Sometimes the world gets too loud, too stressful, and just too much. You need to find a positive outlet or a way to quietly calm yourself and check out for a short while. There are so many things you can do to find peace and solace in a complicated world. Here are a few options you can add to your calming repertoire.
Play a Game
When you think of taking a break, a video game is probably something you would quickly gravitate toward. But to take a break from the daily toils and the stressful noise in your life, you may not want to immediately pick up the closest FPS game in your video game arsenal.
Look for calmer content, such as a logic puzzle game like Minesweeper that will keep you engaged longer than you might realize while challenging your mind. This type of game is neither passive nor has the potential to desensitize you to real-world possibilities of violence or destructive acts that occur without ramifications or consequences.
Some easy and relaxing pursuits also include games such as Sudoku or Solitaire. You can find either in app form on smartphones, tablets, and computers or in paperback online or at retail stores. These require thoughtful focus and are good distractions for when you need one.
Chess is another great option to give your mind a break while still engaging it. Play online with a friend, on an app against a chess Grandmaster, or in person. Once you understand the basic rules of gameplay, you can play it repeatedly with different outcomes. It engages your mind and offers respite from the noise around you.
Find a Physical Outlet
Exercise is a great way to release physical energy, increase cardiovascular strength, and take a break. Pick the workout of your choice or try something different. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are in the appropriate gear, and always check with your healthcare provider first.
Sometimes, a hard run up a flight of stairs is just what you need to get your heart pumping and free your mind. At other times, maybe you just want a leisurely jog to enjoy the changing leaves in the fall or the blooming buds in the spring. While you are getting your blood moving and clearing your mind, find something to occupy it, such as the latest podcasts or a curated playlist.
When you have difficulty silencing the to-do lists, familial and work responsibilities, or a disagreement with your significant other last night, you need to find a positive way to step aside from the din and relax. Mediation may be the solution to help you achieve calm and a much-needed respite.
Listen to this guided meditation video to help clear your mind and stop overthinking.
Watch a Show
Sometimes you just have to do nothing. And remember that it is okay to do nothing. In this always-on world where you are always connected, you can step back when you want or need to. Put on some comfy leisure wear or your favorite pajamas, and grab some soft pillows and a cozy blanket. Settle into the couch for a calm evening or afternoon and watch something you will enjoy along with a delicious snack or two.
There are some points to consider, however, when you set out to watch a show and relax or check out for a bit. The first is to ensure you are not masking any other symptoms and ignoring a looming concern or problem outright. It is fine to take a break from stressors, but they do need to be dealt with in a healthy manner.
Next, it is all too easy, and common, to find yourself coming out of a streaming binge hours longer than you originally intended. Be mindful of how long you will take refuge on your couch. Set a timer for when one or two shows or one movie will be over, and tell yourself that you can always watch more later instead of spending the entire weekend on the couch.
Finally, only choose content that you will enjoy peacefully. Actively avoid anything that will trigger past trauma or remind you of the current pain points in your life. The idea is to escape all of that and relax for a couple of hours.
Go ahead and give yourself a break whenever you need one. Relax, take a breath, and enjoy the world around you, or just retreat from it for a while.