Relaxation Tips for Grandparents and Parents—My Top 10 List

Just like our children/grandchildren need to find healthy ways to relax, so do parents/grandparents and every other adult on the planet!

Relaxation can take many forms and will be different for every individual—including married couples where one may enjoy biking and the other spouse may enjoy camping. There are always ways to combine relaxation activities so that everyone is happy.

Here is my Top 10 List. Enjoy!

1. Massage–For Relaxation

There are a lot of benefits to getting a massage. It can be extremely relaxing. It can also help with other physical or emotional concerns.

I used to get really bad sinus headaches and would spend weeks and weeks at a time having a stuffed up nose. It was absolutely miserable. Finally, a friend suggested I get a facial massage done to see if it would help.

As the massage therapist was tapping my forehead and nasal passages through my cheeks and around my eyes, I could feel, not only the relaxation, but also my sinus’ opening up.

Just having someone giving you a massage can be a very relaxing experience. Many therapists will create a relaxing mood with low lighting and perhaps a candle or incense burning.

For me, the entire experience was well worth the money.

2. Walking or Hiking

As with children, walking or hiking can be very relaxing. You may be able to literally “walk your cares away.” You can walk alone or with your spouse or other adults. You can also take this relaxing walk with your children or grandchildren.

In whatever way you choose to walk or hike, make sure that you are fit enough to complete a walk. What I mean is, if you are not used to walking a mile, it wouldn’t be wise to start out walking a mile. (Remember if you walk one mile in one direction, you have to walk that mile back, too!)

I suggest getting a good pair of walking shoes or hiking boots. Your feet and back will thank you!

3. Fishing

For many people, fishing can be a very relaxing pastime. For others, it can be very distressful. If you like fishing, go. If you don’t, obviously you should choose another activity.

I find that fishing from a boat in a lake is very relaxing. Some people like to fish from shore. Some people enjoy fly-fishing, personally, I am not one of them!

For those who live in climates where the lakes and rivers freeze over in the winter, ice fishing can also be a very relaxing pastime. I recommend a fish house for winter fishing just because the wind across the ice can be very cold and a nice warm fish house can mean the difference between a great day of fishing or a case of frostbite!

There are many ways to fish, pick the one that is most relaxing to you and have a great time!

4. Watching TV

Just like any other activity, not everyone enjoys watching television. Or maybe they only enjoy certain types of television programming.

Personally, I am a Netflix junkie! I can binge watch entire seasons of a show in one sitting!

Whatever your television preferences are, it can prove to be a very relaxing pastime by yourself or with others.

5. Yoga or Other Exercise

I only put Yoga on here because I know that for a lot of people, it can be very relaxing. Personally, however, I get all messed up trying to perfect the moves and end up more tense and frustrated than I was before I started!

Yoga or other types of meditation can be very relaxing and also physically beneficial.

Personally, I enjoy walk at home workouts by Leslie Sansone. I also enjoy workouts that are a bit more challenging like P90X by Tony Horton! Before you try that one, make absolutely sure to check with your physical health provider first!

6. Bicycling or Motorbiking

While I don’t advocate riding bicycle or motorcycle without a helmet, there is very little that can compare to the feeling of the wind blowing across your face and through your hair.

When I was younger, I did a lot of motorcycle riding. Now I stick with riding my bicycle, but I am thinking about getting a scooter type machine so I can feel the freedom (or at least a little of it) of the wind blowing through my hair (under my helmet, of course)!

There are many ways to enjoy either of these great pastimes.

7. Playing Games

For as many people as there are, there is probably one that suits everyone.

A lot of people enjoy different types of card or board games. Many adults—especially those of us who grew up on Atari or Sega—still enjoy playing video games on a gaming system or on our computers, tablets or phones.

Personally, I do enjoy playing some Nintendo classic games on my Wii. I also have a PlayStation 2 and 3 so I can play a bunch of different games depending on what mood I am in.

