As if there wasn’t enough pressure in the business world, the pandemic added an extra weight on the shoulders of busy business pros. It sent many scrambling to find ways to keep their businesses afloat during extremely challenging times. And for others, it led to lost jobs or reduced income and struggling to find ways to get back on track.

This stress builds up, and when it does, it can lead to serious bouts of burnout. And burnout can result in huge drops in productivity, which can kill your career or your business.

There are lots of traditional ways of relieving burnout, like exercise, yoga, drinking a hot cup of team, the list goes on. But what about when those tactics don’t do the trick?

I’ve been doing some digging recently on this subject, and I came up with a handful of creative tactics you can use to remove yourself from stressful business situations and refresh.

Let’s take a look at 5 creative ways busy business pros can re-energize, avoid burnout, and maintain high levels of productivity.

Rock out

Bob Marley sang it best when he sang “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Music is truly powerful and can quickly shift your mood. If you’re having a rough day, turn on some tunes in your office, and you can shift your mindset back toward positive vibes.

One thing to keep in mind, though. Make sure you close your office door or pop in some headphones. Just because you’re ready to unwind to your favorite songs doesn’t mean your office neighbors are as well.

Use your phone or your laptop to access music from sources like:

  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • iTunes

There are so many resources online to grab free (or paid) music. So, close your door, turn off your monitor, close your eyes and fade away to a different world. Give yourself 20-30 minutes of music during your break, and you will come back refreshed and ready to roll!

Get your game on

Video games have long been considered a distraction from reality. And while some may consider that to be a bad thing, when you’re having a rough day at the office, video games can be just the right remedy to get things turned around.

And no, I’m not talking about breaking out a game of HALO or challenging your co-workers on the digital gridiron of Madden 2021. I’m talking about free, online games that are available to help you unwind or strengthen your brain.

For example, one of my favorites,, has tons of great games, for free, to help you unwind. And most of them can be played in a short and sweet manner, allowing you to unwind and get back to work. I’m a fan of the old school arcade games they offer, like Neon Invaders (think Space Invaders from the Atari days). And being a huge Marvel fan, I also love the super hero games they offer like Avengers Hydra Dash. The website keeps loading up new games, so you can always find something to distract you so you can stop thinking about that report that’s due soon and unwind.

Neon Invaders
Image: Neon Invaders

Or you can take a different route and visit a site like Lumosity is more focused on training your brain. So, if you’re feeling burned out, this site, and sites like it, can help you keep your mind fresh and focused, even during the most challenging days.

There are games that focus on memory, improving your math capabilities, info processing, timing, focus, problem solving, and more. These games are a great way to kick off your day or they can help you get your brain focused midday during your break.

Treat your co-workers

If you’re feeling burned out, it’s likely your co-workers are feeling the crunch too. People tend to feed off each other’s energy, or lack thereof, so why not give a boost to the whole office. By dropping off an unexpected treat to your co-workers, you can change their moods, and when you see their smiling reactions, it can trickle down and change your mood as well.

It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. Maybe just a coffee, pastry, or another type of goodie you know your co-workers will appreciate. By doing this, you generate positive energy within your organization, and this has a domino effect.

Before you know it, everyone will be smiling, greeting each other with a warm welcome, and the positive energy will spread. You’ll feel great going back to your desk, and you’ll be much more productive throughout the remainder of the day.

treat your co-workers
Image: Treat your co-workers

Stand up

Counter to what some may think, sitting all day can be exhausting. It’s bad for your body in so many ways. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to get around this. Stand up!

A standing desk can keep your blood flowing, help with your posture, and keep you awake. So, visit your local office supply store or Google “standing desks” and you’ll have tons of options available to choose from.

Google results for standing desk
Image: Google results for standing desk

I recommend an adjustable one so you can sit back down when needed. While standing can give your energy levels a boost, it goes without saying that standing ALL day can be a bit much. Choose a standing desk that also folds down so you can sit at times throughout the day.

Challenge your co-workers

There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. For example, if you’re in the sales field, challenge your sales team colleagues to see who can close the most deals by the end of the month. Maybe the winner gets free lunch for a week as motivation.

This doesn’t just work with sales. Whatever position you’re in, there’s something you can challenge your co-workers to that will help to drive one another to win and make your office atmosphere a bit more interesting.

If you’re focused on winning and grabbing that free lunch, you won’t be focused on all the things that were stressing you out. The more stressful parts of your job will become easier because they’ll be a part of helping you reach your goals and win the day.

A healthy competition can breathe energy into a lackluster, stressful environment. You and your team will be inspired by the end goal of winning the competition, and your productivity will get a boost.

And if your boss notices that boost, you may win more than just a free lunch or two. You may end up finding yourself in line for a promotion.

Wrapping it up

So, business pros, start working some of the above tactics into your routine. You’ll find the stress levels start to decrease and your overall mood improve.

Leaders, you can get in on the action as well. Use these tactics to motivate your team and boost productivity.

Thinking outside the box is a valuable tool in business, and it can apply to all aspects, including stress and burnout relief.

Get your game on, challenge your co-workers, turn up the volume, or whatever works best for you. You’’ll start to see your productivity increase and your mood will get a boost.