Relaxation: some traditional at-home and household methods of relaxation

by James K. Sayre

After reading some of the material on the alternative media web sites, you may be in need of a little relaxation. Here are some traditional at-home and household activities which may be relaxing:

Hand-sewing a traditional Baker's Cap. Baker's cap


books from children's stories to history may be relaxing: see link to literature: Literature

Bird songs:

Listen to recorded bird calls and bird songs: if you can't listen to your local birds outdoors, try listening to cassettes and CDs of collected bird calls from other parts of the world. Try to get the recordings that don't include distracting narrations.


Entertaining local day cats: if you have fenced in backyard, you may be able to entertain some of the local neighborhood cats in the daytime, hence the name, day cats. Daycats Another return to the pleasures of childhood.


check out this web site: Hundreds of great Shop Cats across America: :

Blowing bubbles and bubblestuff, or more properly, bubble stuff. Blowing bubbles: Bubblestuff Another return to the pleasures of childhood.

Hand-washing clothes:

Harken back to the chores of yore and the traditional routines of your mother, your grandmother and your great-grandmother, by doing such things as hand-washing a few articles of clothing and then hanging them up on an outdoors clothesline to dry in the sunshine and the breeze.

Hand-sewing/mending clothes:

Do a little hand-sewing and mending of your clothes, such as old worn shirts and blue jeans.


If you're feeling a bit more ambitious (note: this may be running counter to the notion of relaxation...), try doing a little embroidery for a change. With a few simple stitches, one can create some interesting designs. In the past, I have enjoyed using the slip stitch: it yields a patterns of small tacked-down loops which can be arranged to produce images of flowers or other objects. Almost any piece of clothing may be (discreetly) decorated.

Insect watching:

The backyard garden can provide closeup views of everyday activities of insects. Watch them as they crawl, fly, feed and strut their stuff in their own miniature world.

Bird watching:

A bird feeder or two or three and a bird bath can provide minutes to hours of interesting observation. Watch as our feathered friends feed, fuss, feud and raise their young. Just like us.


Take a walk on the wild side, or for that matter, take a walk on the tame side. Walking is excellent exercise: it's free, easy to do and can be done safely in most areas.


There are many traditional and modern methods of relaxation such as yoga and meditation that are well described in library books and on web sites.

Day-dreaming and wool-gathering 101:

An unofficial, but widely used traditional method of relaxation, is simple day-dreaming or wool-gathering.

Go a bicycle ride, or, to say it in a more traditional manner, go ride a bicycle:

A bicycle provides the most efficient method of transportation ever devised by the hand of man, in terms of calories expended per mile traveled. Of course, this "scientific" calculation left out the energy spent in the building of the bicycle in the first place. Still, bicycle riding can be relaxing if you can ride where you don't have to worry about dealing with automobile traffic.

Some herbs for relaxation:

Some herbs may be useful for relaxation. Check on my home page under Ancient Herbs links and click on the Sample Ailments entries link: Sample ailment entries plus possible herbal remedies. Check out the herbs listed under anxiety: Anxiety , depression (mild): Depression, mild and insomnia: Insomnia .

The School Pencil Box:

Fill a traditional back-to-school pencil box. Who says that you actually have to be going back to school and starting classes? Actually, it is much more fun to fill a pencil box when you don't have to dread the coming academic term. Just find a low flat box and fill it with crayons, colored pencils, pens, erasers, scissors, pencil sharpeners, rulers and a protractor and the traditional yellow lead pencils. No digital or electronic devices, please!

Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes:

Reread those great old Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. They contain some folk wisdom, as well as heavy doses of humor and absurdity. Perfect for creating some context in which to view our modern lunatic world. Or try reading the more modern stories of Dr. Seuss.

Sketching and painting:

Sketching, painting and even just plain coloring can be interesting and relaxing. It may take a beginner some period of practice until one becomes reasonably proficient at being artistic, but most of us have heretofore hidden artistic talents. One certainly doesn't have to become a professional artist or exhibit publicly, but many other people will be impressed by your efforts (mostly because they themselves don't have the courage or interest to even start). Again, there are excellent books on sketching and painting in most every public library. Pencil sketching and watercolor painting in particular involve very little initial expenses: pencils, sketch pads, brushes and watercolor paints can all be obtained cheaply and easily.

Music boxes:

Wind up your collection of old music boxes and listen to those traditional tunes as they gently wind down.


Just turn off the computer, the television and let your various electronic communication devices receive messages silently.

Rome wasn't built in a day:

They say that "Rome wasn't built in a day." True. And the vicious vile callous Bush/ Cheney/Rumsfeld corporate imperial 21st century Empire mongers that are currently occupying Washington, D. C. won't be dismantled in a day, either. So give yourself a day off now and then from the relentless roar of the corporate media's propaganda machine. You deserve it and you've earned it.

Write your own essay on relaxation:

I found this small writing exercise to be very relaxing. If you don't care for my suggestions, then just write up some of your own.




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Web page last updated on 19 August 2007