Need to Relax? Try Some of These Activities

By Cherise White, LMSW

Do you check your calendar and realize your time is booked? Maybe your calendar consists of work, family and community commitments, school, social events, or time with friends. However, how much of your time is booked for relaxation and self-rejuvenation? Here are some simple ways to relax:

  • Adult coloring
    Mentally soothe yourself by connecting with your inner child and pulling out the coloring pencils, crayons, or markers and get lost for a while coloring pages from an adult coloring book. Book stores, retail shops, and even some grocery stores sell adult coloring books. This is a great way to relax your mind and mindlessly do something productive. The elaborate colors and repetitive movements will help you reach a calm inner state and focus your attention on something outside your busy life demands. 
  • Finger labyrinth
    Try googling a finger labyrinth in your free time. There are different versions out there, so you can opt for a printable option or you can just pull it up and enlarge it on your computer. Trace it with your finger, the end of a pen, or even a colored marker. You can trace to the middle, to the exit, opposite side, or inward and then back outward. It’s such a great activity for feeling calm, and it only takes a few minutes. 
  • Aromatherapy/ Diffuser/Candles
    The power of smell is often overlooked. If you find different smells to be captivating, why no try out a new candle or getting a diffuser you can put essential oils in. You can even get creative and mix oils to make scents that intrigue you, or find oils already mixed that address different needs such as improved sleep, anxiety relief, or mood enhancer. Other ways to use smell as a relaxation tool include candle warmers, scented lotion, bath bombs, homemade/stovetop potpourri, or simply peeling an orange.
  • Guided visualization
    There are a number of apps that provide meditations and promote mindfulness, however, within mindfulness and meditations is a category called guided visualization. There are various ways to do guided visualizations. There are scripts so you could to do it with others, apps with pre-loaded databases containing guided visualizations like the app Insight Timer, or you could always find a guided meditation on youtube. 
  • Virtual Fireplace or Beach
    Slow down and put on a virtual fireplace or beach on your electronic screen. Step away from the emails, papers, social media, and just be present. Allow your mind to bask in the tranquility of the peacefulness of a virtual fireplace or beach setting and just take a moment to breathe and regroup.
  • Drink tea
    Become a tea drinker and engage your various senses. Close your eyes and focus on the smell of hot tea, feel the warmth flow through your body as you hold the mug in your hands, savor the taste. Diversify the teas you try, whether you prefer herbal, nutty, fruity, or medicinal types of tea, there is something for everyone. 
  • Stretch
    Take a deep breath and stretch each area of your body. Try to stretch areas you may not normally remember to stretch such as your feet. We can often hold tension in different areas of our body so it is helpful and beneficial to get a good body stretch in when you can.
  • Smile
    As awkward as this may sound, sit and smile. Meaning, sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. By smiling even with no reason, you send a message to your brain and before you know it you aren’t faking it anymore. Or you can take time to consciously draw on memories and things that bring you joy and naturally make you smile. Reflecting on good times can be very comforting and a great way to take a break from the fast-paced lives we tend to live. 

No matter what you choose you can’t go wrong when you take a moment to relax. You give so many things your time and energy, but who gives it back to you? Taking a moment for yourself is always a great way to promote good mental health. Take a chance and see if any on the list above work for you.

Cherise White is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support in prioritizing and taking care of your mental health, contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help.