Restorative Activities: 11 Benefits That Can’t Let You Ignore These Activities

Have you ever felt like you needed to hit a reset button? That’s restorative activities in a nutshell! Restorative activities can help you get back on track and provide a space to relax and rejuvenate. These activities aren’t expensive or necessarily difficult; they just need to be tailored to your personality, interests, and lifestyle.

Whether it means taking a yoga class, writing in your journal, going for a walk, or playing video games with friends — restorative activities will help give your mind and body the break they deserve. Keep reading as we delve further into restorative activities and how they can help make life better than ever before!

Why We Need Restorative Activities 

Feeling burnt out is an all-too-familiar feeling. Whether it’s due to too much stress at work, having a busy family life, or whatever else life throws our way – it can really make us feel worn out and exhausted. Life can become overwhelming and sometimes the only way to turn it all around is to rest, relax, and find restorative activities that help renew our spirits.

Whether it be taking a break from work, going on a short trip, or just giving yourself a little bit of solo downtime – restorative activities can help us cope with stress and prevent us from becoming burnt out on life.

When choosing restorative activities such as yoga or meditation, it is important to consider how often we take part in them; too much rest can mean not enough productivity.

But too little rest can mean overworking yourself and feeling overwhelmed by everyday tasks. Finding the right balance for restorative activities helps maintain a healthier lifestyle both mentally and physically.

17 Signs You Need Restorative Activities 

Everyone needs a break every once in a while but how do you know if restorative activities are right for you? If you’ve been feeling tired, rundown, unmotivated, or overwhelmed with all that life has handed to you lately, it might be time to consider restorative activities.

Check out this list of 17 signs that suggest restorative activities should take priority so that you can get back on track!

  1. Fatigue and exhaustion: Feeling tired more often than usual and not having the energy to do regular tasks are a sign that restorative activities should be done.
  2. Difficulty concentrating: When someone can’t focus on their task for more than a few moments, it’s time to take a break and do something restorative.
  3. Sleep disturbances: Having difficulty falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night can also be an indication that restorative activities need to take place.
  4. Irritability: Being easily annoyed or aggravated is another indicator that one should take part in something calming and relaxing. 
  5. Muscle tension: Experiencing tightness in areas such as the shoulders or neck could indicate pent-up stress asking to be released through restorative activities. 
  6. Overwhelmed feelings: Feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks and duties is an indication that taking some time out to relax could help reset one’s emotional equilibrium. 
  7. Low motivation levels: A lack of enthusiasm towards everyday tasks could mean that one needs to take a break from them for a while in order to restore their energy levels. 
  8. Poor performance at work/school/home: If someone notices that they are performing less efficiently than normal, this could indicate a need for some restorative activities. 
  9. Inability to handle stressors effectively: Struggling with dealing with difficult situations can lead to further exhaustion, so taking part in restorative activities may help mitigate this effect. 
  10. Lack of enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities: Not feeling pleasure when engaging in hobbies or other pastimes can be an indicator that it is time to give oneself respite from certain responsibilities and obligations. 
  11. Avoidance of social contact/situations: If someone feels like avoiding human interaction then it could be time for some introspective and calming practices such as yoga or meditation. 
  12. Physiological symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, etc.: Physical ailments can often correlate with mental fatigue, so taking breaks through restorative activities may help lessen the symptoms associated with these conditions.
  13. Social withdrawal from friends and family: Due to feeling overwhelmed by the demands of life, those who are struggling with the need for restorative activities may isolate themselves from loved ones in order to try and cope with their feelings on their own. 
  14. Becoming easily irritated by small things: Feelings such as frustration can become amplified when someone requires more restorative activities because it means anything outside daily routine could trigger feelings that would usually remain dormant under normal circumstances.
  15. Running away from problems instead of tackling them head-on: Instead of facing issues head-on those who require more restorative activities may find themselves avoiding problems entirely, either because they lack the energy needed or fear failure too much if they attempt it anyway.  
  16. Feeling overwhelmed by small tasks: Even tasks that would usually be considered simple can seem overwhelming and unachievable when someone is missing out on important restorative activities.
  17. Increasingly negative emotions: Those in need of restorative activities commonly experience an increase in negative emotions; such as anger, sadness, frustration, etc., which can negatively affect their ability to make decisions and take action. 

