If you’re someone that struggles to relax and unwind, like me, then you’re in the right place. I’ve had a working relationship with productivity and only within the last year or so have I really be able to allow myself to relax. I used to struggle not being productive 24/7 and I’ve learned how deeply unhealthy that it.
During this process of dealing with my toxic productivity, I came to adapt my own down-time to suit me. I realized what wasn’t working quickly enough and managed to switch it up so my down-time didn’t make me feel low and miserable (which it actually did at one point!) but instead made me feel good and made the time feel worthwhile.
I spoke about glamorizing overworking here on my blog as I think the nature of toxic productivity is rife in the blogging community sometimes. Take the people who were constantly going on about starting a business or a side hustle during covid when we were all overrun with stress and anxiety and you know… trying not to die.
Although my relationship with productivity us much better, I used to struggle doing anything that wasn’t productive. So I found a way around that by ensuring I was having productive rest. Rest and self care is productive too but some people just find it harder than others.
So here are some ways to relax and unwind if you struggle with it!
Have a bath and read a book
I love doing this, even now. I find a bath is one of the best places to get a good lot of reading done. Granted, some people don’t find hot baths relaxing but for those that do, this could be a great option for you. Reading is definitely an active relaxation technique and reading has a TON of benefits on your wellness.
So combining those two make for a really great productive relaxing time, allowing you to basically kill three birds with one stone. Get clean, relax and read.
Relax and unwind by practicing yoga
Yoga is so beneficial to me; both physically and mentally. It can even set you up to have a more productive day if you do it in the morning! Yoga is an amazing way to relax, tune in to your mind and body but also get your body moving which of course has a huge amount of benefits of its own.
Watch a documentary
I sometimes struggle watching films on my own – unless they’re REAAAAALLY good. I’m getting better at it but watching a film alone isn’t something I choose to do often. Documentaries on the other hand, I always have time for because I love to sit back, relax and learn something new!
Watching a documentary is a great way to relax and unwind if you struggle with it because learning something new really some benefit your intellectual self care so you know what you’re spending your time wisely.
Sort out your room or space
De-cluttering is ALWAYS productive. So if you need a break from work and find organization therapeutic, then sorting out your room, desk or space is a great way to relax and unwind! I find tidying up and sorting things out really relaxing – I just love knowing that everything is in order!
I’m much better at cooking than I am at baking but regardless of which one your prefer to do (or which one you’re better at), spending time in the kitchen can be an INCREDIBLE way to relax and unwind whilst also feel like you’re doing something productive.
Fancy some recipes?
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Fajita Pasta Bake
- Cherry and Coconut Cupcakes
- No-Bake White Chocolate + Oreo Truffles
To me, there’s nothing nicer than spending time in the kitchen, cooking a meal from scratch, for everyone to love it. I was sent a free meal prep box during lockdown, which really reignited my love for cooking!
Related read: 10 Reasons Why I Love Gousto
Of course writing would be on this list. I am a writer. And I’ve embraced my role as a writer so much over this last year. I love writing – writing is my favourite way to express myself and I never feel un-productive when I’m writing, regarding of what I’m writing!
So get that pen and paper out. Write a new blog post, write a poem, write a song, write a letter to a lost love, write your grocery list – just write!
So tell me, how do you relax and unwind? Do you struggle to relax? If so, what do you do to combat those feelings?
[…] not the best at baking. Cooking I’m alright with. I find it a great way to relax and unwind and I love throwing ingredients, flavours, herbs and spices together without much thought and just […]
[…] I don’t relax. Ever. Kidding but I do find it really hard to relax. But mostly, I like to play video games. […]
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I definitely find it hard to wind down, but I do find having a bath helps as I usually soak in there for at least an hour and read or catch up with some YT channels I subscribe to that I wouldn’t usually just sit and watch and do nothing else. Great ideas 🙂
I do EXACTLY the same! It’s a great place to watch YouTube xxx
Taking time off is so damn difficult when you’ve got so much going on creatively, but it is worth it to shut off everything for a bit and relax.
