What I Do to Recharge…Offline

Photo by 91RSA friend of mine, also a programmer, asked me what I do to recharge. He was saying that he naturally gravitated back to the computer during his “down time.”

I find it very easy to drift back onto the computer as well, but I find that being on the computer at home after being on one all day leaves me grumpy and tired.

So when I recharge, I unplug. Here are the 10 top activities I use to to recharge myself, offline:

1. Crafting.
I do a lot of crafting. Crochet, knitting, cross stitch, sewing, plus the odd craft projects with my daughter. This allows me to be creative yet not have a screen in front of me.
2. Cooking.
I love to cook. I am an adequate cook, just getting brave enough to stray from recipes. In particular, I love baking. I have found ways to work this in year round, rather than just waiting for the holidays.
3. Gardening.
I am an abysmal gardener. Yet I continue to do it year after year filled with dead plants. Why? Because there is something very soothing about playing in the dirt. Plus yanking out lots of weeds is good therapy when I am stressed.
4. Reading fiction.
I love to read, and my first choice is always mysteries.
5. Reading non-fiction/non-work.
I don’t read as much non-fiction as fiction, simply because it requires much more energy on my part. But I enjoy non-fiction, particularly biographies. I do not count reading technical books in this category, because that is not recharging for me.
6. Game night.
Every Saturday we do a family game night. The past two weekends we have shared game night with another family. It is a good way to spend time together (while my daughter still wants to).
7. Movie night.
Every Friday is movie night at our house. We sit together and watch each other’s picks from Netflix. This is relaxing because it is down time, and yet we are together watching each other’s choices in movies.
8. Early Morning Musings.
I try, weather permitting, to go out on the deck first thing in the morning. I’m generally not fully awake, but I sit and listen to the birds and let my mind wander. A few weeks ago I got the same feeling I get when I am on vacation. It is a great un-stress way to start the day.
9. Walking the dog.
Our dog loves to sniff walk around the neighborhood. I am content to wander through our quiet neighborhood, noticing the birds, flowers and trees. Walking the dog gives me a chance to be outside and reconnect with the world.
10. Meditation.
This is something I just started in the past few months. I find that 10 minutes of concentrating on my breathing, not getting overly concerned at the thoughts that continue to flit through my head, relaxes me.

All in all, I spend my weekends doing most of these activities. When Sunday night comes, I’m refreshed and ready to tackle another week in front of the computer.

Photo by 91RS