Recharge yourself when you experience negative emotions

What Are Examples Of Restorative Activities?

De-stressing and recharging are incredibly important for both your physical and mental well-being. There are many restorative activities that you can practice to help achieve this.

From yoga and meditating to simply going for a walk or taking some time out in nature, restorative activities can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be.

You could also read a book, write in a journal, paint or draw, lay back, and listen to calming music…the list goes on. It might take you some time to find what restorative activities work best for you, but once you do, the long-term benefits will be rewarding!

11 Undeniable Benefits Of Restorative Activities 

Restorative activities can help to reduce stress levels and boost overall well-being. They provide an opportunity for individuals to focus on their physical, mental, and emotional health and find balance within their lives.

Individuals can benefit from restorative activities in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: 

  1. Improved mood: Restorative activities help to reduce stress levels and increase feelings of happiness and contentment. Through restorative activities, individuals can gain a greater sense of control over their emotions and feelings by learning how to better manage their thoughts and responses. Additionally, they may be able to develop healthier coping skills that can be used when life becomes difficult or overwhelming. 
  2. Increased energy levels: Through restorative activities, individuals can learn how to direct their energy more effectively. This means that they will find it easier to remain focused throughout the day, become more productive with the tasks at hand, and have more resources for problem-solving. 
  3. Improved sleep quality: Sleep is essential for good physical as well as mental health. Restorative activities provide individuals with techniques such as deep-breathing exercises that may help them relax before sleeping as well as improve the quality of their sleep by decreasing the time taken to fall asleep and wake up during the night. 
  4. Increased self-awareness: By engaging in restorative activities such as mindfulness practices or journaling, individuals can become more aware of themselves – both mentally and emotionally – which can lead to greater self-acceptance as well as improved relationships with others. 
  5. Increased resilience: Restorative activities teach individuals how to cope better with difficult situations or stressful periods in life without having to resort to unhealthy habits or behaviors such as substance abuse or self-harm.
  6. Improved concentration/focus: By engaging in restorative activities such as meditation or yoga, individuals can sharpen their mental focus which may then be applied in academic settings or work environments. This increased attention span allows them to tackle complex tasks much more effectively than before while also improving overall productivity at the same time.  
  7. Reduced fatigue: These activities allow individuals to take a break from everyday life so that they can recharge instead of feeling burnt out all the time due to persistent exhaustion levels caused by a lack of proper rest or relaxation techniques used either at home or at work settings. Doing these practices regularly helps people stay energized throughout the day so that they have enough stamina for any project or task ahead of them. 
  8. Enhanced creativity/problem-solving skills: Going through several calming exercises gives people an opportunity to reflect on things from different perspectives, think outside the box, come up with unique solutions for different issues, brainstorm ideas, etc. So this naturally increases one’s creativity level along with boosting problem-solving abilities.
  9. Improved relationships: When we are in tune with our own thoughts and feelings, we tend to become empathetic towards other people around us & this helps build stronger connections while making it easier for us to understand what they might be going through in a particular situation.  
  10. Strengthened immune system: Studies show that deep breathing and similar mindful practice not only help people manage stress-related issues but also strengthens their immune system because these sessions involve specific postures and movements which help remove toxins from the body and boost blood circulation thus making a person less vulnerable against various illnesses.  
  11. Improved cardiovascular health: Regularly practicing certain healing modalities like yoga, tai chi, etc provides great benefits when it comes to improving cardiovascular health. Since these forms of exercise incorporate slow stretches and breathing patterns. All of this helps stabilize heart rate and strengthen respiratory muscles along with reducing risk factors associated with hypertension and other heart diseases.

25 Simple Restorative Activities That Can Recharge You

Restorative activities are simple practices that can help create stillness, clarity, restful sleep, and greater overall health. These 25 restorative activities can be used to bring rest back into your life. So let’s get started with some restful healing!

