My top 10 ways to unwind and RELAX

There truly are never enough hours in the day. Everything in life seems to be pulling on us for attention.

So what’s one to do when burn out starts to strike? How do you make time to refuel?

… continued …



It’s hard. Really hard. But I also think time to yourself is important. If you don’t slow down at some point, you’ll likely get sick, which is nature’s way of slowing you down right quick. So rather than reach the brink of disaster, I personally think it’s wise to put ‘relax’ into your schedule. Sounds abit crazy to put ‘do nothing’ in your day planner, but I think you really really should.

BlogHer asked me:

What are your favorite relaxation techniques? 
And what benefits do you see from practicing them?

This question made me revaluate all the different ways there are to relax.
So here are my own top 10 affordable go-tos when needing a break.

1. Just walk.

Whenever I’m stressed, I know it’s always best to go for my walk. Putting one step in front of the other down my favourite country road with no interruptions offers you nothing BUT time to think. It’s my quiet time which I thoroughly enjoy.

I also have a mantra… I keep walking until my issues are sorted out. It works!

A messy bedroom look

2. Take a power nap

If I get too busy or too stressed, I need to crash for a few.

I don’t mean to actually falling asleep. Power naps to me mean to crawl under the covers and just allow your mind to rest for about 20 minutes. You’ll drift off if you need it, but if you don’t, you’ll jump right back up and feel brand new again. And if not, that means an early bedtime tonight!

3. Get lost in a great book

To enter in another’s world for a short spell is one cheap form of travel. While fun,  I do find if I get caught up in this one too often, it creates more stress because important stuff isn’t getting done. 

4. Catch a feel good movie

This works the same as reading for me. LOVE a happy girlie flick or even enjoy an adventurous Marvel movie. But anything scary or depressing, no thanks. No worrying allowed during my happy escapes.

My photoshoot contest win

5. Stare at water or fire

Ever notice how calming it is sitting in front of a lake front or bonfire? I’m convinced these work because of the constant movement of said objects… water or fire never looks the same twice and the sound effects are incredibly hypnotizing. I find these elements so calming I generally don’t even require talking. How relaxing is that?

6. Hug a pet

Never fails. I’ll be upset about something, go lay down to unwind, only to be greeted with a little invisible thump on the bed or hear the dog sigh and plop on the floor. How can you possibly NOT relax when you’re petting a purring cat or staring back at a dog’s face that adores you so? Whatever ails you melts instantly. Pets are just really really good for that.

A picnic with my mom

7. Run away from home

Whether it’s camping, going to the beach, or even sitting beside the river, it’s wonderful to leave the muss and fuss of all things undone at home and take a breather. I believe looking at unfinished projects or mess can be a big stress out. Just remember, it’ll all be there when you return, so… leave! But not for too long. 🙂

8. Go soak your head 🙂

Every so often my son and I escape to Harrison Hot Springs for a good hot soak in the mineral pools. I swear I come home a changed person. I’m always so relaxed and mellow! When we renovated our home, I ensured our tub was extra deep so we had a chance to do the same at home on occasion. Hot soaks just work.

Creating garden art with junk

9. Plant some flowers

Sunshine on your face, wind in your hair, birds twittering in the background, and you’re on your knees planting beautiful flowers or pulling a few weeds = perfection. Gardening is actually very gratifying, because you see instant results. 

But want to know my very favourite relaxation technique?

Here it is…

Branch handled tray DIY

10. Dive into a passionate project

One of my happiest times on earth is when I wake up and dive into a passionate project. The kind where time stands still even though you’re moving like crazy. The process may even exhaust you, however you know within a heartbeat, you’d do it all over again the next minute if time allowed. Relax? Why? 🙂

I guess that’s why they say it’s great to do what you love for a living. 🙂

Do you schedule in relaxing? What’s your own fav go to?

Feel free to visit the main post on Blogher.com HERE and join in the comments!

Enter the Life Well Lived Sweepstakes HERE for a chance to win an iPod touch and a $50 iTunes card!

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15 thoughts on “My top 10 ways to unwind and RELAX

  1. It’s 3am, when is your relaxing time? lol~Great post~ Did you see the message I left on your facebook page? Now I’m going to get some sleep!

  2. I’d have to say reading is my fav although like you, if I get too caught up then I feel guilty and not physically good either if I sit the whole day and devour the whole book like a bag of chocolates. LOL Actually I think the thing that makes me feel the best and relaxed is getting a project finished (even if it means painting for two days like I just did in our master bedroom). I think the satisfaction of how new it looks and knowing it’s DONE just relaxes me!

  3. I like all those suggestions..
    I meditate twice a day for 16 minutes each time.. Often just knowing my meditate time is coming helps me relax:)
    I also mow the yard.. The sound of the mower sets my mind free and I’ve come up with some great project ideas as I move along through the grass.

  4. I love the walking tip. Or any communing with nature! Hopping in the truck and driving down a “road less taken” works wonders as well! I may find some unexpected photo opportunities on these adventures, so it’s all GOOD!

  5. Aaah, yes, we all NEED those things. The “things” that take our mind off the everyday grind. I’ve certianly had my share of meltdowns, whether crunching to prepare for a sale or just the crazy chaos of everyday life! My retreats include browsing through blogland at the neverending inspirational stories and I especially love the bloggers that get “real” from time to time in their posts. And yes, those furbabies are always there when you need them most…they just know.

    (Just a heads-up, watch our blog and as it reaches 1,000 followers we will be having a giveaway…which includes a subscription to FOLK and other yummies too! http://www.junk-fest.blogspot.com )

  6. Nice, thoughtful post.

    Walking is certainly high on my list, and soaking in the tub is too. Naps and I have a long standing relationship but, like you, I find that a creative project is the very best way to clear my mind. When I’m focused on making or cooking something new, it’s like a form of meditation: I dwell within the moment and act of creation. All those other outside worries are simply pushed aside.

  7. I am a big fan of the 20 minute power nap! Crossing things off my list can also be relaxing. Thank you so much for hosting the Saturday Nite Special. It is really fun and I have gotten some great ideas from everybody….including you, of course!

  8. Walking and singing with my Ipod helps me relax. I have lots of upbeat dance music on my shuffle and I just walk and sing. I also like to take a little rest, like you not really go to sleep but just slow your breathing down and relax. i like to read on the deck of our lakehouse beside the water, I have this fancy reclining chair that is so comfortable. I teach pre-k and 4 year olds can really stress you out!

  9. Dear Donna…I crave your blog like sugar and your story is so inspiring (and somewhat familiar to my own circumstances), that it’s a burst just to stop in and see what you’re up to. Thanks so much for sharing your life and talents in this way!!
    Jeannie

  10. Ahhhh, I was waiting for #6! That’s what came to mind for me. Sometimes I’ll be telling my husband about something that happened at work and one of the dogs will wander over and lean against me waiting to be petted. Suddenly whatever I was talking about just isn’t that upsetting any more.

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