After a long day, having a cozy routine helps relieve stress. Maybe you look forward to brewing a pot of tea or sitting by the fireplace with a new book. Every person is unique, so we all have our own go-to hobbies that help us unwind. It’s important to find reliable ways to relax. Read on for a full guide on how to slow down and relax when you’re stressed!
For me, writing and music both calm my mind during times of stress. I look forward to evenings at home, working on my blog and playing a new album. That’s when I feel the calmest. The other day, my anxiety was pretty noticeable — I was experiencing nausea, a fast heartbeat, and dizziness. We were out to dinner and I had to step outside to cool off.
After dinner, I relaxed by just drafting a blog post. I was super excited to listen to my new Spotify recommendations. The music fit the setting so well because it was raining that day. Despite my moment of panic earlier, I felt much better!
If you’re feeling stressed right now, here are 78 simple ways to relax and slow down. Also, ask yourself if you can implement any of these ideas into your daily self care routine! 💛
How to Slow Down and Relax
1. Listen to a relaxing podcast you enjoy.
Lately, I’ve been loving podcasts! They’re so helpful and calming — especially if you’re dealing with anxious thoughts. My favorite podcasts at the moment for stress relief are Anxiety Slayer, The Anxiety Coaches, and The Highly Sensitive Person. You can check out the latest episode of each podcast below! 🎧
The Highly Sensitive Person Podcast
2. Download helpful anxiety apps.
I recommend Calm, Headspace, and Happify. The apps offer features like guided meditations, calming bedtime stories, and other ways to relax! ☁️
3. Grab a bowl of popcorn & watch vlogs on YouTube.
If I’m feeling anxious, I really enjoy watching Luke Korn’s travel vlogs. He’s such a fantastic story teller! Some other uplifting YouTubers are The Try Guys, AjayII, and Mia Maples. Mia just uploaded a vlog where she renovated her grandparents’ house and it was so sweet! 💗🏠
4. Take a hot shower or run a bubble bath.
5. Plan out your week in an agenda.
6. Make a yummy smoothie bowl.
Smoothie bowls are both healthy and delicious! Here are just a few tasty recipes:
7. Complete an anxiety workbook.
It’s beneficial to actively reflect upon your stressors and anxious thoughts. Try picking up an anxiety workbook with interactive exercises and worksheets. I’ve been slowly working through Dr. Bourne’s book and love his practical and simple self care tips. He breaks everything down so well and offers various ways to relax!
The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD
52 Lists for Calm by Moorea Seal
How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t by Lane Moore
8. Look out for constellations in the sky.
9. Snuggle up with a comfy throw blanket.
10. Organize your clothes, makeup & accessories.
11. Go grocery shopping & pick up a houseplant.
12. Sort through your inbox.
13. Make a helpful to-do list!
14. Follow inspiring self care & wellness blogs.
Just a couple of awesome blogs that I’ve been reading lately! They are all so inspiring and motivating! 💛
15. Turn off your phone and play classic board games. 🎲
16. Have breakfast in bed! 🥞
17. Build a house on The Sims.
On The Sims, you can personalize your characters, build a home, and explore. One of the funnest ways to relax after a long day! 🎮
18. Bake a festive treat for your friends.
Already picturing the comforting scent of apple cinnamon bread baking in the oven! 🍎
Delicious autumn themed recipes:
19. Visit a local flower shop.
20. Daydream! ☁️☀️
21. Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate.
Did you know that studies show chocolate reduces stress? Another reason to enjoy a delicious Dove chocolate bar! 🍫
22. Take a nap.
23. Create a morning & nighttime self care routine.
24. Join a supportive Facebook group for anxiety & stress.
It’s nice to talk to someone who understands your situation. Anxious Lass recently wrote an amazing post, featuring various mental health Facebook groups! ⌨️
25. Hug your loved ones.
26. Declutter your mind with a brain dump.
27. Compliment yourself for accomplishments.
28. Sit outside and get some fresh air.
29. Take a few slow, deep breaths.
Practicing calming breathing techniques can help lessen anxiety and stress. These breathing exercises for anxiety are super useful! 💗
30. Start a diary.
Writing is a wonderful way to de-stress and express yourself. If you’re wondering how to slow down and relax after a stressful day, consider starting a diary for self-reflection! 📔
31. Reframe any negative thoughts.
A great way to do this is by reciting positive affirmations. You can also ask yourself a few self discovery and personal growth questions to better understand your current feelings!
