Productive Relaxation: 3 Great Ways to Capitalize on Couch Time
It is essential to relax. We all need some quality couch time to veg out and let our brain wind down. Without taking a few moments here and there to truly shut off, the effects of stress and anxiety only get worse. Left unchecked, being in “on mode” all the time can lead to problems that negatively manifest both psychologically and physically.
Hopefully you have gotten the message: Chill out once in awhile.
That said, there can be too much of a good thing. Procrastinating a little on social media or bingeing the latest Netflix show is great! But if you find yourself lounging around all the time, you are likely neglecting opportunities to have a more fulfilling and organized life. The key is to find a good balance and the following three habits and strategies will help you enjoy your couch time and capitalize on it too.
Read a Book
With so many screens in front of us all the time, people now often forget that some of the best — and most relaxing — entertainment exists on paper. Really, it doesn’t matter if you use an e-reader, tablet, or even your phone. But the act of reading a good book is inherently different from watching movies or even perusing a magazine article.
Reading is like entering another world. It just does something for the brain. And while enjoying “Game of Thrones” or even some classic literature is great to unwind, you can also use this opportunity to learn something practical. It is said that CEOs read more books in a month than most people do all year. So whether it has to do with self-progress, self-help, business, or just something you love — like cooking or travel — mix in some non-fiction. That way, you can exercise those brain muscles even as you chill.
Earn Extra Income
Many people are now capitalizing on the “gig economy” to make money in their spare time. Really, these days, if you have even an inkling of the entrepreneurial bug, you have no excuses for failing to act. This isn’t 1985 when you had to formally incorporate a company, rent an office space, and hire a staff. Today, your “startup” can just be doing service work — writing, photography, graphic design — from home on the weekend through platforms like Upwork and Fivrr.
And these work-from-couch opportunities stretch far beyond creative services. Direct sales, through globally recognized companies like Amway, are another great option. Some may be hesitant to act on their impulse to get into sales because they have heard myths about an “Amway pyramid scheme.” But nothing could be further from the truth. It is no scam at all — just another great, time-tested method that countless people have been using to boost their income, or even launch a new career, for decades. There is no good reason you can’t follow in their footsteps. Opportunity comes in all shapes and sizes!
Manage Your Budget
There a lot of menial tasks we all have to do. If you let them all add up, it can be a pain in the neck. So it is a great idea to try to take care of any small ones whenever you can. Managing your budget is one of the most important, and staying on top of it can actually help you relax because you will have a better understanding of where you actually stand.
Sure, burying your head in the sand may seem like a better way to unwind. Just forget about it, right? Well, not really. That will probably just lead to more anxiety down the road, so it’s best to resolve small issues before they become big problems. It’s also easy to do if you just remember to track expenses like grocery purchases, dry cleaning, smaller bills, and other day-to-day items that may slip through the cracks. Some apps, like Mint, can help do this automatically, while some people prefer to use a spreadsheet. Either way, if you just tally things up here and there while watching TV, the whole task will become much less overwhelming.
Striking the Right Balance
Balance is one of the most important things in life. We already hear so much about work/life balance — and it’s great that this is finally getting recognition. But there are other areas where we need to find the right ratios, and few can have a bigger impact on our day-to-day mood, relationships, and general feeling of fulfillment than relaxation vs. productivity.
You don’t want to cut out all of your pure downtime. But you can find ways to be more efficient even while you lounge around. Start by reading a bit more rather than wasting so much time staring at moving images. Consider getting a lucrative side hustle off the ground. And get in the habit of better monitoring all that extra money to get the most out of all your income.