TOP 5 FRIDAY: Relaxin’

on September 21, 2012 in TOP 5 FRIDAY with 17 comments by

TOP 5 FRIDAY is when we each list five of our favorite things, depending on the topic. Feel free to join in via the comments or by posting on your own blog and linking back here. Play along. It’s Friday.

. . . . .

I literally refuse to use the word “chillax.” I think it is the dumbest word our culture has created….

says the girl who overuses “totes” and “adorbs” and “perf.”

I’m an alphabetical hypocrite.

So here’s the sitch [annoying abbrev]. My life has gotten a little whackadoodle- lots of travel, lots of writing, lots of time with my CrossPoint small group, and then I have friends and a gym membership and family. I love my life like whoa, there are just lots of lots in my life.

And I’m finding it harder and harder to relax. Part of the problem with working from home is that you can always be working.

Just this week, sweet Amanda said, “Tell me what will make you feel restful and we’ll do that.”

And I didn’t know.

I. Didn’t. Know.

Reading is my favorite hobby, but it isn’t relaxing per say, because words are my job.

So I’ve thought long and hard about what things make me feel relaxed. Being that none of us have unlimited budgets, this list is things I can actually attain. [Example: a weekend in a cabin in Colorado would be relaxing. But I do not have a cabin in Colorado. Ergo, impossible.]

In no particular order, here are the Top 5 things that are relaxing to my mind and heart [that do not directly include humans… I’m worried my friends or family will read this and be all, “Annie thinks it is stressful to love me” and that’s not it. These are just ACTIVITIES. Everybody settle].

1. Go to the movies

If I can put my brain in someone else’s story, I’m less likely to be worried about the stories I’m living. Also, snowcaps. Also, coke icee.

2. Coloring

Call me a looney toon if you will, but a coloring book and a set of crayons can keep me entertained and rested for a good long while. I’m forever looking for discount coloring books at Michael’s.

[And that sentence, my friends, may have something to do with my singleness. TBD.]

3. Podcasts

I love podcasts where someone else tells me a story. My current [and longtime] favorite is This American Life.

[Once, I asked one of my Scottish friends if he had ever listened to This American Life. I’m gonna let you think about that one for a minute.]

4. Playing the piano

I have a dream. I want to take piano lessons. I’m a self taught pianist, meaning I would take the tiny three octave electric keyboard at my parents house and bang out the notes from my hymnal. [Actually, that’s rather adorable, isn’t it? Maybe that balancing the love of coloring books? No? Still single? Got it.] But I think being able to really play the piano, like chords and stuff, would be really relaxing.

5. Laying on a blanket in my front yard at night with hipster mason jar candles lit and listening to emo music like Bon Iver.

I’ve earned my cred in this town, people. I’ve got a hipster streak a mile wide.

. . . . .


Also. Help me. What are some of your favorite ways to relax that don’t take a lot of dolla-dolla-bills-y’all? 

[PS- Would you pray for me? As I’m learning this new life and an author/speaker, I’m having to relearn me a bit- and relearn how to care for myself so that I can be most effective in ministry and most normal in relationships. Your prayers towards this end would be really sweet.]


  1. posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 6:23 AM  |  reply

    1. Reading
    2. Watching movies
    3. Crossword puzzles – especially when I do them with my daddy
    4. Drinking a cup of chai latte while watching the morning through my bay window
    5. Lying on the trampoline with Ethan watching the clouds go by. If there are no clouds, we watch birds. 😉

    Praying for you in this journey, Annie.

  2. Laura
    posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 6:34 AM  |  reply

    I smiled when I saw Coloring on your list! I LOVE to color, but don’t do it often enough. Getting a pedicure is really relaxing to me.

  3. posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 7:54 AM  |  reply

    I’ll 100% agree with your coloring statement. It got me through many a stressful situation in college. My hands down favorite thing though is to put a movie in I’ve seen 100x and then work a puzzle. The combination of words I know by heart and putting together a puzzle is great because it occupies my mind and makes me forget the stresses of my week.

  4. posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:35 AM  |  reply

    1. Running or walking- but with no set mile goal. (excercise helps me be happy)
    4.Audio Books- I love listening to them when I’m getting ready for work or going out. Helps me take my mind off me and breathe more.
    5. Bible reading
    6. Pedicures- this can be a little pricy depending on where you go but if you can find one that does a good leg massage….well….it will almost put me to sleep right there!

  5. posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM  |  reply

    I love coloring!
    My go-to relaxing activity right now is getting an iced chai latte (plus pumpkin sometimes) and driving around while listening to music or podcasts. Sometimes I stop in a park, but sometimes I just drive down pretty back-roads.

