working from home is the ability to have a mat nearby and use it as needed.

If you are like me and many of the other women who work from home, then chances are you are sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Sitting like this for hours on end closes your chest, and closes your heart, which ultimately closes off your mind.

Let’s look at some poses that will help to open your heart and help relieve some of the stress you are feeling.

Melting Heart - Anahatasana

Yoga poses to help relieve stress from working at home
A variation of Melting Heart

Begin on your hands and knees in Table Top pose. Slowly, walk your hands forward to lower your chest towards the mat. Make sure that your neck is relaxed, and if possible, that your forehead or chin rests on the mat. Hips are to remain directly over your knees.

To modify, you can place a folded blanket or pad under the knees for some added comfort. This pose helps to stretch out your chest, shoulders, and muscles along the spine and benefits the mind. Some also know this pose as Puppy Pose.

To end this pose, slide your arms and chest back up and return to a Table Top position.

Bridge – Setu Bandhasana

Bridge pose to open your heart

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor. With your hands face down by your sides, press firmly onto both of your feet and begin to lift your pelvis towards the ceiling.

Ensure that your shoulders stay glued to the mat while your arms, legs, and buttocks are all engaged. None should be any wider than hip-width apart. For an added challenge, squeeze your shoulder blades together and press up as you interlace your fingers behind your back.

As with Melting Heart, this pose stretches the chest as well as the muscles in the neck and along the spine. To end this pose, simply unclench your hands and slowly lower your shoulder blades and pelvis back to the mat.

Camel - Ustrasana

Camel pose to open heart and relieve stress

Commence in a kneeling position. Sit up so that your knees are now hip-width apart. To protect your back, place both hands on your lower back. Now, here is where you have the choice to use one hand at a time or both. If you chose one hand, be sure to do the other side as well.

Regardless of which variation you select, exhale and press your hips forward as you lift your chest and support your back in a back bend. Then, carefully reach one or both of your hands back to hold onto your heels. If you chose one at a time, you may hold the other arm up above for added balance.

Hold this position for as long as you feel comfortable. To come out, slowly reach your hands to your back for support and bring your body back upright. Your neck and head should be last and return to Kneeling position. This is a great chest opener and helps to open the heart and heal the mind.

Best Yoga Poses to Help Hips, Glutes, and Groin

I know I am not the only woman out there who doesn’t always sit properly at my desk. Sometimes I cross my legs, sometimes I sit on them until they are numb. Not only will the following poses help to ease any tight hips and glutes you may have, but they will help to calm your mind and alleviate your stress.

Squat - Malasana

squat asana for better posture, sitting too much at a desk

This asana aids in helping not only slouched postures (raises hand), but in stretching out the hips and groan. This pose begins in Mountain. Move your feet to the edge of the mat, enough so that they are slightly wider than hip-width apart.

Exhale deeply and bend your knees so that your hips are down by your heels. Lean slightly forward for a better balance; it is okay if your heels lift off the mat. Bring your palms together at heart centre, allowing for your elbows to press against the inside of both knees.

Note, the more your elbows press the deeper the stretch will be. Lengthen your spine as you breathe inward and be sure not to hunch your shoulders. Hold the pose to help deepen your relaxation and to aid in reducing your stress.

To come out of this pose, inhale deeply and press down strongly through both feet and return to Mountain pose. Now you have not only helped to stretch out your hips and groin muscles, but you are also strengthening your ankles, shoulders, and back.

Frog Pose – Adho Mukha Mandukasana

Begin this pose on your hands and knees in Table Top. Slowly, sink down by moving your knees out to the edges of your mat, as wide as it feels comfortable. You want your ankles to be directly behind your knees and your feet to be turned out.

You may find that you can only go part of the way down; that’s okay. As you continue to breathe, relax your hips a little deeper with each breath. For a deeper variation, bring your elbows to the floor, and if possible, rest your forehead on your arms.

Rest in this position for as long as you feel able. In this asana, you are opening up your body and allowing the stress and tension to leave. To come out of this pose, inhale and slowly walk your hands and knees back to Table Top position. This pose is a great way to calm the mind and lower our stress levels.

Happy Baby – Ananda Balasana

This is one of my favourite poses as it helps me to unwind and is a great counter pose to Frog. Start by lying on your back, in Corpse pose, and bring both of your knees into your chest. Take hold of the inside of your feet by reaching between your knees.

With your feet flexed, (this helps to protect your knees), ensure that the soles of your feet are facing the sky. Gently apply pressure downward with your hands until you are on the edge of stretching and relaxation.

Stay here as long as you feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to rock side to side to deepen the stretch and give yourself a nice lower back massage. When you want to come out, release your feet, and return to Corpse. This pose stretches your hips and groin muscles and releases the tension and stress that builds up in your lower back.

Best Yoga Poses to Calm the Mind and Relieve Stress

One of the main reasons we feel stressed when working from home is that our mind is always running. It’s hard to not bounce back and forth between our jobs and our home life as they are so inter-tangled. The following yoga asanas are some of my favourites because they allow me to quiet the mind.

When I know I need to de-stress and calm myself, yet still be focused, I find a nice, seated pose works best. If I need more, I then follow any seated poses with something that allows me to truly relax the mind and body. Poses that are closer to the ground allow my body to feel the Earth’s energy.

