Five Relaxing Time-Efficient Activities You Can Do

September 15, 2021 – Alexander Rodriguez

As entrepreneurs, we tend to focus a lot on our work, and rightly so. Our job is our passion and sometimes we can get so involved in what we do that we forget to take care of ourselves. However, as we pursue our passion, it is very important that we also dedicate some time to other things that help us grow, recharge our batteries, and destress. According to a study published in the International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management “Increased stress leads to reduced productivity and increased satisfaction leads to increased productivity. When work begins to overlap with workers’ personal life this implies a negative effect on productivity. Quality work is more related to conscientiousness and personal satisfaction than workload. Energetic and active individuals affect productivity positively.” (Halkos & Bousinakis, 2010).
To help you out on this distressing journey here are a few of the things I do when I need some R&R(Rest and Recuperation). Some of these things are great investments for your mental health and are less than an hour of your day!

Reading Breaks

A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. You should schedule your reading for after you finish your work so that you can properly enjoy and let yourself be engrossed by the content you choose to read. Everyone is different, so choose the best time that works for you. Try keeping it simple at first and schedule 30 minutes of reading after you wake up or before you go to sleep. As for reading suggestions, the sky’s the limit! It doesn’t have to be about business or self-help, it just has to be something you enjoy. However, I will leave you with a couple of personal favorites:

Dune by Frank Herbert

I am currently reading Dune by Frank Herbert.  Dune is filled with lore and great character development, as well as great world-building. From the moment you start reading, you will feel compelled to find out more about the lore of this world. Furthermore, the book deals with themes of free will, environmentalism and the human control on ecology, and fate. It is regarded as one of the best works of science fiction.

Greek Mythology the Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook by Liv Albert

For any mythology fans Greek Mythology the Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook by Liv Albert is a great read. This book introduces us to the Ancient Greek myths in a very fun and modern way. In Liv’s own words “you will discover the backstories of the heroes, villains, gods, and goddesses that enjoy popularity in today’s shows and films. With comprehensive entries that outline each character’s name, roles, related symbols, and foundational myths, you can get to know the roots of these “personas” and better understand the stories they inspire today. With this character-focused, handy reference, you will never be confused about Ancient Greece!”.

Lord of The Rings

And finally, the classic trilogy of the Lord of The Rings is another favorite. Tolkien’s world-building and mastery of description is next to none. His skill in describing every single detail and putting feelings and thoughts into words in such a beautiful way is incredible and seeing how he created such an immense world with its original languages and cultures will leave you in awe. If you have not gotten your hands on this book, this is your sign to get to it!
Pro Tip: You can also find these books (and many more) in Audible (Amazon’s provider of narrated books)! You can listen to books as you work, too.  

Listening to Podcasts

Podcasts are becoming more popular and there are great ways to learn on the go or while relaxing. If you are interested in entrepreneurial podcasts, check out our blog post on this very subject. However, listening to podcasts is a chance for you to recharge and grow outside of your business and entrepreneurial ventures. Podcasts add value to your life, while you learn new things and gain new perspectives. So what are some fun alternatives of not-business-related podcasts that you can listen to?

“Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!”

My favorite podcast is “Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!” A Greek & Roman Mythology podcast by Liv Albert. Liv is my favorite podcaster and once you listen to her podcast you’ll see why. In her own words, this podcast is a Greek and Roman mythology podcast. However, I assure you it is not your average mythology podcast. This one is told by a Millennial in her thirties with a penchant for cursing and a feminist attitude. The stories are deeply researched, thoroughly told, and they do not hold back on the details that have been sugar-coated and treated with kid gloves over the millennia. Myths of the ancient world are examined through a modern intersectional lens, focusing where possible on amplifying the voices of women, trans, and non-binary people. You can listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google PodcastsTuneIn, or Spotify.

“Play, Watch, Listen”

My second favorite podcast is “Play, Watch, Listen” hosted by Alanah Pearce, a video game writer, and journalist. She is joined by her friends, Mike Bithell, owner of Bithell Games, Troy Baker, voice actor, and Austin Winthory, a video game composer. This podcast explores current events in the gaming industry and puts them in perspective with the people that actually work on games. Anybody interested in seeing how the gaming industry works should check this podcast.  You can tune into the fun through Spotify!

“The History of Egypt”

If you are a fan of Egyptian history and mythology (as I am)  “The History of Egypt” Podcast by Dominic Perry takes us to every period and the dynasties of ancient Egypt. This podcast gives a very detailed telling of how one of the greatest civilizations came to be. Furthermore, Dominic explores the different myths and religious beliefs that the people of ancient Egypt had. In Dominic’s own words “Discover ancient Egypt, in their own words. This podcast uses ancient texts and archaeology to uncover the lost world of the Nile Valley. A tale of pharaohs, pyramids, gods, and people. The show is written by a trained Egyptologist and uses detailed, up-to-date research. We dive deep into the ancient society, to uncover their fascinating tales.” You can listen to this podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.