  6. posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 9:43 AM  |  reply

    A long leisurely walk, thrift store shopping with a good friend, sitting on my back porch watching the frogs jump around, going to a library – for some reason I get instant peace when I walk into a library (I love quiet and I love books, so there ya go), and as contrary as this may sound a really good sweaty workout followed by an awesome nap. Those are things that make me feel rested and filled. 🙂

  7. Brooke
    posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 9:48 AM  |  reply

    I love that you color, in actual coloring books! My girls think I buy the books for them, but really it’s my favorite.
    1) So creating and art of any kind would be at the top of my list of relaxing activities. Sadly, I allow many other things to work their way in above that in my daily life.
    2) Stand Up Paddling has made it’s way in to my top 5, for sure! And to think it used to stress me out 🙂
    3) Yoga always smoothes out my feathers
    4) Music on with the windows open…at home or in the car. I just love the combination of those sounds. I have since I was 4 and used to blare old school Olivia Newton John albums on my stepdad’s stereo. (I’m dating myself here…this was WAY before “Let’s Get Physical” folks)
    5) And I do love a puzzle. This could also translate as something to do that will keep me from doing absolutely anything else. I an get a little obsessed.

    I’m glad you are looking for ways to relax Annie! And I’m praying for you as you adjust to this new season. Safe travels!!

  8. Kimberly
    posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM  |  reply

    Okay, this is an exercise for me…for which I really don’t have the time but I am going to make the time because I think I need to know what relaxes me…ya know?

    1. Being outside with just myself but there has to be a good view, preferably a lake or water of some sort. Clouds will do if I can lay down.
    2. Sunday cooking when there’s no pressure and I can make what I want. I enjoy making things for people when they don’t expect anything.
    3. Reading a book.
    4. Hot tub soaking.
    5. Holidays after the meal when there’s nothing to do but visit and relax and be content with my happy family.

    Well, that wasn’t so hard!

  9. posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM  |  reply

    1. coffee and a walk with a good friend.
    2. audio books. I rent them from the library (no dolla-dolla-bills!)…especially Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell, but more recently PG Wodehouse…all fabulous Brits and I can get lost in their stories like I do a good movie.
    3. Baking and giving treats to other people. I LOVE to bake (most of my Instagram is pics of food) but, unlike my high metabolic friends, eating it all would not be relaxing…so, I give it away and bless others with it…with makes me happy. and happy people are happy.
    4. Swimming.
    5. Petting and snuggling with a pet. Single girls need their snuggles, too!!

  10. posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM  |  reply

    1. Reading a great fictional story.
    2. Going for a walk.
    3. Taking a nap.
    4. Watching youtube videos (music, Christian comedy, etc.)
    5. Calling and talking to my best friend.

  11. Stephanie
    posted on Sep 21, 2012 at 10:19 PM  |  reply

    1. Reading
    2. yoga
    3. working out at the gym
    4. thrift store shopping
    5. petting a dog
    6. playing with a baby/child

  12. Bekah
    posted on Sep 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM  |  reply

    1) The beach. Just being at the beach, particularly at night time. (I’m only an hour away so this isn’t too pricey for me)
    3)Watching Gilmore Girls.

  13. Birdie
    posted on Sep 22, 2012 at 12:58 PM  |  reply

    1. swimming, especially on my back looking at the sky
    2. reading – in bed
    3. taking a nap
    4. doing Sudoku puzzles
    5. quilting

  14. posted on Sep 22, 2012 at 6:52 PM  |  reply

    1. reading a “no-mind” book defined as one I do not underline and take notes from

    2. hot tub bath and I was surprised at how many others find this relaxing

    3. reading my Bible and praying on the Sabbath and often with the book For God’s Sake Rest

    4. long walks on a Minnesota Spring or Fall day

    5. being at Girls of Grace and hearing you speak the word and remind me that “my words matter!’

  15. posted on Sep 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM  |  reply

    Hi Annie! I am currently in the process of reading your book for a review on my blog, so I thought I should come check out your blog and say hi! Since I am here I guess I will join in the fun 🙂

    1. Hiking somewhere beautiful, stopping in the middle of nowhere with no people around, and just enjoying God’s beauty.

    2. Listening to some good music and watching the stars. (Shawn Mcdonald’s Simply Nothing is my favorite star-watching c.d.)

    3. Cuddling with my dog

    4. Long drives (especially on rainy days with good music)

    5. Enjoying a soy chai or pumpkin spice latte and good conversation with a friend

  16. nina
    posted on Sep 24, 2012 at 6:03 PM  |  reply

    there is nothing wrong with coloring! i look forward to babysitting my friends’ kids just so i can color. sometimes i have to convince the kiddos that coloring is more exciting than the wii, but i’m right there with you!

  17. posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM  |  reply

    I remember reading once that looking through old pictures is one of the top stress-relieving things you can do. So sometimes I will just pull up an old facebook album with wacky college days pictures, or look at family pics. It does make me happy and more relaxed!

    Also.. just getting out of town. So important for me not going crazy sometimes. Related: driving country roads & highways. Very relaxing.

    Eating pudding while resting my feet, putting them up on a bench or chair. Learned this from intense summers at camp. Pudding is very relaxing.

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