It can be tricky to relax without getting more stressed out. Too much relaxation could cause you to stress out or worry about what you're not working on. Instead, relax for a little less than you'd originally planned to — just enough to recharge, but not so much that your concern for work or other tasks creeps into your mind.
Photo by Scarleth Marie
For example, if you'd planned to take the whole day off, end your break early and take an hour or two and get a head start on your work or side project. Your mind will be at ease knowing you're on top of your work. You'll be able to relax more as you do your work in the following days. You'll also be more excited to relax again, since you won't have as much waiting for you to when you get back.
That's not to say you should never take extended breaks. Sometimes you need a yoga retreat to accomplish what a couple hours of yoga can't, for example. But if you're about to go on a marathon of your favourite TV show, consider stopping after two or three episodes. Stress relief comes with limited dosages of relaxation.
Reduce Your Stress in Two Minutes a Day [Harvard Business Review]