No matter what age we are, we can always count on our trusty old pal stress to be right by our side. While the sources of our stress are constantly changing, stress is always there in some form or another and in different degrees.
Some of it is actually good. The good kind is the kind that motivates us to take action in our lives and can help us achieve our goals.
But the kind that lingers and causes us to experience fear and anxiety is not so good. It drains us of our energy and can prevent us from focusing and doing things that help us move forward. This is the kind that we need to address before it does too much damage to our health and our lives.
It might seem like we should just naturally become better at coping with stress as life goes on. I mean, practice makes perfect, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. In fact, it might even get harder to cope as time goes on.
This is partly because the physical effects of stress may be harder to manage, simply because our bodies don’t have the ability to recover as quickly as they once did. Or maybe we don’t sleep as well as we used to, and good sleep is vital to recovering from the effects of stress. Or if we have other physical problems, this will make it harder too.
On the other hand, we might become better at dealing with stress over time because we’ve found ways that have worked for us in the past. So, we can repeat these things whenever stress strikes.
But maybe your old go-tos aren’t working anymore and you’re in need of some new ways to handle your stress that you haven’t tried before. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of stress-reducing activities that you might not have already considered to help you put stress in its place.
Yoga isn’t exactly a new idea for reducing stress. It’s been known for some time as an excellent way to calm you and redirect your focus. That’s because it’s the ultimate blend of mind and body balancing with elements of meditation, exercise, flexibility, breathing and focus.
But maybe you haven’t given it a chance to do its magic? I do believe it’s worth trying if you haven’t already. The practice of yoga comes in many forms, it’s just a matter of finding which kind works best for you. Some of the more relaxing ones are Yin yoga, Hatha, and Restorative. The great part is that you can do it easily at home by following a video, or you can join a class.
2. Arts and Crafts
The sky’s the limit with arts and crafts for stress relief. Even if you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body, you most likely do and you haven’t found it yet. Everything from knitting to drawing to making pottery can help calm your mind.
Taking on a creative hobby forces your mind to be present in the moment, which takes your focus off your troubles. You might even find you’re really good at creating something! This will boost confidence in yourself and help you tackle stress head on.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be great or even good at whatever craft you choose. Just the act of doing it will help you be more mindful and calmer.
3. Play a Game
Games come in all forms. You can play games by yourself, either with a deck of cards, through computer or phone apps, or putting together puzzles. Or you can grab a partner and play card games or word games like scrabble and lots of others.
You can also set aside time to gather some friends and play a board game that you love. Any of these options will help keep your mind present and your worries behind you.
4. Start a Garden
The act of gardening is known to be a great stress reducer. Getting outside, being physically active, connecting with nature, and creating something that’s beautiful are all at work when you have a garden. Keep in mind that a garden can be whatever you want it to be: a collection of plants inside your house or on your porch or deck, trees and shrubs outside, or a vegetable garden in your yard.
Growing vegetables has the additional benefit of feeding you and your family with fresh produce. But it’s all good, and now that it’s spring, now’s the time to think about starting!
The great thing about writing is it’s really up to you how you use it. There are proven health benefits to keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings. It helps you to organize whatever’s on your mind that you feel emotional about, and it can stop the negative thoughts from circling around in your head. Putting these things on paper can clear your mind of them.
But don’t forget to write down positive thoughts and feelings too, because this will help lift your mood and lower your anxiety. You could also try writing creatively to take your mind off stressful things. Either way, writing is easy to do, free, and therapeutic.
6. Be Social
Spending time with people you love being around is a fantastic way to beat stress. Plan some time for a phone call, a meal, a walk, or any other fun event you can do with family or friends. Being around others takes the focus off our own problems for a while, and makes us happy. You might even get some great advice on how to deal with something in your life simply by talking to someone you know and trust.
7. Bake Something
Baking might not be your thing, but you can always find a recipe that isn’t too complicated and tastes delicious. The act of making something tasty is great for relieving stress because it engages all five of your senses. There’s also something therapeutic about the activities of kneading, mixing, measuring, stirring, and shaping that can help us forget our anxieties.
Sometimes we need a new perspective to cope with our stressful thoughts. Trying one of these fun ideas can help you switch your focus, let go of negative feelings, and gain confidence to tackle almost anything. Plus, you might pick up a fun new hobby that you find you love doing.