This has been a pretty stressful week in the world. The stock market is up and down, the world economy has a big question mark, and there is lots of chatter about the what the future holds. And, that’s just what’s going on in the world. What’s going on in your life? And if you happen to notice that your shoulders are tensed up by your ears, you know that it is time to breathe and relax.
I don’t know about you, but telling me to “just relax” never works. Many of you probably feel that you don’t have the time to let go or simply don’t know how. I’ve talked many times about how stress causes health problems and weight gain. So I won’t go over that again right now. What I will do is talk about little ways to nourish your soul that don’t involve food binges or overeating. Some of them can be done with just a few minutes of time. If you don’t find non-edible ways to relax, you will eventually turn to food. That is for sure.
If your household is usually loud and chaotic and you find it difficult to get a moment’s peace, escape into the bathroom for 10 minutes. Bring earplugs and your relaxing activity with you. Or wear headphones and listen to music as part of your escape. Your family will thank-you for taking time for yourself when you emerge happier and more refreshed.
30 Healthy Ways to Nourish Your Soul and Relax
- Take a bubble bath
- Paint your nails
- Burn incense
- Use essential oils
- Do a crossword puzzle
- Build something
- Shadow box or box with a boxing bag
- Go into a well insulated room and scream
- Take a bike ride
- Knit or crochet
- Stretch or do yoga
- Squeeze a stress ball
- Paint a picture or doodle
- Make your own jewelry
- Walk barefoot in the grass
- Observe nature
- Sit outdoors and read
- Listen to music that calms you
- Watch a funny movie or just a quick comedy clip
- Call a loved one
- Write in a journal
- Focus on what you’re feeling, and if what you’re feeling is negative, see if you can ask yourself to acknowledge it and then let it go
- Play a game with your children, dog or cat
- Go for a walk
- Shoot hoops in your yard or the park
- Light candles
- Dance to music
- Write a list of gratitude
- Sit in silence and breathe
The bottom line is that you need to give yourself relaxation time. Because it is as important for your diet to feed your soul as it is to feed your body. And when your soul is starved, it turns to food just as does your body. So pick a way you enjoy to relax and give yourself some time to chill the (bleep) out daily!
Doreen Pendgracs says
So true, Erica. I think we have to acknowledge that life and world circumstances can stand in the way of our personal progress and sanity, and that we have to occasionally step back and just breathe, take a bath, etc. Thx for the great list.
Glad you like the list Doreen. It is definitely no good when we’re not taking care of ourselves. But overlooking our own needs is so easy to do.
I take time out daily to gather my thoughts together. I usually walk around the block at lunchtime unless it is pouring with rain. I also stay up later than the rest of the family. I really do feel I need this time – just for me!
My husband is just like you Phoenicia. He has to stay up later just so he has his personal alone time.
Good and true post, Erica. For me it actually works to tell myself to relax when I meditate. Most likely because I’m good at telling myself off if I focus on some idiotic issue that only exists in my mind. Also normally handle issues I can’t do much, if anything, about really well. Find out as much as I can and then figure out what options there are if I need to do something related to such issues. Forewarned is forearmed which makes me relax.
Catarina, it sounds like you have some effective methods for taking care of yourself mentally. I’m sure you are much better off for it.
Sabrina Quairoli says
There are great reminders on what to do to deal with stress. I love lists like this, they really help because at a glance it reminds you what you could be doing instead of eating. I like Observe nature and Write a list of gratitude personally. Thanks for sharing your list.
I like observing nature as well, Sabrina. It fills me with a sense of calm. Since I live in a city, I can’t really see it from my window, but I can travel a short distance and it is there!
Patricia Weber says
Valuable list to have Erica and I love both inexpensive and free things to relax. Breathing, mindful breathing, is my most favorite.
Mindful breathing is a good one Patricia, I think that would help almost anyone relax.
Marquita Herald says
Journaling and long walks have always worked for me, but I had to smile when I came to your tip on going to a well-insulated room and screaming. My last “job” wasn’t just stressful, I truly hated it. I was with people all the time – tough for an Introvert – so when the stress got to be too much I’d slip off to my car and with the windows rolled up scream my head off. Worked wonders. 🙂
RoseMary Griffith says
Such a wonderful list to ponder. I like to have the last half hour of the day for my quiet time. I get in bed and write gratitude notes for the day (thanks for that inspiration), add my prayers and then read. It closes the day in a positive way.
Donna Janke says
Great list for nourishing the soul. I do some of this, but I think it might be nice to consciously try one of the others on the list from time to time.
Wonderful list Erica and I actually practice about half of them – not all at once of course. The nature ones are the best for me. My ‘me’ time is early morning. If it’s nice outside I take my coffee out and just let the quiet fill me. It always set’s me up for the day.
Ken Dowell says
I sometimes find doing work around the house to be relaxing. It might be fixing something or painting, mowing the lawn or even weeding. But always with headphones. The music just provides an extra layer of insulation.
William Rusho says
I counter my powerlifting with meditation. Being a martial artist I have always tried to maintain a balance of outer and inner strength. I think so many people miss this. They work out, their hearts pumping, but they never take time, to let that energy go. Being calm is as important as getting your heart rate up.
Thanks for sharing.
I find that lying down on my bed with the lights off for a little while is helpful in this regard.