25 Ways to Relax and Recharge in 90 Minutes or Less

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 in Stress Management | 25 comments

The benefits of living a balanced life include lower stress, improved health, increased focus and concentration, inspired creativity, and the ability to manage life’s ups and downs with dignity and grace. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But still many of us, myself included, struggle to balance life and take good care of ourselves.

We may think of the weekend as our time to relax and recharge. Just this morning I was telling a co-worker how I was looking forward to the weekend so I can enjoy some much needed rest and refreshment, but there are many ways to unwind and create work-life balance each and every day!

It’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves in times of activity and stress. It’s just as easy to push ourselves during the week and plan to “catch up” over the weekend (or, perhaps, vice versa).  I don’t know about you, but I need a self-care intervention!

To inspire healthy habits and balance in my life, I made a list of simple ways to recharge my day. I got a little help from my friends and fans on my Facebook page, too. I’m feeling inspired already!

25 ways to relax, unwind, and refresh your day in 90 minutes or less!

1. Take a power nap!
Time investment: 15  – 20 minutes
I am a master power napper. I set an alarm for 15-20 minutes, close my eyes and wake feeling refreshed.

2. Take a walk.
Time investment: 15 minutes
In addition to power napping, taking my daily walk is one of my favorite ways to recharge. I love how focused and energized I feel after morning walk.

3. Go for a run.
Time investment: 30 minutes
Submitted by Sarah T. on my Facebook page, maybe a run is more your style. Running is good for your heart, your head, and your overall health!

4. Do nothing for 2 minutes.
Time investment: 2 minutes
Can you do nothing for 2 minutes? Okay, you can do something- like breathe. Sit up straight, take three deep breaths, counting to three as you inhale and three as you exhale. Roll your shoulders back and drop your shoulders away from your ears. Unclench your jaw. There, don’t you feel better now?

5. Change your perspective.
Time investment: 5 minutes
Another submission by my good friend Jon Mertz from Thin Difference suggests a great way to refresh your day is to do something different. Approach a problem a new way, or physically change your position, activity or location. Get a new perspective- how inspiring!

6. Write a gratitude list.
Time investment: 5 minutes
Make a list of at least 10 things you’re grateful for right now. Make note of what brings a smile to your face, makes you laugh, feels great, creates comfort and love in your life. It’s a 5 minute attitude booster!

7. Unplug.
Time investment: 15 minutes
I love the convenience and global connection of my digital devices but sometimes I have to step away from the internet! Unplug for at least 15 waking minutes per day.

8. Play sports.
Time investment: 60 – 90 minutes
My friend Duane shared his favorite way to recharge his day- play soccer! Team sports are a great way to exercise your body and mind, spend time with friends, and have fun.

9. Dance like no one’s watching.
Time investment: 2 – 3 minutes
Have you ever seen someone rocking out in their car at a stoplight? Oh, you saw me, did you? Sometimes it’s a wonderful release to dance like no one’s watching even if you know they are.

10. Enjoy a coffee date.
Time investment: 15 – 30 minutes
The ever-witty Hajra Khatoon from Hajra Kvetches suggested meeting a friend for coffee as a favorite way to take a break. Enjoying the company of a friend over a cup of coffee (or tea) will certainly improve your day!

11. Do yoga.
Time investment: 20 minutes
Hajra and I agree that yoga is a wonderful refresher. A yoga practice can be as short as 20 minutes with a significant benefits to your health and peace of mind. Yoga balances the breath, body, and mind to create harmony in your life- what’s not to love?

12. Put your worries away.
Time investment: 5 minutes
We all experience stress and worry from time-to-time and one way to keep it in check is to write down whatever you’re worried about and place it in a worry box or jar. You don’t have to carry it around with you all the time.

relaxImage courtesy of anieto2k

13. Save some cash!
Time investment: none!
My friend Amanda shared she enjoys taking advantage of mid-week specials at her favorite local coffee shop as a way to indulge. Find discounts in your area to treat yourself on a budget!

14. Read a (comic) book.
Time investment: 30 minutes
My friend Cy shared new comic Wednesday is an event she looks forward to every week. No matter if you enjoy reading comics or novels, curling up with a good book relaxes and builds brain power!

15. Get to bed early.
Time investment: 30 – 60 minutes
When I’m feeling exhausted and drained I know it’s a good time to get to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. Sleep does wonders for my health and happiness.

16. Play music.
Time investment: 5 – 30 minutes
Music is good for the soul, or at least good for my soul. Putting on music that matches my mood relaxes, energizes, or lifts my spirits, depending on what I need right now.

17. Pamper yourself.
Time investment: 60 minutes
My friend Jennifer enjoys what she calls Goddess Beautification Night, or an evening of self-pampering including a salt soak, paraffin dip, pedicure and mud mask facial. That sounds lovely!