1. Go on A Hike

Hiking is one of the restorative activities that we can do to recenter ourselves and refocus our intentions. It allows us to explore geographical landmarks, witness nature’s glory, and even ease our minds of all its worries.

Hiking can be magical experience

Whether you’re going for a solo walk in nature or taking a hike with friends, the journey leaves you feeling empowered with an affirming sense of accomplishment.

Remember to get out there, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy all the wonderful things hiking has to offer!

2. Taking A Yoga Class

Yoga is a restorative activity that can help us feel more relaxed, restore balance and bring mindfulness into our lives. It’s an amazing form of exercise as it not only helps to improve our physical health by increasing strength and flexibility but can also promote mental well-being through its calming effects.

Practicing yoga regularly is great for improving your overall health – both physically and mentally – while providing some much-needed rest after a long day. And the best part? You don’t need any crazy equipment or experience to get started! All you need is comfortable clothing and a yoga mat, so why not give it a try today?

3. Meditation

Meditation has proven to be one of the most restorative activities we can do for ourselves, both mentally and physically. It encourages us to take a break from our busier lives and just breathe.

Dedicating even 5-20 minutes a day to practicing mindfulness can help to reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote relaxation.

Think about how many of us feel tired at the end of the day because we’re either exhausted from trying to keep up with our busy schedules or overwhelmed by all of the information that’s been thrown our way throughout the day. Being still through meditation allows us to rest our minds, bodies, and spirits so that we can handle whatever life throws at us with greater ease.

4. Making A Homemade Soup

Nothing quite speaks to restorative activities more than homemade soup. There’s something special about taking the time and effort to make your own meal from scratch, be it on a lazy Sunday afternoon or an evening with friends.

Taking fresh ingredients – carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, etc – and transforming them into a nourishing meal can be really satisfying.

And that goes for all levels of cooks out there; whether you’re an amateur or pro chef, making your own soup is super easy and fun. Plus, you get to decide the flavor combinations, so go crazy with those spices! Soups offer the perfect way to get creative in the kitchen whilst creating something truly restorative.

5. Read A Book

Reading a book can be one of the most restorative activities around. Not only is it educational, but it also serves as a mental break from everyday life. Curling up with your favorite book allows you to rest and relax for an hour or two, allowing you to come back to reality feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

Reading has a way of transporting you elsewhere and inspiring new ideas, so why not pick up a good book in your free time? Make reading one of your restorative activities—your mind will thank you for it!

6. Watch A Movie

Watching a movie can offer a few hours of rest and relaxation. It can be especially helpful for those days when you are feeling overwhelmed – just snuggle up on the couch and stream your favorite movie.

The latest releases often come loaded with drama, entertainment, and suspense and give you the chance to escape from reality for some uninterrupted “me” time.

Watching a movie doesn’t have to be expensive either; there are plenty of free streaming services that offer quality movies at no cost. So whether you’re looking for something lighthearted or an action-packed blockbuster, there’s likely something for every moviegoer hidden within their databases!

7. Listen To Music

There’s nothing like putting on soulful tunes to get you grounded and relaxed. Listening to soulful music is one of the most restorative activities you can do after a long and tiring day.

Whether it be smooth rhythm & blues, jazz, or gospel, soul music has the ability to elevate your mood and boost your energy levels.

It stirs up emotions, brings out hidden desires, and transports you to an almost-mystical vibe where the mind can rest easy. So kick back, listen to some great music and let your spirit be soothed.

8. Playing With A Pet 

When it comes to restorative activities, playing with your pet just can’t be beaten. There’s nothing quite like seeing them run around and have a great time, happy to be with you.

Pet can help you unwind

From cats to dogs and everything in between, spending time with a pet can do wonders for lifting your mood and helping you rebalance your day. Whether taking them out for a walk or roughhousing in the living room, there’s always an opportunity to have fun with your furry friend.

Plus, they always show appreciation for the time you spend together!

