Take time for you! Relax and de-stress ideas ~ Romancing Italy

Oct 16, 2008

Take time for you! Relax and de-stress ideas

10+ tips to help you relax and de-stress.

Every one has stressful days and the need arises to RELAX, de-stress, get back to a balance and peace. Different activities soothe different souls. And perhaps it is safe to say different activities work at different times. Here is what works for me, in no particular order with links to what is available to me here in Vercelli.

1. Going for a walk in nature: I like to get away from the rapid pace that I find in the city, which makes me feel even more stressed. I want to slow down a little and let the tension out. A walk in a park or the woods takes the pace down a notch. The green surrounding me is soothing; the gentle rustle of the leaves and birdsong speaks to my ruffled spirit; the general absence of stimulating noise is calming. The sounds of nature are harmonious and encourage the same in us.

2. Relax in the tub:

Warm water, bubbles optional. I like to do this if I have to think something through. It is almost impossible if I am stressed because of a myriad of things to do; there is no way to sit still. Use some scented oil or light a candle to add to the sensory pleasure. Ahem.. this is not for women only. The tub doesn’t mind naked male bodies.

(Photo courtesy sundancedesigns.net)

3. Lakes : More bodies of water. There is really something relaxing about water; maybe it that idea about being in the womb! Lakes have a sense of quiet, a depth that a harried life lacks. The accompanying ambience of nature also alleviates stress.

4. Watch the ocean: Another body of water that speaks to another spirit. The undulating movement makes it seem like a living being and breakers crashing to shore mirror my inner turmoil and sends waves of sympathy that soothe. The “white noise” of each wave blocks out everything else and allows me to think more deeply. Listen to the cries of empathetic seagulls, you’ll feel better.

5. Random act of kindness: Take a moment to think of someone else and not the problem or stress at hand. Smile at a stranger, give a helping hand, donate clothes or food, pay the toll for someone. This takes the attention off of you and allows your mind and body to relax. And you feel better for making someone else feel good. Check out 29gifts.org for inspiration.

6. Listen to music: Sometimes I de-stress when listening to soothing music – classical, or new age. Other times I listen to heavy metal (when my issue has made me nice and angry). There is a strain of music that weaves its way into a release of tension.

7. Rent a movie: Sit back and lose yourself in another world. Live vicariously through the characters in the movie or just use it as an opportunity to veg and have a time out.

8. Relax with a book or magazine: Sometimes fast-paced thrillers or simple romances can help de-stress and tired mind and body. You have to sit still and your mind will be on something else for a while. If you can’t focus on a book, flip the pages of a favorite magazine.

9. Take a drive, sightsee: At a time when gas prices were a lot lower, this was a favorite of mine. For me driving is soothing – there must be a relation between the car eating up the miles and distancing me from the current issues that bother me. Sometimes I drift mindlessly and discover new places. New places can give us fresh ideas, a different perspective, a new approach that could help solve a problem. New experiences give a spark to the humdrum and mundane.

10. Meditate: For me, this is key in grounding myself; remembering that there are fundamental beliefs and principles that guide me – and that I am not alone. Each person has a different belief system, and it is important to keep this at the forefront especially when stressed.

11. Exercise: This is so not popular, maybe because it takes a certain amount of discipline to achieve. But I have to admit it helps relax and de-stress a person. There are so many benefits to exercise that I won’t go into but Nike has it right….”Just Do It”.

12. Friends: They are great sounding boards and many times have good advice.

13. Ranting and Raving: When all else fails, I guess, or a primer to all other methods. Try to not break anything or hurt yourself.

I stopped at lucky 13, but are many more ideas out there. What do you do to relax? Leave a comment and let us know.



  1. I also recommend watching short relaxation videos. It helps me focus by keeping outside distractions down.

  2. Hi Riann, thanks for your suggestion. I agree with you; it is a nice combination of nature and music. You have a nice selection on your website.


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