18. Do something you love that’s just for you.
Time investment: 30 minutes
I have several creative hobbies including writing, painting, coloring, and crafting. I love spending time on my hobbies and exercising my creative muscles. Whatever your hobby, invest in yourself by doing something you love!

19. Stretch
Time investment: 5 – 10 minutes
Stretch your body, stretch your heart, stretch your mind, and stretch your smile. Stretch every day.

20. Hug someone you love.
Time investment: 5 minutes
My friends Adam and Ariadne agree coming home to a loving embrace is the best pick-me-up! That reminds me to hug my husband just as soon as I finish this blog post.

21. Empty your inbox.
Time investment: 5 – 10 minutes.
I love the feeling of an empty inbox, though I must admit my inbox isn’t often empty so I’m going to take a few minutes and remove some digital clutter. If I can’t empty it completely, I’ll delete at least 10 emails I don’t need anymore. Won’t you join me in simplifying your digital life?

22. Spend time with family and friends
Time investment: 60 minutes
My friend Ashley listed enjoying a meal with her husband and relaxing in the hot tub with friends as two ways she recharges mid-week. I only wish Ashley still lived close by because I’d love to get in on that action!

23. Go to a museum or art gallery.
Time investment: 60 – 90 minutes
I love the inspiration and emotion evoked by beautiful art and I don’t do it often enough. I’ll take this as a wonderful reminder to go out and be moved by art in the near future.

24. Spend time in nature.
Time investment 60 – 90 minutes
There is nothing more peaceful than getting away from the hustle and bustle of the civilization and enjoying nature. Whether you live near mountains, oceans, lakes, or plains, spending time outdoors offers a little peace and quiet.

25. Take a ride on 2 wheels.
Time investment: 15 – 30 minutes
I love the unique experience of traveling on 2 wheels. Whether by bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle there’s nothing like the feeling of freedom with the wind caressing my face as I navigate starts, stops, and turns by shifting my weight. It’s a truly zen experience!

I love your comments! What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?


  1. I take naps- not daily, but my body and mind feel heavy after a long one. I have heard many say that a short nap is best, as do you Chrysta. I can’ t fall asleep at the snap of a finger though. Is there a trick to power napping?

  2. What a great list! I think printing it out and referencing it would be the best way to achieve overall “peace” in my day.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Petra! I’m happy to hear you were inspired by this list. I hope you do print it out and keep adding to it!

      Have a grateful day!


  3. Great post – thank you. I think one of the best ways to relax quickly is to drink a glass of gold water and a little walk outside. Gold water and fresh air really can do wonders, this combination helps to rejuvenate the body and clear the mind.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Violet!

      I agree drinking a nice cool glass of water and getting outside can do wonders to decrease stress! I make it a point to drink water throughout the day which not only gets me up from my desk several times a day, it keeps me feeling hydrated and healthy!

      I also make it a point to take even just a short walk every day. My daily walk clears my head and centers my mind. I love it!

      Thanks for adding your wonderful suggestions! Thanks for stopping by! Have a grateful day!


  4. Hi Chrysta,
    I love all these suggestions! I also take power naps and you’re right, I wake up feeling refreshed as well. Taking a walk surrounded by the beauty of nature sounds like heaven.
    Funny, but yesterday when I heard mass, the priest told a story of this carpenter who also had a trouble tree in his front yard and before entering his house, he puts his two hands on the tree as a way of leaving all his troubles behind and meeting his family unburdened.
    Then, in the morning, he touches the tree again as a sign that he is ready to face the day’s challenges again. He is said to be often surprised to find that half of his burden is gone.
    Isn’t it amazing?!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Theresa!

      I love that you’ve tried many of these suggestions and found them to be helpful to you. And what a great story about the trouble tree! Thanks for sharing it!

      Have a grateful day!


  5. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this list. My office at Dish can be so chaotic sometimes, so it’s nice to find ways to lower stress that are easy to do. My favorite one that I’ve tried so far is taking a quick walk outside. A warm breeze and blue skies make all the difference! Another way I’ve found to escape stress is making the most of my lunch break by retreating to a quiet café, plugging some headphones into my tablet, and unwinding to my favorite shows. I have the free Dish Remote Access app that is able to tap into my usual channel line up from home through the sling adapter. Pretending I’m on my couch while catching a laugh or two with 30 Rock really helps me clear my mind and get ready for the rest of the day ahead. Closing my eyes on break and listening to music, like you mentioned, has the same effect! Thanks for helping me find my own ways to unwind.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Kayla! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and want to try some of these fun ideas.

