Relaxing Things To Do When Stressed or Overwhelmed

Take a breather and do something fun and calming to regain your clarity and productivity

Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, said that it doesn't matter how slowly we go, so long as we don't stop. Many of us believe that the key to success is to keep working till you drop, but the truth is, you will never be able to give anything your best shot unless you give your body and mind some time to rest and rejuvenate. Think of it as a Formula 1 car needing pit stops to change tyres so it can finish the race!

All this is great in theory, but relaxation seems so difficult in a world with all those endless tasks fighting for your attention, right? You know you need to switch off, de-stress, and just find some calm but have no idea how. No worries, because I'm brimming with ideas today! Here's a list of all the relaxing activities you can do to lower stress levels, reboot your system, and prioritize mental health!

Clear your mind of all worries
Clear your mind of all worries
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Relaxation Techniques to Try In Your Free Time

Get in Touch With Nature

In the post-pandemic world, remote working has become so common and people seem to spend even less time outdoors than they used to. Most of us have forgotten that fresh air, sunlight, and the feeling of grass between our toes are just as important as healthy food to nourish our bodies and minds. So, the next time you're feeling cooped up and anxious, take a quick walk in your local garden and spend time in the sun. Water your plants, listen to the birds chirping, and just take in the beauty around you.

Have you tried talking to your plants?
Have you tried talking to your plants?

Take a Nap

If your sleep cycle is already a bit out of whack and you're not getting enough shut-eye, why not use your free time to unwind and take a little nap? Get comfortable in your hammock, bed, or the coziest couch you have and catch up on some much-needed sleep.

Step Into Your Kitchen

The kitchen to me is no less than Narnia -- a place you go into and see a whole bunch of things you can do to make yourself feel better. Whether it's making a  cup of coffee, trying that recipe you saved long ago, whipping up weird concoctions, or simply gorging on all the yummy snacks that are close to their expiry date, there's a lot you can do in the kitchen to help you relax, unwind, and have a bit of fun.

Have a jam session over the sink!
Have a jam session over the sink!

Read a Book

You may have built an impressive collection of novels, self-help books, and non-fiction titles, but have you read them all? Sit down with a coffee and a random good book from the shelf and start reading -- who knows, it may be too good to put down once you get into it!

Curate Your Collections

If you're an avid collector of art, vinyl albums, or stamps, revisiting and reorganizing your collection may bring up some feelings of nostalgia and help divert your mind from everything that stresses you out. Organizing things, especially things you treasure, can significantly help reduce stress.

Play With Your Pet

Cuddle up with your cat or take your dog for a walk or quick run in the park -- the physical contact with your furry friend and simply having fun with your pet is bound to boost your happy hormones and leave you feeling relaxed and content.

Get some puppy love!
Get some puppy love!

Listen to Music, Audiobooks, Podcasts

Sound is a powerful medium. Hearing the voice of your favorite music artist or podcaster can be soothing for your ears and mind, while an audiobook can help you delve into an intelligent plot you've been meaning to read but haven't had the time for. What's more, you can even check out sound apps engineered to help people relax and clear their minds!

Play Videogames

Take a break from the real world and explore digital landscapes through video games to help you relax. Accomplishing quests and defeating trolls online may give you the sense of achievement you're seeking!

Watch Movies or Series

Stream your favorite actor's latest movie (even something you've rewatched 25 times will do the trick) or the new series everyone's talking about. Binge-watching may not always be productive, but once in a while, it may be exactly what you need.

Go on, binge a little!
Go on, binge a little!


You may have been called out in school or at work for daydreaming too much — understandably so. But if you're at home and have some time to kill -- why not indulge a little? Daydreaming can have some benefits, as it allows your mind to get creative and let out some hard thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a healthier manner. It may also spark some ideas and solutions to any challenges you're facing.

Go for a Long Drive

If you love driving but hate traffic, take your car out, get on a road you love — a highway, through the mountains, or along the beach — turn the stereo on, relax, and just let it cruise. If the weather's good,  maybe roll your window down and let the breeze blow all the stress away.

Practice an Instrument

Did you take piano lessons as a child but have lost touch because you didn't practice as you got older? Dust off your old music sheets and see if you've still got it! Doesn't matter if you can't hit all the notes, just make sure to have some fun with it!

