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8 ways to relax productively

I am a sucker for productivity. I love the idea of it. I love making to-do-lists with little boxes and then checking them off with little checks. But even more than perfect productivity, I love the sentiment of well, that's all finished, now I guess I'll just sit down in a sunny window somewhere and read an intellectual book. Isn't that the life? Isn't that what we all want? To check off everything on our to-do-list each day and still have time to calmly read a book or write in an adorable journal or teach ourselves how to play the ukulele? This is a secret dream of mine. I want to be productive all day long, and when that's done, I want to relax in productive ways. I want to spend my free time doing artistic and beautiful and challenging things.

Now that I've outlined the dream, let me explain the reality. The truth is, I'm too darn busy. I do too many things that take up far too much time (basically, school and ballet). So when I come home from doing those things, not only does my productivity go out the window, but my methods of relaxation become considerably less sophisticated. What I'm trying to say here is, I come home, scavenge for some food, sit in my bed, and waste time on the internet. Because right then, even reading a book feels too hard. I may love being productive, but on some (most) days, I love doing stupid Buzzfeed quizzes more. This is all fine and good, but for me at least, I'm left feeling more guilty and gross than calmed and relaxed. I want to find ways to relax (that require as little brain/body power as possible) but don't make me feel like an internet-addicted potato.

So, I've concocted a list (mostly for myself) of productive forms of relaxation: Things you can do when you want to take a few minutes out of your insane life to chill, but you don't want to kill brain cells mindlessly scrolling through facebook for what turns out to be hours.

8 forms of productive relaxation that require literally no effort at all 

writing/ drawing nonsense in a notebook 

Pretty self explanatory, just doodle to your heart's desire. Extra points if it's messy and asymmetrical and ninety-percent stick figures. These are signs of creativity.

taking a bath  

Probably one of the easiest forms of relaxation in existence. All you have to do is lie there and cover yourself in good-smelling soap products and enjoy the easiness.


Okay, this one's only easy if you know how to knit. Because then you can just do a million mindless stitches and fall into a weird state of meditative sleep-knitting where your fingers are still moving but your mind is faraway. If you don't know how to knit, it's okay, I don't really either. I re-teach myself every few months. Here's a guide with some adorable drawings.

reading a magazine 

I love reading, but sometimes when I'm exhausted real literature feels like (and I say this at the risk of sounding like somewhat of an imbecile, but let's be real) just too many words. On days like these, I sometimes whip out a magazine that I've read twelve times and enjoy it for a thirteenth. Magazines are only about 20% words anyways, (the rest is pictures, or more likely, ads).

 swinging and/or sitting in nature

I won't talk about how much I love swinging because I'm eighteen and obviously too old*, but any variety of sitting in nature (whether it's on a glorious little seat that's flying through the air, or not) is just generally good for the soul.
*I really love swinging.

reading thought-provoking things on the internet 

Time spent on the internet is not necessarily time wasted! I have a bookmark folder on my computer where I bookmark any sort of blog post or article that I want to read later. And then, instead of refreshing Instagram thirty times, I read it later. These things are not that hard.

painting your nails 

A fairly satisfying activity that requires little to no brain power or effort, unless of course you are a nail-art wizard. If that is the case, here is your well-deserved crown, you are now queen. But if you are a layman like me, solid colors will do just fine.

making more lists

Weirdly enough, I find few things more calming than making more lists/plans of all the stuff I need to do. I know it doesn't make sense, but nothing about my simultaneously organized and disorganized life makes sense, let's be real. :)

How do you relax in your free time? I want to knowww.

♡ Julia


  1. I simply love this post. What simple ideas, but so effective. More appreciation for the little 'me time' things make such a huge difference ^_^

    Katie // Words by Katie

  2. Such great ideas! I think when you usually want to relax, you feel a bit sluggish and can't be bothered, so easy things like the ones you've listed are really useful xx

    Lauren |

    1. That's what I was thinking. Thanks for reading, Lauren !

  3. Amazing ideas!

    Mia x |

  4. Love this post Julia, I find it so hard to relax so this tips are perfect. You can't beat an amazing Lush bath/bubble bath!


  5. I love doing productive relaxation. I don't like relaxing which involves scrolling on my FB timeline because I know I'll be mad at myself for wasting precious time when I could've read a chapter or two or simply, sleep. I thought I'm the only one who thinks of this way, Julia! I also love sitting/swinging and admire nature. It relaxes my mind, body and soul and sometimes, I do some reflection or think about future possible blog topics. Hihi :) Still productive and relaxing! :)

    Augustin Ra | Indie Spirit

    1. I totally agree, Augustin! I feel like you understand me ;)

  6. I love knitting; it truly is relaxing! Also, I love the color of yarn you're using. Purples are always my favorite!

    Abby Talks

  7. I think if we have balance with being productive and our free time, we will feel calmer. I generally switch off in the evening as my mind gets to a point where I can't be productive so I relax and watch my favourtite shows, turn off my phone and eat a nice meal :)

    Hanh | hanhabelle


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About me

About me

About me
I’m a 19-year old college student who’s still very much “in bluhm” (heh) but I’m figuring it out as I go, laptop in hand.
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