47 Fun & Relaxing Things to Do When You Want to Unwind

Stay calm and relax on, friends. These easy ideas will get you to Zen in no time.

Published August 3, 2023
woman relaxing

You're looking to kick back, relax, take a load off, watch the clouds roll by. You could be looking to fill your cup, take part in National Lazy Day, or are in need of a little rest and relaxation. Put on your relaxing pants (and absolutely rip off those jeans): it's time to get Zen.

Fun and Easy Things to Do to Relax

reading in a hammock

With these suggestions of ways to unwind, the relaxation flows right to you. Bonus: most of these are relaxing things you can do at home. Talk about minimal effort but maximum relaxation!

Listen to Music

Load up your favorite play list or go on a musical adventure to ease the mind and relax the soul. Did you know there are even songs that science backs as the most relaxing? But you can listen to anything you like too.

Play a Video Game

Check out from your current environment and take yourself to a digital landscape. Maybe just pick a game that isn't overly intense.

Enjoy a Podcast or Audiobook

Just like music, you can cue up your favorite episodes, let the podcast roll from the start, or settle in with a good book that'll fill your imagination. You can even double up with other relaxing activities since this is hands-free.

Watch Some TV

Check out your favorite tv show or movie to relax and unwind. Any genre, so long as it's one that makes you happy.

Watch a Relaxing Video

Relax and unwind with your favorite ASMR video, perhaps someone power washing, or even a professional rug cleaning service restoring a rug. You can even catch your favorite Twitch streamer.


That's right, check out! And allow your mind to wander to wherever it wants to go. ANd don't allow yourself to feel guilty -- daydreaming actually has lots of benefits!

Listen to the Birds

Sit next to an open window or set up camp outside and allow the music of the birds and nature to be the soundtrack as you lull into a sense of tranquility.

Take a Nap in a Hammock

Catch a nap in a hammock, on the couch, or in your bed. There's nothing like a nap to kickstart that unwind and relaxing journey.

Drink Some Tea or Coffee

Brew yourself a cuppa! Enjoy every sip on its own, enjoy with a snack, or while you watch some TV.

Chill Out With Candles

Light a few candles to truly set that relaxation vibe. Try a clean-burning candle in your favorite scent, sit back, and relax.

Get Some Fresh Air

Step outside to clear the cobwebs in your brain and allow the fresh air to wash over you. Whether you walk around your neighborhood or just sit on your back porch, being outdoors can not only help you relax, but it can improve your health.

Read a Book

Grab your favorite book or tug a book from your to-be-read pile and settle in with your imagination. Try anything from timeless YA classics or a new BookTok suggestion.

Low-Key Ways to Relax and Unwind


With just a smidge extra effort, we promise not much, you can elevate your day of relaxing and unwinding. And, you can still do several of these things at home. Except going for a drive. You'll want roads for that.


Bliss out with your thoughts. Allow your breath to guide you or use an app such as Headspace.

Play a One-Person Card Game

In real life or on the computer, play a solo card game. Try some solitaire, spider solitaire, pyramid -- whatever it is that lets your brain turn off.

Hang With Your Pet

Cozy up with your furry friend, snuggling, enjoying pets, or simply hanging out side-by-side. You can build your bond with your favorite non-human friend and enjoy judgment-free laziness.

Go for a Drive

Hop in the car and change your point of view to shake off the stress and shrug on some relaxation. Don't forget the tunes!

Practice an Instrument

Brush up on your guitar, piano, or any instrumental skills to allow the music to sweep your worries away.

Write, Journal, or Brain Dump

Jot down a fictional story, take some time to journal, or opt for a brain dump to clear your mind.

Paint Your Nails

When your nails are wet, there's nothing you can do except for relax. Get inspired by anything from Barbiecore pink nails to chic black nail designs and get painting.

Do a Face Mask

You can't run around the house with a facemask on. You need to watch the clock and put your feet up. Totally worth it.

Switch Up Your Environment

Sometimes just changing rooms is enough to wipe away the stress and welcome the relaxation. Or, browse ideas of ways to make your favorite spaces more gorgeous and relaxing.