Amy | hookedonthemusic.com
Even creatively it can get too much and you need a break from it I agree!
I completely relate with you on this front – I’m the kind of person who feels so guilty if I’m not doing something productive all of the time! I love having a bath and reading though, it’s one of my favourite ways to unwind xo
Sian | http://www.siankathrine.co.uk
Feeling guilty is the worst! Like we literally feel guilty for relaxing when we need to what the heck!
I always say that you and I are opposites in this regard, but it’s so true. If anything, these are the perfect tips to help ease me into being MORE productive haha! I really want to channel a bit more of your energy over the next few months, cause you’re smashing it – even when you’re having a relaxing time reading in the bath!
Hahaha we literally are polar opposites aren’t we? I do need to learn to chill the F out and ACTUALLY chill sometimes. Not watching a film whilst sill doing work on my phone type chill 🤣 I hope these help! xxx
I always try to find time to relax each day, by reading or drinking tea. But, I actually find it really hard to slow my brain down at night. So I try to do a bit of meditation in the afternoon/evening.
Reading a good book with a cup of tea is literal bliss! xxx
Great suggestions. I always take a book in the bath with me, it allows me to lose myself in another world, also makes me stay in the bath longer as I tend to just jump in and out again without relaxing properly! This post was definitely for me hehe!
Omg same! If I’m not doing anything in the bath I get bored! xxx
Cooking for me is what helps me relax – I find it simple yet mindful which helps to calm me down – and you get a delicious end product! I totally agree with with all of your ideas – but especially the versatility of writing something; I love the calming nature of lists but also being able to write everything out in a diary or blog post is so helpful! Lovely post hun.
Thank you lovely! I love spending some time just making a nice meal for myself xxx
Downtime for me is time spent in the garden. Or browsing plant catalogues. Or ordering stuff from gardening websites. You get my drift! And actually I’m also killing two birds because doing stuff in or for my garden is productive too – we’re actually alike on this one 😂 xx
Oh absolutely! That’s why I’d love to get into gardening cos it seems like such a productive and satisfying hobby xxx
A Lush bath and reading definitely help me x
I haven’t had a Lush bath in forever x
Brilliant post, Jenny! I always find tidying and organising my room so relaxing, especially when you see how tidy and spacious it looks when you have finished. I can’t really watch films by myself but I will watch a tv series by myself but having said that I’m constantly doing something while watching it!! When it’s with family or friends I try and switch off and do nothing to concentrate on the film or series and have a bit of fun! I’ll definitely try the rest of your tips. Thanks for sharing.
I’m exactly the same! When I watch anything by myself I’m always on my phone
Yes, definitely! Glad I’m not alone in this!! 🙂
I’m quite a stressy person and can find it hard to unwind and let the problems of the day go! So this post is crazy helpful!!
Thank you, I’m exactly the same!
I totally agree.. I love to bake whenever I’m in that situation
Baking is always good 🙂
I find that I go between a lot of these tips when I need to relax! I’ve found baking so fun, until I would eat pretty much all of it by myself. I definitely find myself cleaning and organizing things when I’m terribly anxious and home and find it very therapeutic. Great post love, thanks for some more tips to switch between!
So many people have said they clean when they’re anxious!
it really helps I think lol
I really needed to read this blog post as I’ve been so stressed lately babe so thank you for sharing! I think these tips are going to really help me 🌸✨
With love, Alisha Valerie x
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Thank you, I hope so! x
Awesome tips! May have to try to do some of these more often! x
Emily | thatcreativegenius.wordpress.com
Thank you 🙂
Great tips 💕
Thank you 🙂
I am all about looking after my wellbeing so this ticks a lot of boxes for me! I never knew how therapeutic tiding my room is? I have just cleared out a lot of old stuff from my bedroom and I feel so much better for it! x x x
Yay I’m so glad!