9. Cook Dinner For Friends/Family

Cooking dinners for family and friends can help you recharge – it gives you time to focus on the present moment, enjoy the company of people around you, and have some fun in the kitchen creating tasty dishes.

There are so many ways to make cooking social; whether it’s inviting your friends or family over for dinner, signing up for a cooking class, or joining choirs to cook and share meals. Taking time out to do restorative activities like this can vastly improve your mental well-being.

Even something as simple as trying out new recipes or experimenting with ingredients is an exciting way to rest your brain while enjoying some quality time with those that matter most.

10. Clean The House

When it’s time to clear out the house, restorative activities can help make the project more restful and restorative. Instead of just taking everything out with no regard for what it is, set aside some time to appreciate each item.

Ask yourself why you might have held onto it–did it serve a functional purpose or was it more sentimental in nature? Were there memories associated with it?

Taking this kind of restorative attitude towards clearing out your house will not only make it go faster but also create a calming energy that will refresh your environment.

11. Stargazing

Stargazing is an incredible activity that you can enjoy time and time again. There’s something so calming and peaceful about looking up at the night sky, watching stars twinkle, and admiring constellations and shooting stars.

With a pair of binoculars or even a small telescope, you can get up close to the stars and observe their mysterious beauty in greater detail. And if you’re lucky enough to spot the milky way on a clear night, it’s an absolutely breathtaking sight that you won’t soon forget.

Get out there and let your curiosity lead the way!

12. Organizing Your Closet

People often think of cleaning out their closets as a dreaded chore, but it can actually be a restorative and restful activity. When you take the time to organize your closet and rid yourself of clothes that no longer fit or that don’t make you feel confident, it is an incredible feeling.

You have given yourself permission to let go of items that no longer suit you, making room for new possibilities.

Setting up your closet in a way that’s organized and easy to access further makes shopping easier, which will save you time and money in the long run. So next time your closet needs some TLC, go ahead and give yourself some me-time – plunging into that restorative activity might just leave you feeling happier and more productive afterward.

13. Bubble Bath

Nothing says restorative relaxation like a nice, hot bubble bath. There’s nothing quite like slipping into a hot tub full of fragrant, bubbly water to help soothe away the aches and tiredness of the day.

Opt for one that has essential oils and moisturizing ingredients, such as shea butter, to nourish your skin while you rest in complete bliss.

Make sure to take your time to really unwind and enjoy yourself – read a book or listen to soothing music; whatever helps you drift off into tranquility. Doing this can help you clear your mind and come out feeling recharged and rejuvenated for the rest of your day.

14. Exploring Spirituality 

Exploring spirituality may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be restorative and restful. Practicing yoga or writing poetry can be great ways to explore your spiritual side without feeling overwhelmed.

Taking a walk in nature or journaling are other restorative activities you can use to express your spiritual thoughts and feelings. Different cultures have varied religious practices that offer meaningful rituals and culture – you don’t have to be part of a particular religion to absorb these rituals into your own spiritual practice.

Make exploring spirituality an intimate time for yourself, where you can gain clarity and connect with yourself in a deep way.

15. Volunteer Work

Doing volunteer work can be one of the most rewarding restorative activities. Not only does it make you feel good because you’re helping to improve your community, but it also provides many other benefits as well.

Always look for ways to volunteer

You meet interesting people, gain invaluable experience and skills, and build strong relationships.

Plus, volunteering can help you grow professionally by boosting your resume and providing access to employment opportunities. And if nothing else, you can rest assured that the time you give has a lasting impact on those that benefit from your service.

With so many advantages — both tangible and intangible — what are you waiting for? Find a volunteer opportunity today and get ready to change lives!

16. Spending Time Outdoor 

Spending time outdoors can be restorative for the body, the mind, and the spirit. Taking a walk in Nature, playing with your children or pets outdoors, or just sitting in a park can make us feel more grounded and connected to ourselves and the world around us.

Connecting with nature can have lasting positive effects on people’s mental health, as it has been linked to improved feelings of well-being. Time spent outdoors also helps to reduce stress levels, encourages physical activity, lowers blood pressure, and improves overall mood usually faster than any indoor restorative activities can. 