Have a Snack

A piece of chocolate, an apple with some cheese, or a bowl of cereal is a great chance to bring on the feel good. Or go for a nostalgic snack or an easy indulgent sweet treat like fruit roll ups and ice cream.

Call or Text a Friend

Strike up a conversation to unwind. Chatting about nothing or whatever is on your mind. Swap memes or share funny pictures from your week.

Tackle a Crossword

Put the brain to work with the Washington Post or New York Times crossword puzzles. Alternatively, a word search or other brain game is a great way to relax, too.

Take a Sound Bath

Try a sound bath. Allow the tones of a singing bowl, chimes, or other soothing sounds to wash over you, and feel your muscles unclench as you relax.

Efficiently Zen: Resting With an Activity

person knitting

If you're the type who can't sit still (hi!), these are ideas to unwind strategically and productively but still check the box of relaxation. Think of these ideas to relax as mindful productivity.


Bust out your watercolors, opt for a paint-by-numbers, or just allow your Jackson Pollock to shine. The name of the painting game is what relaxes you. Oh, and there are even apps for this, too.

Dive Into a Coloring Book

Pull out the crayons or colored pencils to scribble and color your way to some relaxation.


Draw an extravagant scene, connect patterns, or just allow the pen to wander around as you decorate your weekly planner spread. Don't forget the stickers!

Take a Shower or Bath

Unwind and relax in the shower or bath, and don't forget the aroma-therapy! Toss in a shower steamer to dress up the usual experience or add some bubbles for a luxurious bath. Music is optional but definitely recommended. Same for candles.

Knit, Sew, or Crochet

You don't need to be good at any of these things. Personally, I'm not! But I love doubly zoning out with a tv show and some knitting to keep my hands busy. And no, no one has willingly accepted one of my scarves.

Cook or Bake

There's something relaxing about following a recipe step by step and losing yourself to the sounds and smells of the kitchen. If you're someone that struggles with cooking, spice up simple foods (hello, creative toast toppings) or may we suggest a puzzle or a Lego set?

Organize Something or Tidy a Space

After a space is organized, tidied, and squared away, it's like a visual massage on the brain for instant relaxation.

Water Your Plants

Spend some time with your plants. Let them know how beautiful and handsome they are while you give each of them a good drink of water. Bring them all to your tub or sink and hang out with them while they are showered with your love and water.

Make a Mood or Vision Board

Digitally or with a pair of scissors and magazines, dream of your ultimate life.

Tackle a Small To-Do List Task

Nothing beats that rush from crossing something off the to-do list, so allow that physical sensation of accomplishment wash over you.

Turn Daily Care Into Self-Care

You're not just washing your face, you're giving your face a massage too. In the shower, give your scalp an extra scrub.

Curate Your Library

Organize, alphabetize, and manage a library of your choosing. Do you collect vinyl? Have a large collection of books? Sink into something that makes you happy and feel accomplished all at once.

Move Your Body to Relax and Unwind

doing yoga with dog

Break out into a sweat, stretch those lungs as you belt out a tune, or feel the ground beneath your feet as you dance, wiggle, and saunter your way toward relaxing with a little movement.

  • Work out by going for a run, doing some strength training, or an exercise class.
  • Do some yoga at a studio or hop on the mat at home and take a class that's as long or as short as you'd like
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood, a park, or along the beach
  • Go for a swim or take a chance to run through a sprinkler to cool off
  • Enjoy a massage at a spa or give your own feet and hands some love
  • Dance away the stress with a solo dance party for one, or loop in a friend
  • Stretch your muscles to ease the tension and feel your body unwind
  • Cuddle with your pet, your partner, or your favorite pillow
  • Think like a kid and hop on a swing
  • Use a foam roller to uncrunch those knots
  • Try a new sport, like pickleball, that you've been thinking about

Rest and Recharge with the Art of Unwinding

It's a busy world out there; come on in, sit with yourself, your knitting, or your book. Soak up the sun, watch the clouds go by, or enjoy some tea while the rain races down the windows. However you decide to relax, with a little sweat or a funny podcast, what matters is that it fills your cup. Aahhh, now that's the good stuff.

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47 Fun & Relaxing Things to Do When You Want to Unwind