Something I’ve started doing in the last month has been really helpful, and hasn’t cost me a cent.

Every night around 9 pm, I go for a walk.

Sometimes I stop by a friend’s house and see if she wants to go with me, sometimes I go by myself. I may change out of my work clothes or check my email first but most every night, even when I’m tired, Sadie and I take a walk downtown.

The whole thing lasts about twenty minutes. I use the time to think and clear my head at the end of the day, either by venting to my friend or just thinking about things when I’m alone. I get the fresh air, and some additional light exercise. And Sadie seems to enjoy it for the same reasons I do, and it’s nice to spend that time with her.

I don’t ever bring my iPod or cell phone. I just enjoy the walk for the sights and sounds of it. There is no distraction to pull me away from my meditative stroll. And I think that’s an important part of it for me, and makes the experience a little like meditating.

I always feel better when I get home, and I’ve been sleeping better, too. Sure, I could watch a television show or do something else to unwind for twenty minutes but this seems best for me.

What’s your favorite free way to unwind at the end of the day?