32. Sit by the fireplace and read a good book!
33. Do a five minute mindfulness exercise.
34. Have a feel-good movie marathon.
Watch an adorably cheesy movie that makes you smile! 🧀
Some of my faves:
For more movie night ideas, check out 150 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time! 💛
35. Open your window and enjoy the cool breeze.
36. Drink a yummy cup of hot chocolate! ☕
37. Follow a yoga class on Youtube!
38. Do a creative hobby — knit, paint, color, or work on a scrapbook! 🎨
39. Light a calming candle.
Spend an evening at home and light a candle with your favorite scent. Yankee Candles always make your home smell so lovely. They’re my new go-to for candles! 💖
40. Squeeze a stress ball.
41. Start a beautiful garden.
42. Allow yourself to take a break for the day.
43. Go window shopping at Marshalls!
There’s just something so relaxing about browsing through Marshalls. They have the best accessories! 👠
44. Create a dreamy mood board.
Make a collage of photos and words that inspire you! ✨
45. Stay hydrated.
46. Have a picnic at the park!
47. Spend the day with your best friend.
48. Work near a window.
49. Cross off a couple of chores on your cleaning checklist.
50. Treat yourself to a little gift from your fave Etsy shop!
Right now, I’m loving these dainty pineapple earrings and personalized floral journals! 🍍
51. Drive to the beach before sunset.
52. Make an anti-stress playlist filled with calming songs.
One of the best ways to relax after a long day is to listen to music. I’ve created an anti-stress playlist with 95 of my favorite relaxing songs! 🎶
53. Spend an afternoon at a cute coffee shop.
54. Order pizza and watch nostalgic sitcoms.
There are so many hilarious sitcoms you can start watching like What I Like About You, My Wife and Kids, and Reba. Growing up, my family and I used to watch sitcoms together all the time and it always lifted my spirits! 💓
55. See a play at your local theatre.
56. Do a fun DIY project!
57. Have a soothing cup of tea.
58. Exercise for 20 minutes.
59. Search for funny quizzes like “Which The Office Character Are You?“
60. Invest in a light therapy lamp.
During the fall and winter seasons, you may feel down or anxious. Many people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Although scientists don’t know an exact cause, they believe one factor is a lack of sunlight. In this case, a light therapy lamp can help boost your mood and fight the winter blues. On Amazon, Miroco’s light therapy lamp had so many positive reviews!
61. Try out a self care subscription box.
I really want to try out the Go Love Yourself subscription box, because it features wellness items like a self care book, candles, and so much more!🎁
62. Redecorate or rearrange a room in your home.
63. Wear your go-to comfiest flannel.
64. Eat dinner by candlelight at your favorite restaurant.
65. Try essential oils for relaxation.
66. Write down an action plan for your biggest goals.
67. Unwind with a weekend staycation.
68. Add some superfoods for stress relief to your diet.
69. Try a grounding technique, like the 5,4,3,2,1 method.
Grounding techniques lessen anxiety by refocusing your attention onto your surroundings.
If you’re asking yourself how to slow down and relax quickly, try the 5,4,3,2,1 method!
First name five things you see around you. Next, name four things you can feel, three things you can hear, and two things you can smell. Finally, finish the exercise by saying one positive affirmation or giving yourself a compliment!
70. Snap a picture of something beautiful, like sunflowers or a rainbow.
71. Decorate your place with cozy furniture & encouraging art.
72. Start a 30 days of self care challenge.
73. Go to a local event, like a carnival or Comic-Con!
74. Add pretty fairy lights to your room!
Warm lighting makes you feel instantly more relaxed. These curtain fairy lights from Etsy are really cute! ✨
75. Listen to nature sounds, like ocean waves or rain.
I like to hear the sound of gentle rain falling while listening to music. This is personally how I like to slow down and relax. The music sounds even prettier with rain as the background sound! ☂️
76. Pamper yourself with a homemade sugar scrub!
77. Think of little ways you can invest in yourself.
78. Spray a pillow mist before bed.
I hope that you enjoyed this post, lovelies! Have a wonderful rest of your Friday! x
How do you find ways to slow down and relax? Were any of them on this list?
