In this hectic cacophony we call life, it can become unbearable to spend another minute surrounded by the same, negative people at the office, or to endure another hour stuck in traffic. We have entered the era of incredible innovation, but such advancement is followed by an equal amount of stress, hence the need to slow down and once again discover our innermost values that make our life worth living.

Sometimes, all it takes is an hour of meditation, while different levels of everyday stress often make us crave for more profound, meaningful solutions that will at the same time helps us relax as well as discover another dimension of existence. The following five may not all be on your bucket list, but they deserve a glance so that you can give yourself various opportunities to escape your daily struggle and restore your feeling of fulfillment.

Head to nature

We have neglected our relationship with nature by opting for an entirely urban lifestyle, but there’s no such thing as the wrong moment to rekindle that love for your home planet. Research has shown that spending time in nature, away from the many kinds of urban pollution (think: traffic, smoke, noise, light), has incredibly positive effects on our short-term wellbeing and our long-term mental health.

If anything, escaping to nature should be a regular part of your routine, one that will help you detox your mind and your body, fuel yourself with fresh air and energy, and spend some time surrounded by bird song, babbling brooks, and the whispering wind.

Organize a weekend getaway

Sometimes reconnecting with yourself actually means restoring and strengthening the bonds you have with your loved ones. Spending too much time immersed in work and responsibilities often leads us to put off family dinners and those invaluable bonding sessions of intimacy and closeness. If you haven’t had a moment to yourself for months, it’s high time you took some initiative – go to a spa resort or an adventurous getaway for two.

Even just two days away from your regular routine can help you ignite your love for one another and forget about all the sources of stress you face every day. After all, this is essential for us as people to recognize our priorities and devote more time to people we cherish.

Do some volunteer work

When you have absolutely no idea what will make you smile and when everything feels wrong, rest assured that shifting the focus from yourself to those in need will instantly improve your mood. When you’re overrun by tasks at the office and you cannot cope with an annoying client, take an afternoon off to volunteer in a soup kitchen, to clean a park with your friends, or to set up a free workshop for kids from impoverished families.

You will not only get a glimpse into lives riddled with problems beyond our own grasp, but you will also make a difference, improve someone else’s day, and lead by example in your community.

Spice up your days with excitement

Have you ever tried bungee jumping, pole dancing, or skating? If you spend your days stuck in a cubicle or you have no idea how to break the cycle of passivity and waiting for life to happen to you, maybe making a bold move will stir your courage and remind you that there’s so much more in you than you’ve ever known.

Brace yourself for an adventure such as learning how to ride a dirt bike, stock up on safety motocross accessories and set an entire day of pushing your boundaries, and leaving your comfort zone back in that cubicle. Such an adventure will not just give you an adrenaline boost, but it will also teach you a lesson in appreciating life and all its hidden endeavors that test your limits and help you build up your inner strength.

Pick up your favorite book

On the other end of the spectrum, maybe you need to dial your life down, not cause more excitement – although some people have such vivid imagination that reading provides the same, if not higher levels of excitement as the above mentioned bike ride. It may be a book you’ve been putting off to read due to all the chores, or an old one you’ve read a dozen times. It doesn’t matter as long as reading provides an oasis that will take you far away from your troubles.

Let your imagination run wild, travel in time, talk to Orcs, escape a dragon’s den and take all of his treasures! Sometimes the greatest feats of bravery and adventure lie deep within ourselves, and the least you can do is give yourself the chance to experience such endeavors.

As the tides of life bring more challenges to your routine, you can find ways to embrace those opportunities, or stay firmly grounded in your schedule. While there’s a level of predictability in the latter that most find comforting, letting life teach you through adversity, challenge, and change is the best way for you to allow yourself to grow. And when it seems that life reaches a lull, perhaps it’s time for you to take the matter into your own hands and do the unexpected – your self will be eternally grateful.