      I take a daily break from work to go for a walk- even if the weather isn’t cooperating (though it’s nicer when the weather is cooperating!) Taking my daily walk makes a huge improvement in my workday and I notice I feel less stressed and more focused. It’s one of my favorite ways to recharge!

      I, too, enjoy some of my favorite shows on my lunch break. I come home for lunch and pop in a fave on dvd. It’s a nice little escape!

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting! Have a grateful day!


  6. What an awesome list Chrysta! I had to laugh on this first one because I can’t take power naps. I guess I’ve never been a napper but I do get about 7 to 8 hours sleep a night so I’m usually raring to go everyday.

    Really great suggestions you’ve provided and I see a few things on this list that I do. I’m smiling over here young lady.

    I hope things are going well with you. Family is doing okay and everything in your world is right! That’s the way it should be right!

    Thanks for this Chrysta and you have a glorious week.


    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Adrienne!

      As I already replied on your Facebook page today, I get 7-8 hours per night and still get in a nap some days. I suspect my asthma plays a role in how tired I get sometimes- even when I’m not actively having an attack just breathing in and out can be tiresome. They key for me is sleeping only 15-20 minutes so when I wake up I feel refreshed and rarin’ to go!

      Everything is great in my world, and I certainly hope the same goes for you! Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a grateful day and a fabulous week!


  7. Hi Chrysta,
    wonderful list you got here. The hardest for me is the “putting your worries” away one and that is one of the most important probably.
    One of the things that I really enjoy is cycling, and it puts me in a great mood right away.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Mariella!

      Putting my worries away used to be much harder for me but I found writing it down and putting the slip of paper in a safe place really helped me! I also recently heard someone say she has a worry tree in her front yard; when she arrives home from work each day she visualizes hanging her worries on the branches of the tree before she walks into her house- brilliant!

      I love bicycling and scootering- both activities make me feel happy and free!

      Have a grateful day!


  8. Thanks so much for the mention! :)

    These are indeed wonderful ways to gear up and get going. Power naps are something I still have to get used to; I end up sleeping longer and if I wake up early I feel groggy for some reason!

    I like the part about reading a comic book also! That never crossed my mind. My brother has loads of clips of Tom and Jerry cartoon downloaded on his mobile. When he feels a little down he always watches them and then he says he feels wonderful. The laughs do the trick!

    A wonderful compilation as always!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment and your awesome contribution to this post, Hajra!

      I, too, have found taking a nap is not refreshing if I sleep too long. I have to set a timer to wake me up after 15-20 minutes, max. And when I do it’s so wonderful!

      Have a grateful day!


  9. This is a wonderful list! I work at my laptop most of the day so I’m a big believer in taking periodic brakes. My dog makes sure I get outside for a little walk and fresh air at least a couple of times a day and I love power naps. You’ve given me some good ideas about new things to try – thanks!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Marty! So glad you already use some of these ideas and found a few more to add to your healthy living toolbox.

      My dogs are great for reminding me to get out and about each day. I also use my dogs as an excuse to come home for lunch instead of going out too often or working through lunch. They keep me healthy and happy!

      Have a grateful day!


  10. Chrysta: Great ideas. Sometimes, I feel like I need to relax whenever I work myself too hard. I try to take power naps for maybe half an hour, but those never turn out good because I do not wake up whenever I planned to wake up. Lol. Then I wake a few hours later and feel like damn I should have just stayed awoke.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, William!

      For me, a power nap needs to be no longer than 20 minutes to be effective- otherwise I sleep too long and have trouble sleeping at night. However, when I set my timer for 15 – 20 minutes I wake from my nap feeling so refreshed!

      If you manage to take a shorter nap I’d love to hear if the experience was refreshing instead of draining.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Have a grateful day!


  11. What a great list, Chrysta! Simple things to do to refresh ourselves and our perspective. Great offering here!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Jon!

      I’m happy you enjoyed this list and I hope you take advantage of some of these ideas in the coming week. Let me know which, if any, you try.

      Have a grateful day!


  12. Great list, Chrysta! For me, I unplug on the weekend and do whatever I’m feeling at the time. Be it read a book, spend time with my companion, work on a writing project, enjoy nature – you name it and I will consider it. :) I’ve done many of those that are in your list here, and will add the ones that I haven’t – in the future. Thanks for sharing them with us! :)

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Deeone!

      I love having at least one day on the weekend that I leave unplanned so I can just see where the day takes me. It’s such a lovely way to spend a day!

      I, too, unplug from promoting my blog on the weekends. I will respond to comments, and sometimes catch up on my favorite blogs, but I generally stay away from Twitter and Facebook. It’s nice to get a break.

      Have a grateful day!


  13. Great collection of ideas.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Lynda!

      I encourage you to try one or two of these ideas in the coming week. Let me know how it goes!

      Have a grateful day!



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