Through high school & the early years of college, I was nearly always running around like crazy, stressed out about anything & everything from grades to money to music memorization to my stress levels (& being stressed about your stress level is never a good sign). Then in 2004, during my fourth year of college, something amazing happened: I had the single most stressful term of my life, & spent far too much time in tears.
That’s when I discovered bubble baths, Norah Jones, & scented candles.
“Chilling out” is not only important to your overall well-being, but it’s pretty much the greatest thing you can do. Set aside a half-hour, a day, a three-day weekend, & make it just about doing the things you love.
We all have different ways to chill out, so here are fifty ideas to peruse the next time you can feel your stress heading into overdrive…
001 Read Cute Overload.
002 Rent a season of Friends from your library & watch it back to back.
003 Take an afternoon nap. Don’t set the alarm.
004 Search amazing things on Flickr, like pillow fights & happiness.
005 Volunteer for the day.
006 Click through Exploding Dog.
007 Purchase a new coloring book & a fresh box of crayons.
008 Challenge your friends or family to a video game tournament.
009 Get a sparkly or feathery wand for your kitty & play the day away.
010 Read a favorite book from childhood.
011 Take a hot shower until all the hot runs out.
012 Flip through Girlosophy, or another inspiring photo book.
013 Sip peppermint hot chocolate while reading the Sunday Funnies.
014 Spend an hour journaling your flow of thoughts.
015 Call your best friend & talk for hours.
016 Try some breathe exercises.
017 Make your favorite cookies.
018 Make a gigantic bowl of popcorn. Watch (insert favorite movie).
019 Give yourself a belly massage.
020 Have a tickle fight with your significant other.
021 Read the latest book from your favorite author in one sitting.
022 Make your favorite tea. Sip it slowly.
023 Watch the sun set.
024 Take a cool shower until your fingers turn to prunes.
025 Turn the music up loud & dance all around your house.
026 Walk around your neighborhood or local park. Take pictures.
027 Watch the birds & squirrels from your window.
028 Re-create your favorite childhood comfort food.
029 Build a snowman.
030 Blow bubbles.
031 Knit yourself a new scarf or throw, even if it’s July.
032 Play tag with your friends or kids.
033 Fingerpaint the sky.
034 Eat an amazing bar of good dark chocolate.
035 Watch cartoon clips from your childhood on Youtube.
036 Plant new flowers, indoors or out.
037 Take a bubble bath by candlelight.
038 Allow yourself that hot fudge sundae.
039 Lay in the sunshine & feel it warm your skin.
040 Head to the pet store or shelter & play with all the animals.
041 Tire your dog out on a epic walk.
042 Sculpt a new coffee mug.
043 Ponder the lessons in The Tao of Pooh.
044 Walk to your local florist. Get a bouquet of your favorite flowers.
045 Take a nature hike
046 Bead yourself a new necklace.
047 Lie on your bed listening to the birds chirp or rain fall.
048 Fly a kite in an abandoned field.
049 Cover your sidewalk or driveway in sidewalk chalk.
050 Let go.
How do you de-stress, detox, or otherwise relax? Leave your answers in the comments!