17. Cup Of Tea 

A cup of tea is a restorative activity that can help us unwind after a busy day. From the classic English breakfast to chamomile, each variety has its own unique flavor profile and enchanting aroma.

Whether you prefer to pair your brew with steeped milk, honey, or even lemon, the customization options make tea drinking truly immersive.

Not to mention, there’s something highly satisfying about heating up the teapot and having it whistle cheerfully while your steeped beverage awaits you. Tea is also said to have restorative mental health benefits- a popular proverb goes, “there is nothing like a calming cup of tea to settle your troubles” – making it an ideal way to restore balance and harmony at the end of a long day.

18. Aromatherapy 

Aromatherapy is one of those restorative activities that we should all consider doing more often. After a long day at work, or when the stress levels have been through the roof, it can be just what you need to relax and unwind.

Essential oils play a huge part in aromatherapy and using them in your home environment can help to reduce anxiety, promote restful sleep, help with focus, and generally make your home smell great too – win-win! Research has shown that herbs used for aromatherapy in combination with other restorative activities like massage, yoga, and taking time out away from screens can be beneficial for mental health and well-being. So why not give it a go?

19. Visit The Beach 

You can’t beat the feeling of sand between your toes and the smell of salt in the air. Heading to the beach is restorative in so many ways.

Lay under the warmth of the sun with a good book, take a restorative swim, lounge on your beach towel and soak in the restorative sound of waves crashing into shore; there are so many restorative activities to be enjoyed at the beach! Whether you are alone or with family and friends, relaxing at the beach is just what we all need every now and then.

20. Fruit Picking 

If you have been bogged down with the unending deadlines from work or school, fruit picking can help to recharge you. Take in the fresh air, feel the sun on your skin, and reap the benefits of ‘Mother Nature’.

As you wander through a field of apple trees or pick strawberries from creekside patches, you can rest assured that nothing beats the flavor of freshly picked fruit.

Fruit picking can be one of the restorative activities you are looking for

It also happens to be one of the most affordable ways to enjoy delicious healthy goodies without breaking the bank. So gather some friends and make an outing out of it—it’s a great way to spend quality time together while feasting on yummy snacks as you rest and restore yourselves.

21. Embroidery 

Embroidery is definitely having a moment right now — and for good reason! Aside from being beautiful and artistic, it’s become one of the restorative activities. It makes sense; embroidery involves intricate tiny motions that can help quiet the mind while providing an evocative finished product.

Best of all, it doesn’t take much to get started: needle, thread, fabric, and a few simple patterns.

With just these few basic components, you can easily create your own unique designs or even replicate patterns from traditional cultures around the world. Embroidery is accessible for crafters of all ages and experiences, making it a valuable restorative practice for anyone in search of a creative outlet.

22. Manicure

Getting a manicure can be an incredibly restorative activity, especially during these tough times. Manicures give you an opportunity to take some time and pamper yourself.

Not only that, but they also come with plenty of health benefits!

It’s important to invest in your cuticles, which often get overlooked when tending to your nails, so manicures are a great way to make sure they stay hydrated and healthy. Additionally, the exfoliation and massage that takes place during the treatment, can help circulation in your hands too.

Why not put aside some time today for you? Getting a manicure is sure to boost your mood and make you feel refreshed!

23. Dress Up For Yourself

Dressing up can do wonders for your mental health and self-esteem. It’s one of those restorative activities that really help center you and remind you that taking care of yourself is important.

Whether you choose to put on a full face of makeup, pull out the little black dress, or just style your own outfit – it will bring an instant smile to your face knowing that you get to show off the unique look that you’ve created!

So don’t be afraid to express yourself – work with the clothes and accessories that make you feel best, and bask in the confidence-boosting effects of dressing up for yourself.

24. Maintain A Journal 

Writing in a journal can be an incredibly restorative activity. Keeping one every day helps to clear your head and process your thoughts, organize your plans and attain clarity.

It lets you get things off your chest without having any judgments passed or scrutiny received.