There are a lot of systems out there, but for a lot of people, the perfect relaxation comes from a good game of solitaire!

8. Hugging or Cuddling

As much as children like to receive a hug, adults need hugs and snuggles, too.

A hug or snuggling can be a very relaxing show of care for your spouse or partner. These tender moments can remind you of how much you care for each other and that being together is a very important part of your life.

As I shared on the Relaxation Tips for Children page, there are many physical and emotional advantages to hugging. I know that my spouse and I feel closest when we simply hug tightly.

9. Reading a Book

I love reading a good book! I usually don’t have a lot of time in my busy day to just sit down and read, but when I do, I read whatever I can get my hands on.

I usually end up reading just before going to bed. When I am in bed, I like to read paperback books because they are flexible and easy to handle.

When I am sitting at a table, I either use my Kindle reader or a hardback book.

Because I work for a newspaper, I do a lot of reading of all sorts of newspapers, online research and other media. I love to read and most of the time, it is very relaxing for me!

10. Going for a “Sunday” Drive

When I was a kid, my parents used to go on “Sunday” drives several nights a week. Sometimes it was just to go out and look at the fields (we were farmers). Other times, it was just to drive around and maybe, if we were really good, the drive might end with a trip to the area drive-in to get an ice cream!

The act of just driving on a country road “far from the maddening crowd” has a lot of relaxation qualities—as long as you don’t fret too much about the price of gasoline.

Driving without purpose can be a great time to visit with your significant other or with the kids or just a time to relax and unwind by yourself.

11. Bonus—Adult Coloring

I added this one because a lot of us have gotten into coloring as adults. It has proven to be a very relaxing time.

If you enjoyed coloring when you were a child, I recommend giving coloring as an adult a try. It can be very relaxing as you can let your mind wander as you color in the lines!

I have several coloring books and many sets of colored pencils. But once in a while, I also use my granddaughters crayons!


There are a lot of ways to relax. Choose your favorites and make sure to refresh yourself. Your child/grandchild depends on you and you will do so much better if you are both able to relax!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and thanks for reading my post!






  1. Totally sold :). Freaking fishing step is the best one, just because I love it and it really is realizing. People seem to get bored, but no me. Plenty of time to meditate and think.

  2. Karin, your top 10 list would fit into just about anyone human life style and have no questions about it. I like the manner in which each topic was hit, to the point and not trying to build a perfect picture for you to be a part of the point.
    “Relaxation” something I could get into in the coming hours!

    • Yes, these are definitely things that could fit almost anyone. The problem is, we don’t always think of them for the relaxation value they can give.
      Glad you liked the post.

  3. Hi Karin, I agree with this tips, parents and grandparents need relaxation sometimes. This article makes me missed my mother in my country. I always bring her to the mall, church and eat at her favorite restaurant every Sunday with my daughter when we are in the Philippines. Parents and Grandparents deserve a relaxation because they are always busy doing house chores and taking care of grandkids. My mom takes care of my daughter for 2 years when I and my husband is busy working. A
    Cheers to all grandma and grandpa!

  4. I love all these relaxation tips. As a parent of 4 year old twins, time is the luxury I don’t have, but when I do, I’ll be hitting up everything on this list.
    I found 10 minutes of meditation every morning helps with life’s hecticness.
    Thanks for the post Karin

  5. My wife loves yoga, drawing, and massages. I love fishing, walking, and watching TV. You have to take time for yourself. You have provided great tips, six of which my wif and I enjoy. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  6. My favourite ones are reading book, playing games and watching TV. Especially reading. Every once in a while, I just turn off my phone, grab a book and staying all day in my bed. Every day, we are all like “go,go,go!”. It’s nice to relax a little, too…

    Which one is your favourite ?

    • Hi Jenny. Thank you for your comments! It is nice to relax, isn’t it!?

