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Activities to unwind and relax the mind

Updated on May 21, 2015

Color inspiration from nature


Traditional relaxation activity

You are searching the internet, the local paper or other form of media to find something to do to help you relax your mind, to give it a well deserved break.

You cannot make the local Yoga class as it starts in the middle of the morning when you are tied to your desk. And as much as you would like to tell your boss to stick it where the sun don’t shine, you can’t because you need to make a living to pay the bills that arrive with certain regularity, like the sun rises in the morning and sets at night.

Much as you would like to saunter through the woods, as advocated by Thoreau to get in touch with nature, to take in the ambience, unwind and let the mind relax, you can’t. There simply is not enough time in the day to fit in the four hours stroll, unless you want to be walking at midnight. And walking at night is simply not much fun, particularly as many a hidden danger would be lurking in the dark for you. Logs, rocks and uneven ground would provide many a hazard to ones health.

Nor is there time to attend the local tai chi class, meditation or reiki session to help unwind and relax the mind. It is not only a matter of time; there is the financial side as well.

All these activities, be they worthwhile for the soul, do not come free. The person or organization that runs these classes also needs to earn a living to pay their bills. Somehow your budget does not allow for attendance at these classes to let your mind relax and take a rest. The opposite would be the case as you worry about how you are going to afford these classes and there would be no relaxing of the mind.

Other Options

Of course there is still meditating at home. But lets face it, how many of us can truly mediate sitting on the floor cross legged chanting ohm. I certainly cannot. Noise from the road, next door’s sound system would all be a distraction, not to mention the fact I would think about all the things I should be doing as I am sitting on the floor trying to calm my mind.

The Internet could possibly provide you with assistance. There are no doubt many a u tube video to watch to relax the mind and nurture the soul, but that assumes one has the Internet and a computer.

Is there anything else left?

Reading could be seen as a relaxing activity, which of course it is, but it does not allow the mind to rest. Most of us use our mind to imagine the bits the author leaves unsaid. We are taken to another time and place when we read, which means our thoughts stay active, which is of course what is intended.

Do not despair; there are things you could try.

Drum roll please.


When was the last time you attempted a puzzle? As children we probably do them quite a bit and then as we turn into adults something happens. You probably have all stayed at accommodation places where the well worn box of a puzzle can be spotted in a cupboard with various activities left for the guest so as not to get bored.

Have you been tempted by those puzzles, or have you wrinkled the nose at the old box? If not you should give it a go.

Starting a puzzle can be one of those things you can do at home at relatively low cost. If you find the thought of completing a thousand piece puzzles daunting you can start with something smaller. You could start with one hundred pieces one (just ignore the age suggestion and pick a picture that appeals to you).

All you need is a surface you can spread the pieces out on to start. If possible you should have a spot where you can leave the puzzle spread out so you can go and work on it for a few minutes whenever time allows. You don’t want to be bothered with packing and unpacking the pieces all the time.

When putting a puzzle together your mind focuses only on finding the next piece. Try it. There is no wandering of thought or anything like that. You simply focus on the task at hand and bingo; you are giving your mind a break.

The impossible Puzzle

Coloring in

This is my favorite. Do you remember all the time you spent as a child coloring in? There were coloring in books on your favorite cartoon characters and magical beings. At Christmas plenty of reindeer, elves and Santa Clauses would be the subject of coloring in, just like Easter would have the Easter bunny and Easter eggs and so on.

These days you can buy coloring in books for adults. It is great. There are images of abstract things, geometric things, circles, and Mandalas and nature scenes. There are books on coloring in cities, fairies and dragons (to name but a few).

All you need are some coloring in pencils and a coloring book and away you go. As you work away your mind will be at rest.

It is a great activity to slot in say after work and before dinner. Ten minutes is all you need (to start). You will soon find it quite addictive and reach for it more and more often.

I have a range of different coloring in books to suit the mood. Sometimes I like to color in the geometric shapes, other times the nature scenes and at others the Mandalay. You will note that you will favor different colors depending on the mood you are in.

There are also smaller coloring in books, handbag size ones, you can take with you wherever you go. If you find yourself waiting somewhere, like the doctors, you can pull out your little coloring in book and color away while you wait. Instead of getting agitated about being asked to wait you will almost be disappointed when it is your turn and you have to put the task aside.

A blank canvas


Types of Colored Pencils

In the beginning you may just want to stick with the cheap coloring in pencils you can buy at your local supermarket. They will do the job just fine. You will get the basic colors

If you get more into it, you may wish to look at the different range of artist pencils available.
My personal reference and favorite is the Faber Castell range of colored artist pencils. They are of course pricier but you will notice a difference.

How much you spend on the coloring in pencils will of course depend on your preference of brand of pencil and your own budget.

A finished project




If you do not think coloring in is for you, you can try doodling. Again there are many doodling books now available to give you ideas on what to doodle. It is another activity that does not require more than paper and pencils. Again, as your pen moves across the paper, your mind will get a well-deserved rest.

Whatever activity you chose, lets hope it allows your mind to unwind and relax.



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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I can become happy for a few minutes of my day when I watch a slow video somewhere in the middle of my day.

      When I feel like the time is right I go on the toilet for 10 minutes or just stop by a bench or something like that.

      I then watch a video like this one and make myself sure about not going anywhere else until the 10 minutes have past.

      It feels like I am in an absolute save spot. I close out the rest of the world and just let my imagination and thoughts float.

      This is so perfect for me for keeping up my positive mood.

    • profile image

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      There is a space issue with puzzles; you are correct. You are welcome for the comment.

    • tanyathistleton profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Thistleton 

      3 years ago from Victoria

      Thanks Julie. I love my coloring in and wish there was more room at home to do my puzzles. The disadvantage with a puzzle is it takes up a lot of space. At least coloring in only needs a piece of paper and some pens.

    • profile image

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      This is an informative, helpful article. I find that I put jigsaw puzzles together most when my brain is trying to make a significant decision. I have also found coloring to be relaxing and restorative. Voted up.


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