This restorative practice offers an opportunity to express yourself openly and honestly – like having a close personal confidante who will listen to everything you have to say without interruption. If you keep up with it every day, you’ll find that chronicling thought allows them to subside, which allows restful sleep while also providing insight into your behavior and patterns so that you can reflect on moments more deeply.

Try it out, even if just for 5-15 minutes each night – it’s surprisingly restorative!

25. Binge On Your Favorite Meal

Nothing is quite as restorative and calming as binging on your favorite meal. It’s no surprise that when you’ve had a tough day, all your body and soul crave is something comforting.

A burst of flavor can be just what you need to feel settled and relaxed again.

Whether it’s sitting down with a bowl of mac and cheese or biting into a succulent burger, there’s nothing better than rejoicing in the deliciousness of your favorite cuisine. Allowing yourself to indulge in this restorative activity can help put a skip back in your step.

10 Restorative Activities For Students 

If you’re looking for ways to help students rest, restore, and recharge their minds, then look no further! Here we have compiled a list of 10 restorative activities that are easy to incorporate into any school setting.

  1. Group Discussion: Group discussions are a great way for students to come together and share their feelings and experiences on certain topics. This can help create an open environment in which everyone is allowed to express themselves and feel valued. Furthermore, it allows students to learn from one another and develop social skills such as active listening, collaboration, and empathy.
  2. Restorative Circles: Restorative circles are a form of facilitated dialogue that brings students together in a safe and supportive environment to discuss any issues they have encountered or may be facing. The purpose of this is to promote understanding, respect, and healing among participants by allowing them to speak openly about their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives without judgment.
  3. Guided Imagery: Guided imagery is a form of relaxation therapy that involves imagining peaceful settings or scenes in order to reduce stress levels. It has been proven effective in helping students manage anxiety or stress-related issues by providing them with a sense of calmness.
  4. Art Therapy: Art therapy is another effective restorative activity for students as it allows them to express their emotions through visual art forms such as drawing or painting. This can help provide relief from any negative emotions they may be feeling at the time.
  5. Music Therapy: Music therapy is an evidence-based practice that uses musical activities (such as singing, playing instruments, and songwriting) to address physical, mental health issues, and emotional well-being. By engaging with music on an emotional level, students can improve communication skills while also bettering their moods.
  6. Meditation: Meditation is an ancient practice used for relaxation and self-reflection that has been found to have many positive benefits such as reducing stress levels and improving concentration skills. It encourages mindfulness by helping one become aware of the present moment without judgment or distraction.
  7. Yoga: Yoga is another restorative activity that involves physical movements combined with breathing exercises in order to bring balance between the mind and body. It helps improve focus while also providing relief from physical tension caused by stress or anxiety.
  8. Nature Walks: Nature walks are a great way for students to explore the outdoors while also clearing their minds from any worries they may have on their minds at the moment. Studies have shown that spending time outside has numerous health benefits including improved concentration levels and increased creativity which can be beneficial for learning purposes too!
  9. Journal Writing: Writing down one’s thoughts can be highly therapeutic as it gives individuals an outlet for expression without fear of being judged by others. Journal writing also allows one to document their journey through life which can be helpful when reflecting back on moments where they faced challenges but overcame those obstacles successfully!
  10. Breathing Exercises/Relaxation Techniques: Simple breathing exercises such as deep abdominal breathing can help reduce feelings of stress or anger while promoting relaxation throughout the entire body. These techniques teach individuals how to take control over their emotions which then helps them better manage difficult situations more calmly instead of reacting impulsively out of anger or frustration


At the end of the day, restorative activities may look different for everyone, but rest assured that taking the time to engage in restorative activities is beneficial and can help you feel more energized.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk in the park or reading a book, restorative activities can make all the difference in restoring balance in our lives. So go ahead and carve out some restorative time for yourself—you deserve it!


Jansen, D. A., & von Sadovszky, V. (2004). Restorative Activities of Community-Dwelling Elders. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 26(4), 381–399.

Atler, K. E., & Sharp, J. (2019). Reported restorative experiences associated with everyday activities among university students. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 82(10), 630–638.

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