When we give so much of ourselves throughout the day, it can really start to wear us down. We are all required to put out energy, as we all have varying levels of time commitments. But, the more overworked, stressed, and exhausted we become, the worse we are able to function.

We actually are less productive, make more mistakes, have less energy, and can become even more overwhelmed.  Like a good night’s sleep, we can actually do things to slow down, recharge ourselves, and reduce stress.  It also doesn’t have to cost that much.

Here is a quick list of ways that have helped me reduce stress and refresh myself.

  1. Listen to a Podcast and learn something new.  I like “Stuff You Should Know.”
  2. Watch Alan Watts videos on YouTube.  His voice alone will soothe you.
  3. Take a nap.  Mmmm sleep.
  4. Call an old friend.  They want to hear from you.  Don’t just text, CALL them.
  5. Watch stand-up comedy.  One of my favorites is Louis C.K.
  6. Take a break (click here for a simple website that helps you do just that).
  7. Offer to help someone you know for free.  It makes you feel good.
  8. Buy someone else their coffee at Starbucks.  You will make someone’s day.  Good karma never hurts.
  9. Take a 20 minute walk.  Get outside and smell the roses!
  10. Write down 10 things you are grateful for.  Today, one of mine is cheese.  How do they make it taste sooo good?
  11. Take a long drive somewhere.  Preferably out on an open road or somewhere quiet.  Roll down the windows to enjoy the fresh air.
  12. Listen to music that lifts your spirits up.  Yanni anyone?  I’m so cool.
  13. Write a handwritten letter to someone.  Wait, you mean like a pen and paper?  You can do it!  Stamps are still pretty cheap.
  14. Sit in silence for 5 minutes.  Watch as all those crazy thoughts pass through you.
  15. Read poems or quotes by Rumi.  I’d love to have gone to coffee with that guy.
  16. Spend time with animals.  Visit an animal shelter or dog park.  Animals have an instant calming effect.
  17. Take a bath or hot shower.  Clean up nice.
  18. Stretch out your muscles.  Download The Office Yoga App for quick ideas.
  19. Pick up a new hobby.  Try something new or learn a new language- Duolingo is free!
  20. Watch a Little League baseball game in the park.  Those kids keep things in perspective.
  21. Buy yourself a frozen yogurt (Fro Yo).  This is so West Coast (first time I’m saying that) but treat yourself with something small.
  22. Volunteer your time on a Saturday morning.  I always feel better when I am helping others.
  23. Plan a get together with friends.  Why not take initiative and plan something fun? The planning is half the fun. It can even be a game night.
  24. Take a deep breath, then take another one.  Then, another one!  SLOW DOWN.
  25. Buy yourself or someone else flowers.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  Grocery stores often have cheap flowers.
  26. Pick up an old project you never completed.  Mine was filing old paperwork- maybe not so fun but took my mind off things.
  27. High five the next person you walk by.  Then wash your hands.
  28. Go to a museum.  There are free museums everywhere.
  29. Do a cannonball off of a diving board.  Do more things that make you feel like a kid again.
  30. Hug somebody you know when they are least expecting it.  Maybe not your boss but someone can always use a good hug.

You don’t have to do all of these or any of them for that matter.  I just like to do more of what works for me.  In fact, I’ve done all of these at some point and they’ve helped me decompress and recharge.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a trip to Fiji, but everyone can take a little more time out for themselves.  You deserve it.

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