How to Practice the Art of Decompressing

When is the last time you really relaxed?  When is the last time you shut off all the everyday responsibilities for just a little while?  Couldn’t you use a little time to just decompress?

This past weekend I did something epic. I shut off my computer for two whole days, with no access to social media, work or blog related emails.  Instead I exercised and went window shopping by myself with just a hot cup of coffee.  Not only that, I spent time with some great girlfriends. We ate, drank and gabbed a lot as girlfriends often do.  And you know what?  The world did not come to a stop.  Only I did and it was AWESOME. I had no idea how very much I NEEDED THAT and I am guessing that you probably do too.

How do YOU decompress?  Since getting away is a luxury that does not happen often, there are many other ways to decompress.  Stress management is so important for our emotional health and well-being.  Whether it’s by deep breathing exercises or kickboxing, there are so many ways to decompress.  I asked around and received several amazing suggestions for stress management:

Get inside your mind and inside the moment. This comes from Erica at  “I feel like I never have down time, my head is always spinning. For me, in that situation, the only thing that helps is yoga.  It forces me to be in the moment.” Christina from  does this too by just laying down and thinking freely which helps to get her thoughts in order.

Get organized. Getting your priority list in order is a great way to manage stress.  Erica also says that getting her to-do list in order is invaluable. “If I am stressed, the only things that help are doing things like making lists and checking items off my to-do list.”

Cry it out.  Crying can be truly cathartic and is definitely a way to take the edge off.  Shana from agrees. “Sometimes a really good cry is all I need to get me passed the stress of a really bad day/week/month.”

Lose yourself.  Literally, of course. Shana also loves to read after her kids have gone to bed, because for her, diving into a good book is extremely relaxing. You know those two books you bought (or borrowed) that you have yet to start reading? It’s time.

Work it out.  We all know by now that exercise helps boost our endorphins and serotonin levels.  From Alissa at, “Usually running is my best outlet for decompressing. The “runner’s high” I get helps boost my mood and keep things in perspective, plus I get time during my run to process whatever stress is currently bothering me.”  Amy from takes long walks. “One particularly upsetting day I walked over five miles.” Wow!

Play it out.  Amy also plays the piano. Angry, fast and loud as she says. “Think Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique.”

Get out. Sherry from takes in a movie when she needs a break. “I like going to a movie theater. Two or three hours with no outside distraction focusing on the movie only makes me forget everything and escape.”

Shop, or at the very least, browse. My husband and I have a running joke because every time I need to chill out I head to HomeGoods.  There is just something about browsing at that store which I find relaxing. Hey, they don’t call it “shopping therapy” for nothing!

Be creative. Creativity is one of the most productive stress releases we can have.  Melissa at is a fabulous fiction writer so, “I write or have a glass of wine.  And sometimes both!”

Make your own spa moments. You don’t have to head to the spa or spend a ton on a massage to get that chilled out feeling. Kristie from takes a long hot bath when she needs to relax while Trina at lights candles and puts on some relaxing music after her kids go to bed so she can wind down from her busy day.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Just cuddle. Trina also says that when alone time is not in the cards, “I grab my boys and we sit and snug on the sofa to watch a family favorite movie.”

Now go and decompress for a little while.  Practice those deep breathing exercises or a little sun salutation.  You will NOT regret it.


  1. lots of great ideas to decompress!! thanks for listing mine! xo

  2. I know it sounds weird, but Diet Coke is one way I decompress, I tell everyone it’s like my beer *LOL* And it’s not even about the caffeine just the carbonation and flavor I guess. I could have a better way to decompress but it’s pretty cheap and quick :)

  3. Love these tips. I’ve never been one for retail therapy unless it’s for my kids. I could shop for hours just for my kids but not for myself for some reason. Thanks for including my tip Jessica.

  4. LOVE this list! A good shower, and a workout from cleaning my house really helps to clear my head. Then I relax with a good book.

  5. Fabulous tips! I’m in the just lay down group. It just helps me zone out and then gives me time to regroup.

  6. Shopping and eating both work for me, but… are equally problematic. I think exercising would be great because it would solve several needs at once.

    Praying and reading the Bible are good for me, but I don’t always think to do them. Writing also helps me to process, so that’s a good tool to use as well.

    • That’s such a great point that what can de-stress us may also not be so good for us and ultimately we want to find something that can help us and not be potentially harmful. I am more of a browser than a shopper and I can control the spending so I’m fairly comfortable with continuing that. There is something cathartic about the thrill of the hunt!

  7. All great ideas! I need to do this! It has been a week since I worked out last, I need to get back on that. I tend to feel better after a good workout! :)

  8. Lots of good ideas! I need to try some of these. My mom has been trying to get me to try meditation, but it’s just not a priority to read the books she gave me on meditation. I love taking a walk or taking my camera outside to a scenic spot and just looking for good shots.

  9. Some great ideas listed here! When I need to decompress, I head out to the bookstore, grab a bunch of cooking and decorating magazines, a cup of coffee or chai, and just sit and relax.

  10. These are all such great ideas. I have to say that a 3 mile run, a hot bath, and shutting off my computer are all tops on my list of ways to decompress. At some point in my life maybe I’ll be able to do ALL THREE in a single day, but for right now I’ll settle for one of those things, once a day. Thanks for this, perfect timing!

  11. Love all of these ideas for a time out from life :)

  12. Great post! Checking in from the Thoughtful Thursday Blog Hop. I love the “Work It Out” part, getting a runners high is the best feeling! My name is Kim, I specialize in Online Personal Training For Moms and blog to help moms everywhere reach their fitness and weightloss goals. I hope you get a chance to check it out:

    Have a great day!

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