3 Powerful Ways to Relax & Reduce Stress

Have you ever tried to relax but just can’t seem to find the time or just feel guilty for taking a time out for yourself?

3 powerful ways to relax & reduce stress - The Not Busy Company

In this digital age it’s hard to unplug and create more space for self-love and care, but we know that downtime, now more than ever before, is vital for each of us to be our best, healthiest and whole selves.

Effects of Stress

According the Mayo Clinic, an American non-profit academic medical center, stress impacst your body, mood and behaviour:

On your body

On your mood

On your behaviour



Over or Under eating

Muscle tension or pain


Angry outbursts

Chest pain

Lack of motivation or focus

Drug or alcohol misuse


Feeling overwhelmed

Tabaco use

Change in sex drive

Irritability or anger

Social withdrawal

Stomach upset

Sadness or depression

Exercising less often

Sleep problems



(Can you relate to any of that?)

Causes of Stress in the 21st Century

Most of us share two key stressors in our everyday lives - technologies & work.

Social Media & Digital Technology

Social Media Related Stress - The Not Busy Company

A team of researchers and writers for the Pew Research Center (a nonpartisan think tank providing information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world) write[1]:

It makes sense to wonder if the use of digital technology creates stress. There is more information flowing into people’s lives now than ever — much of it distressing and challenging. There are more possibilities for interruptions and distractions. It is easier now to track what friends, frenemies, and foes are doing and to monitor raises and falls in status on a near-constant basis. There is more social pressure to disclose personal information. These technologies are said to takeover people’s lives, creating time and social pressures that put people at risk for the negative physical and psychological health effects that can result from stress.

Work-Related Stress & Anxiety

Work related stress - The Not Busy Company

There is no one cause of stress in the workplace. Every person is an individual with their professional and personal lives bringing different factors that may influence their reactions to conditions in the workplace. However, there are factors within workplaces that have been shown to influence feelings of stress in the workplace. Some examples include[2]:


Categories of Job Stressors

Examples of Sources of Stress

Task Design

  • workload (overload and underload)
  • pace / variety / meaningfulness of work
  • autonomy
  • isolation at the workplace (emotional or working alone)

Role in the organization

  • conflicting job demands, too many roles, multiple supervisors/managers
  • uncertain job expectations/role ambiguity
  • level of responsibility

Career development

  • under/over-promotion
  • job security/insecurity (fear of redundancy either from economy, or a lack of tasks or work to do)
  • lack of career development opportunities, growth, or advancement

Relationships at work (Interpersonal)

  • supervisors (conflicts or lack of support)
  • coworkers (conflicts or lack of support)
  • threat of violence, harassment, etc.

Organizational structure/ climate/ management style

  • participation (or non-participation) in decision-making
  • poor communication

Work-Life Balance

  • role/responsibility conflicts
  • family exposed to work-related hazards

Workplace Conditions/ Concerns

  • exposure to unpleasant
  • exposure to hazards

So, we're stressed. Clearly. But what can we do about it? Turns out, we can do a whole lot!

3 Powerful Ways to Relax & Reduce Stress

Our curated Downtime Subscription Box is specifically conceived to help you find time each month, each week and hopefully each day to pause, turn off the phones, turn away from the computer and engage in relaxing activities.
Tea, books and cooking are powerful stress reducers - The Time Out Box can help


The key benefits we focus on are:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • More positive mood and motivation
  • More creativity
  • Help to feel rested
  • Spending more time outdoors
  • Creating opportunities for a healthier lifestyle

Research shows that these three activities are proven reducers:


Reading is a stress reducer - The Not Busy Company

Reading relaxes your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles.

A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea.

Reading at work might not be practical but creating time each week to pick up a book can be one of the quickest ways to bring your stress levels down.

Reading just 6 minutes a day:
  • Lowers your heart rate and relaxes you physically.
  • Lets you escape reality for a little while.
  • Can rewire your brain to be more compassionate towards people, including yourself.
  • Can give you perspective and help ground you.
  • Reduces stress levels by easing tensions and changing your state of mind.

I’m on Year 2 “Reading every day, even if only for six minutes.”


Tea is a stress reducer - The Not Busy Company

That said, drinking tea can help reduce stress in that it contains an amino acid that produces a calming effect, and the act of drinking tea can be a relaxing ritual.

According to an article written by Caroline Burke:

  • a 2017 study published in the journal Nutrients, participants were able to fall asleep much more easily when drinking decaffeinated green tea, and they reported feeling much less stressed out over the course of the one-week experiment.
  • a 2010 study done by researchers from University College London, drinking black tea decreased people's stress levels over a six-week period. What's more, when the participants in the research did come head-to-head with a stressful situation (in the experiment, this included fabricated instances of things like a threat of getting fired, or being accused of shoplifting), their levels of cortisol (aka a hormone that regulates stress) dropped significantly. In other words, drinking black tea not only helped them feel less stressed overall, but it also enabled them to deal with sudden stress more easily than those who didn't drink black tea.

My tea time is usually at 2 or 3 pm whether at work or at home.

Cooking & Baking

Cooking and baking are stress reducers - The Not Busy Company

Cooking is therapy! It encourages creativity and literarily puts you in a different headspace.

While you might be working long hours and don’t want to cook every night, cooking or baking on the weekends can be very relaxing.

According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, a little bit of creativity goes a long way. After examining detailed journal entries of 658 young adults, researchers found that those who spent time working towards “creative goals,” such as cooking and baking, had a “higher activated positive affect on that day.” In other words, those who worked on a creative project were more likely to experience joy, confidence, and general inner satisfaction.

I cook almost every day and try and bake once or twice a month. I’m not very good at baking, but find it so satisfying to create magic with my hands (it’s the science part that slows me down)!

This is why for the Not Busy Company, Reading, Tea & Cooking/Baking are at the heart of our Downtime Box.

Have a restful day!


Tea, books and cooking are powerful stress reducers - The Time Out Box can help

[1] https://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/15/psychological-stress-and-social-media-use-2/
[2] Adapted from Murphy, L. R., Occupational Stress Management: Current Status and Future Direction. in Trends in Organizational Behavior, 1995, Vol. 2, p. 1-14