This was such a fun, super-relatable post! It got me thinking – can I not wind down, or can I not get geared up? Hmmm. I’d say I’m a mix of both. When I’m keyed up emotionally – a stressful day at work, or argument with my partner – I tend to clean or organize things. It’s like my way of getting some part of my life back on track. Yoga, too – it’s incredible how much it can literally calm the body and mind together! Some days, though, the struggle is getting motivated. I’ll start a book, then close it to write, then shut my laptop to workout, then just sit on the mat and listen to music. Alas, all part of the ups and downs of life!
Ah that’s not a problem I ever have… I’m always up so it’s hard for me to come down. I love cleaning!
I like to follow the routine. I love my morning routine and when I don’t adhere to it, I find it very difficult to go through my day.
I am the same with you when it comes to the need of feeling productive! These are great tips to relax a bit! I love sorting out my room! I’m a bit OCD and like to see things in place! Thanks for the recs!
I always sort out my room even if there’s nothing to sort out haha!
Loved reading this post. I definitely agree, a good book and a nice warm bubble bath always seem to help me to relax, I will definitely try out the other tips when I’m feeling stressed. Have a great weekend:)
Kate | http://www.katelovesx.co.uk/
Thank you! Hope they help 🙂
This is exactly what I needed right now! Thank you for this wonderful post!
You’re welcome! 🙂
I’m exactly the same Jenny! I find it hard to switch off when I know I could be doing something productive. I like the sound of a productive bath. I watch YouTube videos in the bath sometimes, I dunno if that would be classed as productive though 😂. These are great tips, thanks for sharing! 😘 xx
Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com
Oh I do too! I consider it productive cos I need to get my “to watch” list down 🤣 xxx
For me, reading is the ultimate way to relax. It is the only time that I shut off from everything around me and focus on one thing.
I love reading in the bath, so much so I have to keep adding hot water because it keeps going cold,
I always end up running out of hot water before I have had time to shower off and wash my hair, haha!
I’m pretty busy, busy, much of the time. I try to read, go for walks or do tai chi to relax. I love visiting art galleries and the like too. I love baking but avoiding it at the moment as I have put on so much weight! I’m rubbish at cleaning and de-cluttering so if you ever get bored Jenny… Lol..
Haha I would be honoured!
If you tidy up to much it might just give my hubby a heart attack. Lol.
I love baking and I think it’s a good way to take your kind off things xx
Me too, it’s very therapeutic xx
Reading in the bath is definitely relaxing! I just need some kind of stand so I don’t get my book wet…
I do too! One you can pop a drink and some chocolate on too 😉 xxx
These are such amazing tips darling! I feel like so many people especially myself will benefit from them!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
I hope so! Thank you 😘
Some really great tips! Xx
Thank you ☺️
I love the idea of doing yoga and reading to relax. There’s nothing quite like losing yourself in a good book, you know? When did you start yoga? I’m trying to get into it – if there’s any DVDs you can recommend, I would love to know… x
I started a few years ago but only began taking it seriously about a year ago. I use Yoga With Adriene on YouTube 🙂 xxx
Fab tips 🙂
I love reading in the bath, I make time specifically for it at least once a week.
And yoga in the morning is the best.
Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk
Perfect! We’re having trouble with our bathroom at the moment so I can’t have a bath right now, I’m gutted! xxx
Reading in the bath is one of my favourite things to do. I’ve started practising yoga this year and I absolutely love it!
Yay that’s wonderful news! xxx
I’m definitely the polar opposite of you and wish I was more productive. I admire people who have such a strong need to get things done. If you have any tips on overcoming this, I’d love to see that post 🙂
Oooh I’m sure I do! DM me on Twitter @jennymarston_xo and I’ll go through my old posts and send you links to any you might find helpful! xxx
That’s brilliant. Thank you so much fellow Jenny x look out for a DM from me. My handle is @jennyisamermaid
I always hate the idea of tidying my room, but when I actually start I quite enjoy it! I’m currently making a little project of unhauling some books I no longer want to keep, which is sad as I’d love to keep most of them but just don’t have room, but also very fun organisation wise!
Ah same on the book front! I’d love to keep loads more books than what we actually have. Glad you’re enjoying the organising element of it though! xxx