      My favorite is actually coloring with my granddaughter. She colors in her book and I color in mine! We make games out of it, like she will pick three colors and then I have to pick the same three colors and we have to color for a certain amount of time using just those three colors!  Honestly, I thought those adult coloring books were silly at first, but now I really enjoy it. It is very relaxing and I get to spend quality time with my granddaughter! What could be better than that?

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  7. I love all of your suggestions. With so much stress in our lives, and with how busy we all can get, it is so important to take time to relax and refresh.  My favourite ways to relax are going for walks, watching tv., and playing board games.  I think these tips are great for anyone no matter their age. 

    • Thank you for visiting the site! Finding ways to relax are great. We actually do several of them as a family, like walking our dog, playing board games and coloring! I think going on walks is great. But coloring is my favorite thing to do with my granddaughter!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  8. Those are great tips for relaxation it is important to take some time just to relax to get the stress of the shoulders. everyone has their own way to relax for me Tv is a good way to relax and take the stress off. Taking a walk or reading a book is also a good way to relax very interesting article

    • Yanick,

      Having ways to relax is very important. We all need to kind of “decompress” at the end of the day whether we work or raise kids or whatever. Just because we’re relaxing doesn’t mean we can’t be having fun, too!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  9. Karin,

    This was a good read. I like that you mentioned hiking. Many people may think hiking is not relaxing, but I love it as a way to get outdoors and enjoy nature, that in itself is relaxing. For sure Massage, and I feel the same way about yoga. I get to worried about the proper positions and end up not getting what I needed out of it. Playing games is great to, helps clear away other thoughts. Great information here.


    • Todd,

      I think hiking or any type of physical activity can be very relaxing, especially when the workout is finished! I think we stress out about far too many things and we can all benefit from a little relaxation!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  10. I used to love drawing and painting, something you reminded me of getting back into again. I think the only thing on the list I will try to keep to a minimum is the television but to each their own of course. I too need to get out fishing, it is so peaceful for sure. This is a great list to keep handy when you are not sure what to do but want to take it easy, thanks!

    • Thanks, Shaun. It is good to relax! Honestly, I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I included it because it can be a way to let our mind wander off when we just need a break from reality!

      I love fishing. Even if I’m not catching anything. I take a book and enjoy the lake and the sun. 

      Enjoy your day!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  11. Hi Karin,

    you really gave some great advices there. I think that Massage, Yoga and Hiking are great for any age.

    My grandpa and grandma love to play cards, to take walks together in nature and to hug. 🙂 They always support each other. Grandma likes to read books and to meditate in front of the lake. Granpa loves to play chess, so whenever I visit them we play it. That always relaxes him, he’s not competitive.

    I would describe them as adventurous and nice people. I’m glad that they are part of my life.

    Thanks for this post, I will propose them to go for some Sunday drives and I’ll buy them coloring books.



    • Strahinja,

      It is so beautiful when you have a companion to share your time with. I think I need more relaxation! I love all the things on the list, except for Yoga! I don’t really “love” TV, but I do watch it on occasion with my granddaughter.

      I think you would love the coloring books, too. Honestly, they are very relaxing and inexpensive for the value of them!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  12. I know many people who find themselves raising children the second time around.  It is not always as easy as the first time!   Grandparents don’t always have the energy and stamina that they did 30+ years ago or may be experiencing a decline in their own health.  Then there is the cultural changes that have taken place over the course of a generation or two. Parenting techniques that worked with their own children may not work today which lead to added stress.

    Your article highlights what grandparents need to do – find time for themselves.  This is something thatis so overlooked but also so necessary. 

    The suggestions you offer are thoughtful, practical and cover a wide variety of interests and abilities – Great post!

    • Susan,

      It seems to be a growing occurrence. I can’t talk much about the circumstances surrounding our situation, but more and more it is drug related.

      There are certainly a lot more challenges the second time around, but my spouse and I are working dilligently to make a better life for our granddaughter.

