Life

15 Fun and Unusual Ways to Relax

Are you tense and looking for ways to “let your hair down?” Are you looking for something that’s a little… well… different?

One thing’s for sure- if you don't look for ways to relax and take time to de-stress every now and then, your body will retaliate. You’ll set yourself up for headaches, back and shoulder aches, heart palpitations and more. In addition, your relationships will suffer. You’ll have less patience and less energy for those you love.

The key to relaxing isn’t necessarily doing something quiet and stationary. It’s doing anything that takes your mind off life that also gives you pleasure. And, quite frankly, the more you think outside the box and do something that’s out of the ordinary, the more you’ll be able to accomplish both of those things.

While you’re encouraged to come up with your own creative relaxation techniques, sometimes it’s easier said than done because the old tried and true suggestions are so deeply ingrained in your head. So, here are fifteen twists on time honored recommendations to help get you started until your own innovative ideas kick into place:

Old Relaxation Idea #1: Read a Book

woman with hat reading book on the beach

New Idea: Read a book out loud as if it is a religion and you’re a preacher

Find a makeshift podium and read the book out loud as if you’re delivering a sermon to a congregation of faithful listeners. Use hand gestures to make your points loud and clear. Say the words like you want others to believe them. Do it in front of family members for added effect. Or, if you’re too shy for that, at least let the dog listen. If he keeps turning his head from side to side, it just means he’s trying to understand. Don't forget to read 5 Books Every Intelligent Woman Should Read.

Old Relaxation Idea #2: Go for a Walk

New Idea: Go for a walk, but walk sideways

Take your relaxing walk, but instead of walking straight forward, shuffle sideways. It won’t be easy and you won’t get a great cardio workout, but you will work some different muscles and see things from a different view. You’ve already seen the path straight on, try seeing it from a different perspective.

Old Relaxation Idea #3: Get a Massage

New Idea: Give yourself a massage, on your head, using mayo

Yes, mayo. It has different oils in it that will give your hair moisture and shine. Take it out of the fridge for an hour or so beforehand so that it doesn’t freeze your noggin. Wet your hair and then massage the mayo in. Wrap your head in a warm towel for 30-60 minutes and then rinse. Don’t shampoo right away to let the oils sit in and condition your hair as completely as possible. You’ll feel better and your hair will radiate sexiness.

Old Relaxation Idea #4: Hang Out with Friends

hawaiian girls

New Idea: Hang out with friends using a theme

Instead of doing the going to the same old place, doing the same old thing and having the same old conversation, make chilling with your peeps fun and interesting by setting a theme. Make it a Hawaiian Luau or recreate your favorite TV show. Make people dress and act the parts. If you’re really into it, create awards for the best costume or acting job.

Old Relaxation Idea #5: Watch Your Favorite Movie

New Idea: Watch your favorite movie dressed as your favorite character

If it’s your favorite movie, you’ve seen it a hundred times and know it word for word. So, why not dress as your favorite character in the movie and say the words on cue? Who knows, you may find a new skill in acting.

Old Relaxation Idea #6: Do Yard Work

New Idea: Do yard work pretending you’re a horticulturalist that has found a new plant species

When you’re pruning your precious flowers and trees, act as if you’ve created them yourself. They’re a new and rare hybrid that you made happen. What will you name them and how will you tell the world about them? Talk to them like they’re your babies and let them feel the love.

Old Relaxation Idea #7: Listen to Music

New Idea: Listen to music as if you’re in the music video

Why just listen to music when you can interact with the band? The only thing you have to decide is what instrument you want to play. If it’s the drums, wooden spoons make great sticks. Maybe it’s the guitar? A broom handle will do. Pick your “instrument” and work your magic. Of course, if you’d rather be a backup dancer, that’s okay too. Get your groove on!

Old Relaxation Idea #8: Play With the Kids

mother having fun with her kids

New Idea: Play with the kids and let them be the adults

Tell your kids you want to play house, but you’ll let them be in charge. Let them make the rules and hand out the discipline when you misbehave. Not only is this a great way to let yourself be a kid again, but it also lets your little ones be in your shoes and see things from your perspective. For some extra fun, act like they do and see how they like it.

Old Relaxation Idea #9: Play with Your Pets

New Idea: Play with your pets like you’re one of them

Actually get down on all four with your dog and push him around like he does you when you walk in the door. Sniff him out and, if you’re brave, head to his food bowl. Word of warning – this isn’t the best of ideas with all pets. Some get a little testy and, if you have something like a horse, I would just leave this one alone.

Old Relaxation Idea #10: Go to the Gym

New Idea: Go to the gym wearing clothes that clearly don’t match

Wear shorts with stripes that are vertical with a shirt that has horizontal ones. Pick colors that clearly clash. Not only will the glances that come your way distract you from whatever’s on your mind, you’ll also give that benefit to other gym patrons too.

Old Relaxation Idea #11: Cook

New Idea: Cook with mystery ingredients

Have you ever seen the TV show Chopped? Go into your kitchen and have someone set three random ingredients on the counter. Your job is to come up with something edible that includes all three of those items. If you want added pressure, set yourself a time frame. When you’re finished, let your family critique your masterpiece.

Old Relaxation Idea #12: Draw or Paint

woman drawing

New Idea: Draw or paint a picture for a family member and mail it to them

Everyone likes to get mail. And, it’s even better when it comes from the heart. Get out your crayons, paint or colored pencil and play Picasso. Think of how much fun it will be for your family or friends to open their mail and see a hand-painted masterpiece signed by you. And, the next time you go to their house, you may just see your picture on their fridge!

Old Relaxation Idea #13: Take a Bath

New Idea: Take a bath with body paints and design your own tattoos

This is good whether you already have tattoos or not. Soak in the warm water and let inspiration strike. Design your own work of art and place it strategically on your body. If you’re not that creative, let your significant other in the tub to design one for you. Certainly they’ll come up with something you’ll like – in more ways than one.

Old Relaxation Idea #14: Meditate

New Idea: Meditate naked

If you want to be one with your body, then let nothing get in the way – like clothing. Lose the pants and shirt and do some focused breathing to let your mind clear itself and relax.

Old Relaxation Idea #15: Go to a Comedy Club

New Idea: Go to a comedy club on open mic night and get on stage

What better way to relax than to share some laughs with a room full of strangers? And, when it’s you that’s making them laugh, that’s an added bonus! You’ve already worn your jokes out on family and friends so now it’s time to try it out on new victims, I mean audience members. So, face your inner fears and step up to the mic.

You don’t have to do the same old thing as everyone else to step away from the complexities of life. You just have to be creative. So, how can you put a twist on your favorite relaxation techniques?

About the author

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Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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