Watch TV

Now even if watching TV is a common way to relax, it is fun! You can go from learning a lot to recreating and not think about anything else. Most TV shows only last about 45 minutes, so it is a great way to retreat, regroup, and then get back to work. Now in terms of what to watch, instead of telling you what are my favorite shows to watch when I try to relax, here are PG’s top picks!

Recreational TV

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Recommended by Ariadna Quiles, Alejandra Lam, and Loriel Chung. You can enjoy this classic through HBO Max.

The Office

Recommended by Jaime Sepulveda, Loriel Chung, and Alexander Rodriguez. You can stream this all-time favorite through Peacock.

How I Met Your Mother

Recommended by Alejandra Lam, and Jaime Sepulveda. You can watch all nine seasons on Hulu.

Honorary Mentions

A lot of PG’s advocates enjoy crime TV (How to Get Away with Murder, Lucifer, etc), and Youtube (interviews, tutorials, or generally funny videos).

Brain-Feeders TV

Food Network

Loriel Chung enjoys the Food Network.

Discovery, History and Animal Planet

Yalanis enjoys watching all programs regarding nature like Discovery, History, Animal Planet, and more!

Woodworking Projects

Jesus Rodriguez likes to watch woodworking projects.

Experimenting Documentaries

Ariadna Quiles enjoys to watch experimenting documentaries like Love is Blind & 100 Humans.

Excercise

According to the Mental Health Foundation, physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our well-being. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy, and positive mood. Participation in regular physical activity can also increase our self-esteem and reduce stress. Lastly, it plays a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems. So many benefits! Here are a few alternatives you can try: 

Calisthenics

Calisthenics is essentially any exercise that you can do with your body weight. It is an easy way to work out without a gym. Things like doing pushups, squats, or pull-ups are considered calisthenics.

Going to the Gym

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommend children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 incorporate strength training into their daily 60 minutes of physical activity three days per week. Adults should aim to do moderate or intense muscle-strengthening workouts that target all muscle groups two days per week. Now you should always consult with a certified trainer if you’ve never gone to the gym but a basic workout of compound movements (movements that consist of multiple joints and muscle groups at the same time) will work for any beginner, those are bench press, shoulder press, squats, deadlift, rows, pullups, etc. The benefit of going to the gym is that you usually have everything you need in one place so you can do your strength training, cardio, and stretching all in one place.

Yoga

Yoga has shown that people who practice yoga regularly have low cortisol levels furthermore, a study done in 2010 found that a 12-week yoga intervention was associated with greater improvements in mood and anxiety than a metabolically matched walking exercise.

Playing Video Games

Playing video games is not for everyone, but it is a popular way to let off some steam and relax. According to (Granic et al., 2014), several studies have shown a causal relation between playing preferred video games and improved mood or increased positive emotion  (e.g., Russoniello,  O’Brien,  &  Parks,2009; Ryan,  Rigby,  &  Przybylski,  2006). So what are some great games to recharge your energies?

Assassin's Creed

Assassin’s Creed is my favorite gaming franchise and Origins is my personal favorite game. It follows Bayek of Siwa on his journey of revenge and the creation of the Hidden Ones (the Assassin Brotherhood). The game world is beautiful, the story and gameplay are amazing and finally, this game introduced one of my favorite features, the discovery tour. This feature lets you explore ancient Egypt without any threats and has different information on that period, so you can explore and learn at the same time. You can play this game on Playstation, Xbox, and PC.

Animal Crossing: New Horizon

Animal Crossing: New Horizon is a relaxing experience; living your best island life is so worthwhile! This game consists of you creating an island paradise for you and your neighbors by crafting different things and collecting insects, fossils, and fish. The gameplay loop is very simple and I believe that’s what makes this game so relaxing. For example, if you do not log in to the game in some time, the grass starts to grow and your neighbors ask you where you’ve been. You can play this game exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales, this game is art. Seeing the flag of Puerto Rico in the game brought tears to my eyes knowing that my island was being represented in my favorite art form. This one is great to swing around a beautifully made New York, having the Hip-hop/Lo-Fi music this game has also made it a very relaxing experience. You can play this game exclusively on Playstation.
Pro-tip: Use the background music of this game on youtube and use it to help you concentrate on your work.
For you to succeed in your business and entrepreneurial ventures, you must first take care of yourself. Finding minimally time-consuming activities to relax will help boost your productivity in the long run and will ultimately make you feel better.  If you are interested in more wellness blog posts please check out Taking Care Of The Mental And Emotional Health In The Workplace.

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