Fitoru Keto says
Very helpful article! I really learned a lot from this and will certainly keep this information in mind. Thanks a lot for posting!
With love, Caroline says
Great post, Nunzia! I totally need this this week! I personally really like to clean and organise everything in my house when I feel stressed, only after that I feel more relaxed and I finally manage to slow down a bit!
Nunzia Martino says
Thank you so much, Caroline!! 💓A tidy space just makes everything so much more relaxing! I always seem to have to do a little bit of tidying up after work before I can really sit down & enjoy hanging out at home lol! Thanks again for reading, hon! x
I love your anti stress playlist! We have very similar tastes 😂 Watching classic sitcoms is one of my favourite ways to destress – I love Frasier, Friends and Scrubs to name a few! Lighting a candle always helps me too, I find just watching the flame flickering and the wax pooling quite calming – I especially love a Yankee Candle, Pink Sands is one of my favourites! Great tips, thanks for sharing 😊 xx
Nunzia Martino says
Thank you so much girl!! 💓 I love making playlists hehe! Awww, the nostalgia is so real lol!! Those are all fantastic shows! I remember watching Friends and Frasier with my mom when I was younger. Another one I kinda wanna get into is Seinfeld! I always hear good things about that show and it’s a classic! Yankee Candles all smell so good lol Pink Sands is such a lovely scent. I also love Spiced Pumpkin for October! Thank you so much for reading! Hope you’re having a good Friday! x
bubble baths and reading by the fire are at the top of my list!
Nunzia Martino says
Same here, Cleia!! it’s getting so cold in Chicago — sitting by the fireplace with a hot chocolate & reading a good book is a must hehe!! 💛
Here too! I’m not ready for cold weather but a fireplace certainly helps 💕
Love this post! I always find that when my space is cluttered and untidy or dirty, my level of stress and tiredness are higher, so to start a relaxing moment I always start by tidying up a bit or doing a light cleaning of the space, I feel much better after that! 😊 I should also get into podcasts but never find the right moment to listen to them!! Thanks for sharing your tips anyway, they are so useful!!
Nunzia Martino says
Thank you so much, Juliette!! 💛I’m so glad you found the tips useful! I’m the exact way when it comes to cleaning. It’s so hard for me to concentrate if my apartment is too cluttered. After work, I always try to organize everything & do some tidying up. It always makes me feel so much more relaxed! Also, if you can, I’d recommend listening to podcasts on your way to work or before bed. That’s what I’ve been doing lately and it’s been helping my stress levels so much! x
Love this post so much. Autumn season is all about chilled in door evenings, to relax and enjoy cosy life. I’m loving reading, watching TV shows snuggled with cosy blanket and cup of tea. xx
Nunzia Martino says
Aww, thanks hon!! Omg, that sounds like the perfect evening hehe!! I totally agree — fall is so cozy! I’m literally sitting here with my blanket & cup of tea as I type this! 😂 💗
kiki | soyvirgo.com says
I want ti share to pinterest but i have bad service at work 😡 i love these kind of posts tbh theyre my favorite and they’re actually helpful 😍
Nunzia Martino says
You’re so sweet, Kiki!! 💓 Thank you so much for the kind words!! I’m super happy that you liked the post and it was helpful! I hope you’re doing well & having a good week, girl!! x
79. Read Nunzia’s blog posts! 🙂
Pizza really is so good! Used to love What I Like About You as well! Been so long since I did a Buzzfeed quiz 😛
Nunzia Martino says
Omg Chanelle, you’re so sweet!! That made me smile!! 💓💛
Pizza is super delicious hehe! I actually had some tonight for dinner 😂Ahhh, so awesome that you liked What I like About You too, girl!! I feel like not too many people know about that show — it was hilarious & I loved the cast! Maybe they’ll do a reboot?! Who knows lol 💞
Haha, glad I could make you smile! Ooh what flavour pizza did you get? They could do a reboot, lots of other shows seem to be getting them 💕
Nunzia Martino says
Pepperoni, my favorite lol! We had frozen pizza in the freezer and were like, yes the perfect Friday night dinner 😂And hey you’re right — a girl can dream hehe!! x