5 Relaxing Things to Do at Home

Caitlin Houston
4 min readOct 5, 2023

I am always looking for relaxing things to do at home when I have a little free time. Today I’m sharing 5 Things To Try While You Relax at Home and sharing why they may be better choices for my mental health than my usual go-to activities.

things to do to relax at home with wine ipad popcorn candy tv remote book

5 Things To Try While You Relax at Home

On the rare occasion I have a few minutes alone to myself, I often turn to the same activities: tv, wine, and sweets. Over the last few months I’ve found myself less relaxed after binge-watching a series while snacking on candy and sipping wine. There is actually a science behind my inability to chill; certain activities have negative affects on our mental health. Here are 5 things to try while you relax at home.

one. Read a book to relax instead of watching television.

woman holding remote watching tv
woman reading book on couch with cat sniffing her

Did you know watching t.v. can increase blood pressure and create stress? While television seems like a relaxing mindless activity, it is actually quite the opposite. Instead of reaching for the remote, grab a book. Reading can reduce stress, promote comprehension, inspire imagination, possibly alleviate depression, and even help you sleep!

two. reach for a healthy snack versus sweet treat

woman eating popcorn while painting nails to relax
woman eating candy while painting nails to relax

If I am going to eat while I relax, I know I am going to eat a whole bowl of whatever is in front of me. Instead of zoning out on a bag of gummy fish, I choose a healthy snack instead of candy or junk food. Just like I tell my daughters — snacks are for fuel while treats are for fun.

Note: I save the treats for a moment when I can eat it mindfully and enjoy every last bite — not for a side dish while I read a book, paint my nails, etc.

three. try an energizing mock-tail instead of cocktail.

woman with pink mocktail
woman pouring a glass of wine

One of my favorite ways to relax is with a nice glass of wine. Drinking wine can reduce stress because it has such a naturally calming effect on the body. However, if I have free time during the middle of the day and drink a glass of wine — I may fall asleep! Instead of alcohol, try making a fancy hydration drink with a fruit garnish. Try favorite hydration powder or my go-to energy drink.

Read More: 6 more ways to prioritize your mental health

four. make your screen time interactive instead of scrolling.

woman coloring on ipad screen
woman scrolling on iphone

Coloring has the ability to relax your brain — while scrolling or texting stimulates your brain. Mindless activities, like coloring, are more relaxing than watching Instagram reels. Studies say Instagram releases dopamine, making us feel HAPPY — but this article reveals how habitual social media scrolling does more harm to our brains than we may think. If you want to be on your phone or ipad, try a free adult coloring app or an app to increase brain health.

five. make your screen time count by Prioritizing your Mental Health.

If you want to relax with a screen, Prioritize Your Mental Health with your activities. Did you know screens can increase stress on your central nervous system and overall mental well being? I try to be mindful of my mental health if I open my computer during my free time. In my free time to relax I write on my blog instead of shopping online. I also try to exercise with a yoga flow or new dance class. There are so many wonderful activities to do at your laptop that will improve your mental health!

At the end of the day, there is no wrong way to relax at home. We all enjoy down time doing different things! Check out these 10 strategies to counteract the effects on the mind from screen time if you need a break from your electronics.

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Caitlin Houston

Caitlin Houston is a Mom of three and creator of Connecticut based life + style site Caitlin Houston Blog.