10) Reading a book. There are 3 options –
- Traditional book – This has the advantage of feel of turning pages and scent of paper which is deeply relaxing.
- E-Book reader – I prefer a simple one like the basic Kindle, which mimics natural light and doesn’t have too much backlight. Ebooks are easier to carry around and can hold 100s of books all at once.
- Audio-Book – Audio-Books are great for reading during driving or commuting on the train.
9) Listening to ambient, binaural or 3D barber sounds on your phone. Invest in good quality headphones or earphones for this.
8) Make quieter chores enjoyable. When pressing (ironing) clothes, put on some music and scented candles or listen to a book or podcast.
7) Listening to podcasts. Find out your interests and listen to podcasts in your room, while driving or on the train etc.
6) Cooking. Not everyday cooking, but keep a day a month or a week, when you try out a new recipe. Read it online, buy ingredients, and cook it without any distractions. No phones, no company, no taking breaks. One full stretch. I’ve been told baking, especially kneading dough is a great stress-buster.
5) Working out. I prefer to go to the gym when it is the quietest with least people around. I also prefer listening to audio books or podcasts. For introverts or socially anxious people, a gym is far more friendly than group sports, where there is an added pressure of team performance.
4) Doodling and coloring books. You don’t have to be an expert. There are several doodling and adult coloring books available. Adult coloring books consist of intricate patterns which are to be filled slowly and meditatively (sorry, here adult means actually for adults not a euphemism).
3) Solo hiking. Hiking in nature is natural for those fond of nature and woods.
I, personally love strolling around neighborhoods and back alleys of dense cities on lazy afternoons, having no destination in mind and simply going where my feet take me. I’ve discovered several parks, cafes, restaurants and bookstores this way.
2) Spending time in a cafe with wifi. If weather permits, take the outdoor seat. This is an amazing place where you can feel the fresh air, watch people go by and take in your surroundings but without any pressure of activity or unnecessary small-talk. You are by yourself.
It’s a great place to get work done too. Starbucks may not be the pinnacle of Italian coffee culture, but they have got one thing right – sometimes you need a third place – not your work, and not your home, but a space for you alone
1) Meditation – I can suggest 3 types –
- Pranic Meditation – Control your breathing – say 5 counts of in-breath, 3 counts of holding, 7 counts of out-breath, and 2 counts of no-breath.
- ZaZen Meditation – Sit in an upright posture. Each time your mind wanders, hit the floor and say “Katz”. When a small space of clarity is created, focus on that and continue sitting until you catch your mind wandering again.
- Maitri (Metta) Meditation – In this one, you generate love and compassion towards all beings. Start with a being who is likable – such a friendly co-worker who smiles at you, your dog or your favorite potted plant. Then move on to a neutral being, such as your fellow-commuter or a celebrity you are indifferent about. Last, move on to a difficult or unlikable being. Modern meditation teachers have added a fourth step – love and compassion towards self too.