How Mindful Readers Chill Out

Taking some time to rest and release tension isn’t lazy; it’s an act of self-compassion and wisdom. Here’s what Mindful readers had to say about the role of relaxation in their life.

Esther Pueyo/Adobe Stock

What unusual things do you do to relax? 

  • “Organizing my home and purging items I don’t need helps me when things feel chaotic. Also, sometimes just getting on the floor and letting my dogs shower me with attention is amazing!”
  • “I get up before 6am, light a candle, read the newspaper online, and have coffee: a peaceful hour to myself. Then I walk or work out or do yoga.”
  • “Catching crabs with my nephew. I watch him mindfully as he explores, and his innocent curiosity brings me quiet joy.”
  • “Facebook helps me relax. I’ve realized it’s because I have few “friends” there—the ones I have are people who mean something special to me.”
  • “My Lunchtime Walks. I take the same route each day, headphones in, walking to the beat of my carefully selected soundtrack.”
  • “I sort random things into categories that have no real purpose, other than aesthetics—things like state quarters; books I haven’t read yet; items picked up while traveling; pictures, downloads, and screenshots on my phone.”
  • “Dancing. It’s something I wasn’t allowed to do when I was growing up, and now I find that I enjoy it very much!”

What does your ideal self-care practice look like?

Nearly all respondents say taking time daily for mindfulness and exercise, stretching, and breathing practices would be indispensable.

Other possibilities: listening to music, turning off your phone, getting a massage, loving-kindness meditation, walking on the beach, and reading a book.

Slightly less common ideas? Horseback riding and playing backgammon.

Do you feel relaxed when meditating?

A sense of relaxation can be a nice side effect of meditating, but it’s not a requirement.

55% say they usually feel “chill” when they meditate.

For 39% meditation can be relaxing sometimes.

6% say meditation just isn’t a relaxing activity.

How relaxed are you most of the time?

You’re not alone if you go through most days feeling a little on edge: 58% of respondents do, too.

A mere 1% are totally chill more often than not.

28% say they’re pretty laid-back, and the rest (13%) report feeling like a bundle of nerves.

How does social media fit into your leisure time? 

Only 7% say using social media helps them to relax, while 26% say it creates an uptick in their tension.

The moderate 41% of respondents say they can chill out with social media, but only if they don’t use it too much—and 26% use it rarely or never at all.

How often do you take time to relax?