Let’s begin with a seated pose.

Butterfly Pose – Badda Konasana

Butterfly pose to bring peace to a busy day working from home

You may also know this pose as Bound Angle Pose, but no matter what you call it you will rejoice in the peace it brings to your mind and heart. Begin in a seated Easy Pose, having your legs how you would naturally cross them. Then, bring the soles of the feet together.

Be sure to sit up tall as you draw the heels of the feet closer to your body while remaining comfortable. If you would like a more advanced variation, take your elbows, and apply some light pressure on your inner thighs. Enjoy the stillness this pose brings.

If you have an extra moment, give your feet a little treat with a foot massage. This will also help to stimulate the mind. To come out simply move back into Easy Pose.

Child’s Pose – Balasana

child's pose to help copywriter relax working from home

If you choose to practice yoga regularly, this is the asana any yoga teacher will tell you to come to when you need a break. This pose not only relaxes the body but helps to calm the mind and alleviate any tension.

Begin on your hands and knees, in Table Top. Take a deep exhale and lower your hips down to your heels and your forehead to the mat. You may stay here, but what I love about this pose is that there are so many variations.

Maybe you just ate a large meal, or maybe you have a belly that doesn’t like to feel the pressure from your thighs. If that is the case, then widen your legs so that your stomach goes in between them.

You can choose to keep your arms tight beside your body, which will help to better release your shoulder blades and upper back. You may choose, however, to reach your arms above your head to release any lower tension in your back. Either way, you can turn your head to its side or rest it on its forehead, the choice is yours.

Remain in this pose for as long as you would like. When you are ready to come out, simply inhale and gently press up into Kneeling Position or back into Table Top.

Corpse Pose – Savasana

lying down in savasana or corpse pose how to relax when working from home

Ah, the pièce de resistance of yoga poses. Such a simple pose, and yet one from which we can gain so much. This is the pose that will allow you to focus simply on your breathing and not on whether your arms are properly aligned.

Your only job in this asana is to make sure that you are relaxed. Lie on your back and keep your legs a few inches apart. Be sure to have your arms several inches away from the rest of your body. To ensure that you are completely relaxed try not to clench your jaw. You want your body to feel like a dead weight being pulled to the ground.

If you often feel fatigued throughout the day, this is possibly one of the most beneficial poses to help relieve any stress and tiredness you may be feeling. In fact, the more often you practice this pose, the more often you might find yourself drifting off to sleep.

Many yogis often use this pose to practice what is known as Yoga Nidra, or Yogic Sleep, a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. Even 20 minutes a day can be as beneficial as sleeping for a few hours.

Practising this can make a world of difference for the overworked, exhausted woman who spends too many hours working from home. Yoga Nidra has been proven to be beneficial and help relieve stress in both the body and mind.

De-stress the Mind with Meditation

Although Yoga Nidra is a form of meditation, it is one that focuses more on a deeper body and mind relaxation. Meditation itself allows us to declutter and soften the mind. I love meditating because along with it I can often recite a mantra to help me through my day or a specific task.

There is no end of ways to meditate or take a moment throughout the day. You may even choose an app to follow. These apps can not only guide you but remind you with a nudge that it’s time to take a break. You can even schedule an appointment with yourself.

Meditation is typically done in Easy Pose or Corpse, but it requires a still mind and a focus on the breath. I like to select a phrase or mantra to help empower myself and of course, de-stress when I am feeling overwhelmed.

meditation to relieve tension

These mantras can be repeated throughout your meditation or quiet time. Some of my favourite mantras are as follows:

  • You are right where you need to be.

  • Everything happens in its own time.

  • You control yourself, not the world around you.

  • You are a strong, determined, capable woman. You’ve got this.

  • F.E.A.R – Face everything and rise.

  • Be patient, everything will come together.

  • You hold the key to your happiness.

If you are not into meditation that’s okay. But there are other ways to have a moment of peace to take the mind away from work and focus on your mental health. A mindful pause can be just as beneficial, but make sure that you place yourself where you won’t be disturbed.

When we work from home it can be extremely difficult not to think about work, even when we are not working. To help with this, try turning off all your devices, or at the very least put them on airplane mode or do not disturb.

Here are some other ways we can include a mental break to slow down and allow a moment for ourselves:

  • Listen to a favourite song.

  • Go for a walk or step out for some fresh air.

  • Write down a positive affirmation.

  • Put on a relaxing video in the background (fireplace, falling rain, ocean waves).

  • Eat a nutrient-dense snack and drink a glass of water.

  • Draw or colour freehand or in a colouring or sketchbook.

  • Connect with a friend or loved one.

  • Do some breathing exercises.

  • Express yourself creatively.

  • Pick a show or a book that you view as brain candy (you don’t have to think too much about it).

breathe to relax and de-stress at home

Ultimately, what is most important is to put your mental health as a priority. Remind yourself that you benefit from this “me” time as much as your work and family. You are worth the time you put into yourself, and taking the time to slow down is just as important as taking the time for your work.

Many women don’t realize that stress has both mental and physical effects. By allowing yourself to rest, this is when your soul speaks to you, in the quiet moments between your thoughts. This is when the stress that has built up begins to melt away. Disclaimer - Although these poses have been reviewed by a certified yoga instructor, you should always check with your doctor when trying a new exercise regime.


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