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Write in Your Journal

Journalling is known to be a healthy habit, because it lets you organize your thoughts and clear your mind when it's too overloaded. Check out some writing prompts that may work for you, and jot down anything and everything you can think of.

Indulge in Self Care

Try a new face mask, paint your nails, or light some candles and take a warm bubble bath. Indulge in the things that make you feel good inside and out!

Give yourself a mini makeover
Give yourself a mini makeover

Change Your View

Sitting in the same room day in and day out can make you feel bored and uninspired. A change of environment can give you a fresh attitude and help approach your work more calmly. So find a room with a nice view out the window, or move things around to give it a different vibe — simply adding a plant or some colorful stuff can brighten the mood!

Catch up With Family or Friends

Call your grandparents, cousins, or childhood friends for a long overdue catch-up session. You could even dig around in the attic to find some old photos to tease them about! Having a laugh or two with a friend or your loved ones while relaxing and reminiscing about the good old days will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Do a Puzzle or Crossword

Give your brain a little exercise by picking up a crossword puzzle. Try to make it a challenge by timing yourself--but don't stress yourself out if you can't do it in one sitting! The idea is to take a break, focus your mind on one activity to blur out all the other stressful ones and possibly make it a productive habit.

Meditate, Do Some Yoga, or Workout

Say you only have a couple of minutes for a break, just stay where you are, and take a couple of deep breaths — a simple action like that can go a long way! But if you have more time, put on your yoga pants and try some simple poses and deep breathing exercises. Give in to the moment and let it calm you. If slow-paced yoga and calm meditation aren't your cup of tea, try an intense workout with adrenaline-pumping music to blow off steam! Maybe it is just the outlet your mind and body need.

Crack Open your Drawing Book

As an adult, you may feel a little silly getting out a coloring book and some crayons, but rest assured, art is known as a therapeutic exercise for all ages and demographics. Color inside or outside the lines, change up the "right" shades of objects and just get creative with whatever you're drawing or painting.

Get Some Yarn

Crochet, sewing, and knitting are not just your grandmother's hobbies anymore, everybody's having fun with them! So, if you're looking to reduce stress, the repetitive motions these hobbies require might do some real magic in helping you feel relaxed! Look up some simple techniques and patterns and make something cute to hang in your car or keep on your desk. Or even better, gift it to someone and spread happy feelings around.

Tidy Up Your Space

Sometimes a messy desk or room can create more stress. Put away all the stray papers, organize your drawers, and make your bed to feel better about your physical space and your state of mind. Cleaning itself is quite therapeutic to some, so maybe that could be your new thing!

Make a Mood or Vision Board

Whether it's planning your look for your summer vacation or gathering ideas for your future house, creating a board filled with ideas and photos will help you feel hopeful, motivated, and positive about achieving your goals.

Plan for the summer!
Plan for the summer!

Start on Small Tasks

Take a look at your to-do list and find one or two tasks that can be done in no time at all but have been left pending. Crossing them off the list will feel good and motivate you to tackle some bigger goals. Action leads to motivation—not the other way round!

How Relaxation Helps in Daily Life

Not everything in the list above will work for you, but you can definitely try and see what kind of relaxation you enjoy the most and want to keep practicing. Actively finding ways to relax will help you build a better mindset and healthier lifestyle in several ways:

Enhanced Mental Health

Deep breathing exercises, journalling, and being in nature could help you regain your focus and process your emotions better.

You'll see Less Fatigue

A short nap, walk or drive to get some fresh air will energize you and you'll feel much less stressed and worn out by the end of the day.

Helps Relieve Stress and Anger

Relaxation techniques help alleviate your stress and anger and channel them more productively, so you can focus on overcoming challenges and avoid being consumed by negative thoughts.

Improves Physical Health

Self-care, cooking, exercise and just letting yourself indulge in the little things will make you feel better all the way in your bones and ready to take on whatever challenges come your way.

Leads to Better Sleep and Productivity

Going through the day with positivity and a relaxed mind will not just help you with stress levels and let you sleep better at night, but will also boost your overall mood and help you be more productive.

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Final Thoughts

Find ways to relax, energize your body and mind, and approach life's challenges with a sense of calmness and clarity. Take that break when you need it, enjoy the simple things in life, and save yourself from overwhelm, anxiety, and burnout.

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