Have you ever had a weekend, holiday, or lazy sick-day where your main intention was to relax, but you just couldn’t get your bang for the buck? Productive people often have trouble relaxing, because they’ve cultivated the Go-Habit. Don’t worry, by the time we’re done here, even your cat will be jealous!
Being able to relax is very important to regain our energy levels, concentration, and get us ready to be even more productive than before. Alas, many people push themselves after they’re tired and out of juice, which ultimately makes them less productive. A timely time-out pays productivity dividends.
30 Ways To Relax Like a Cat
“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of
harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”
~Leonardo da Vinci
1. Finish Your Work. If you have a few more minutes of work left, finish, bag, and tag! It’s better to finish off a small loose end than to think about it when you should be relaxing. Don’t start another big project, that you know you won’t finish, until after you’ve completed your relaxing, in order to keep your mind on the present.
2. Massage, Sauna, & Hot Bath. When was the last time you rewarded yourself with the gift of relaxation by taking time out to concentrate on blissful restfulness? Get a one-hour massage, sit in a wet sauna for awhile, or make yourself a DIY hot bath at the house while listening to some relaxing music.
3. Beat-Out Your Tension. Beat the tension out at the gym, on the treadmill, or with the punching bag. You can do this without music or accompanied by some high-intensity music that will get your heart pumping. This might not sound too relaxing at first, but once you’re done exercising and the endorphins have overtaken your mind, you’ll be nothing short of relaxed.
4. Block Time. In order to alleviate guilt about taking the time off, go ahead and schedule in a block of time during which you can hang loose, and not worry about anything. This way your mind knows it can chill, and that when the time comes you can get back to 100% efficiency.
5. Turn Off Distractions. Tell whoever you need to that you’re unreachable and turn off your phone, door bell, and internet connection. No one can reach you with a task for you to do, bad news to stress you out, or for any other reason that would drag you out of your zone.
6. Dress for the Occasion. If you’re going to relax, do so in style. Warm sweat pants, pajamas, and loose hoodies are perfect to lounge around in. Make sure you have warm wooly socks to keep you snug as well.
7. Get ‘Extra’ Clean. We’ve all slothed around on a weekend morning without showering. We’re supposed to be relaxing, and no one is going to see or smell us anyway, right? Wrong! Before you set out on a day of relaxation, make sure you get extra clean, shower, shave, brush, floss, rinse, and put on clean clothes. You’ll feel like a million bucks!
8. Tea-Licious. Make yourself a nice cup of herbal tea, with extra anti-oxidants, and sit with a good book or mood music. I’m a sucker for honey, and recommend getting creamy honey to add to your tea. It’s better than sugar for those with a sweet tooth.
9. Moleskin It. Carry a trusty moleskin with you during your relaxation time, and journal whatever is on your mind. You might come up with some great insights or ideas. You might also have a work-related thought, which you’ll be able to jot down so that you can stop thinking about it for now.
10. Full Out Write. Go ahead a write a story about your life, or some kind of a fiction story that can change the world or teach someone a lesson. I personally find writing to be very relaxing, which makes my work day very stress-free.
11. Release Your Tension. If you’ve got a problem on your mind, don’t just let it fester there. Take a piece of paper and start journaling. Vent into the paper, and write down exactly what’s wrong. When you’re done, go ahead and toss that paper into the garbage, and with it the stress.
12. Visualization Exercises. Without leaving the house, you can go away on a spectacular journey, full of white sand beaches, powdery snow, tantalizing sights, and demonizing dragons. Sit down, close your eyes, and let your mind trip (go raw: no drugs necessary!)
“To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization,
and at present very few people have reached this level.”
13. Thank You Letters. Take some time out to think about the people in your life that deserve a thank you letter. Get a stack of cute postcards, and write a short message to someone you just met, or someone you appreciate.
14. Baking. Baking fills your house with a sweet aroma, and makes for a great treat for your family and friends. The act of being creative, combined with doing something for others is always a treat!
15. Read a Book. Find the perfect fiction novel and escape into another world.
16. Breathing Exercises. Practice breathing in slowly for a 10 count, and then exhaling for a 10 count. Do this a few times in a row and as you breathe out, let go of your worries.
17. Lavender. Spray your bedsheets with lavender and lay down.
18. Stretching and Yoga. Last time I tried Yoga, I ended up hurting my back, but then again it was already hurt before I started. You might want to give this one a shot for yourself.
19. Lay on The Beach. Bask in the sun as you run your fingers through the sand and listen to the waves crashing as the tide comes in.
20. Fishing. Grab a beer and a buddy and head out early in the morning before the sun comes out. Enjoy a great conversation, or quietly reflect on life, and share in every victory as you snatch those suckers right out of the water (now that’s animal cruelty, isn’t it?)
21. Camp Fire. Enjoy the whole process of collecting kindle, starting a fire, and sitting in front of the whispering flames as you tell ghost stories!
22. Grow a Garden. Gardening can tell you a lot about life, such as the changing seasons, sowing and reaping, and it gives you the perfect opportunity to think about life as you work.
23. Picture Collage. This is what you need. A big poster board, pictures of yourself and the people you love, a glue stick, scissors, markers, oh and…. your imagination!
24. Declutter. Clean up your living space, so that everything is clean and tidy. Your living quarters will make you relaxed just looking at them.
When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves,
it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
~Francois de La Rochefoucauld
25. Slow Music. Whether you’re listening to classical/jazz music, or playing the instrument yourself, it’s always relaxing to make yourself a part of a slow song.
26. Lie on a Hammock While Being Fed Grapes. Umm, this is where Marina chimed in. I guess this is her personal fantasy. To each their own!
27. Say No. Don’t take on any responsibilities. Say no to people’s incessant requests and just take time for yourself.
28. Say Yes. Sex is very relaxing.
29. Get Cuddled. Ok, this is getting too cute… kinda like kittens, but it is relaxing, so try it!
30. Pet & Nag Your Cat. If you own one of these furry-creatures, then go ahead and hold them, while telling them about the stresses you are going through. They’re soft, warm, and complacent, meaning they’ll actually listen to you no matter how much you nag at them.
At the end of the day, relaxing is a very personal and subjective way to pass time. You’re more than welcome to try any of the tips above, they work, but what’s even better is to find something that is personal and effective for you.
I’m sure that you already have certain things that you do, those that I didn’t mention above, and I would love it if you’d let me know about it in the comments below. Give us your most unique tip, or name your favorite from the list above, I’d love to hear from you either way!