      The cultural changes are a big deal. I have to get used to things again, too. That’s a hard one. I am sure that I had to “touch” everything in the store, too and now, telling my granddaughter to not “touch” everything in the store can be a challenge! She does so many things that I did when I was a kid! I sure hope she doesn’t do all of them! It’ll give me heart failure!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  13. Hi Karin, Thanks for your article in Second Story about relaxation for grandparents. Children can really zap your energy. You cannot take care of them if you don’t take care of yourself. 

    I have friends who are raising their grandchildren and I think it does help keep them young. Unfortunately, one of them suffered some health problems earlier this year and they may have been over doing it a little. I know they like nature so I will suggest to them to look at your site as I thought they may like the idea of some bush walking or fishing. In fact the grandkids would probably enjoy joining too sometimes. Although, as you say they may need time out from the grandchildren too. Some relaxation time with friends in their own age group. 

    Grandparents bringing up their childrens’ children, need to be up on everything the kids are into and understand todays world more than some of their friends. This in itself is stress right. It is extremely busy and stressful doing this even for younger parents. 

    Its so important for your mental health to find relaxation. I think the idea of a massage and is great and finding time to just do something quietly like book reading or playing a game with a friend. It relaxes the mind and Hopefully provides some time for a few of lifes laughs. Great reading thanks

    • Mary,

      The great thing about this list is that a lot of the things that help us find relaxation will also help our grandkids, too. I don’t encourage a lot of TV with my granddaughter, but on occasion we do watch a cartoon together. I still love cartoons!

      We love to color together, too. We do this thing she calls a “three color challenge.” This is where we pick three colors and then have to color for a certain time using only those three colors! She loves it, but I sneak a few different colors in from time to time!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  14. You have covered an overlooked subject here. If we do not look after ourselves we are not much good to our grandchildren Some wonderful ideas here on different ways to relax and take that time to refresh ourselves.i also found the imagery in your post very relevant to the content. I wonder if you were thinking of doing a follow up to this as i would be really keen to read more as a grandparent myself.

    • Cass,

      We don’t always take the time to take care of ourselves. This isn’t just about grandparents who are raising their grandkids, but people in general. We have to work so hard to make a living that we forget to live. I will be doing some follow up articles and you could also check out my top ten list for ways for children to relax.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  15. Oh yes! we parents/grandparents need and deserve a good relaxation time. Your list is complete, you made a good selection. I think I will enjoy all but my favorites are exercise, a Sunday drive, reading a book, coloring -I have an adult coloring book- Giving and receiving hugs… yes is very gratifying, and make everyone feel good, but sometimes we are lonely 🙁 Thank you for this great list.

    • Maria,

      So good to hear from you. Thanks for visiting my site. Yes, it is so nice to have and take the time to relax. I actually think we do have the time, we just don’t take the time to relax. I make sure to color with my granddaughter almost every day. She loves the time spent with me, and I love the relaxing feeling it gives me! The hugs are great, too! When my granddaughter is upset, she says I am the only one who can calm her down. I guess that’s what grandma’s are for!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  16. Your top ten list is awesome it includes something for everyone, or several somethings. I am not a TV watcher at all.

    Walking and hiking isn’t my thing anymore do arthritis. Yoga doesn’t interest me like you said, not for me. Motorcycling was when my joints use to work well. Hugging and pudding absolutely, love board games puzzles whatever. Reading books one of my all time favorites or really listening to audio books better still. Going for a drive another favorite I love dearly.

    Lastly coloring or drawing but, for short periods usually.

    All great tips but fishing ticks all my boxes as all time favorite just sitting listening to a little music. While letting your mind wander Watching the dragon flies zip around. Thanks for all the great reminders.

    Would like to know which one you enjoy most? Just curious.

    • Elaine and Scarlett,

      I love the beautiful and relaxing picture that you painted—letting the mind wander while watching the dragon flies zip around! That is one of the best parts about fishing!

      I love fishing and coloring with my granddaughter. Those are my two favorite activities!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

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