Looking for stress relieving activities to feel calmer and more relaxed? These are tough times! Check out these 10 things to do that are fun and will surely reduce anxiety.
Release Stress While “Sheltering at Home”
Thankfully, there are plenty of stress relieving activities you can do that work quickly.
Most of these suggestions are incredibly simple. You might already be using one or two of the techniques because they are so natural.
In case you need a few ideas on how to release stress and feel calmer, I’m going to share a bunch of methods with you below.
1. Listen to Music
It’s widely known that music soothes the soul. You might choose easy listening, classical or yoga music, but there is no question that music sets the tone. Melodies can affect your mood and even your rate of respiration.
Not sure what to listen to? No problem! Ask Alexa or Siri to play yoga, spa or meditation music for you. Try YouTube – my newest favorites are by Calm Whale – instrumentals using koshi chimes – peaceful and beautiful.
2. Be Creative!
When you get involved in a creative project or craft, your mind will be occupied. Creativity can fill you with energy that is positive and productive. This sort of thing nourishes your spirit and enlivens your soul.
One of the best parts about doing something creative is you often have something to show when you are done. How rewarding is that?
You could paint, draw or write. Maybe take out your old musical instrument and play a song or sing some karaoke with YouTube’s help. (My husband does this a lot and it’s fun!)
You don’t have to be super talented to be creative either. Nope. You could try embroidery or needlepoint or learn to crochet or knit.
Surprisingly repetitive movement has been shown to release serotonin which improves your mood and calmness. Crocheting and knitting also can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone!
JoAnn Fabrics and Michael’s art supply stores are staying open in many areas, considering themselves to be essential for helping people stay busy and happy. Or you can order materials online. Be creative!
3. Play with Your Pet
Talking about stress relieving activities, if you’ve got a pet, now is the time to do some bonding. Take your dog for a walk or toss a ball. Play with your cat dragging a tantalizing cat toy across the floor. Talk to your bird.
Whatever the pet you’ve chosen, find time to engage with it to give and get some healthy unconditional love. Pets offer a heart-warming cure for loneliness, encourage playfulness and give you a reason to exercise. Perfect, just what you need.
4. Grab a Pen & Journal
Writing down your thoughts is a wonderful cathartic activity. If you find yourself in repetitive thought loops, writing it down can sometimes help dissipate the energy or worry. Another option is to write down your concerns and feelings which helps you release the negative energy.
On the flip side, you can think about and write everything you are grateful for which is a marvelous way to shift your mood and energy. Having a gratitude practice will help you feel more balanced and allow you to acknowledge what is already good in your life right now.
5. Watch a Comedy
One of the most fun stress relieving activities is to watch a comedy. Laughter is a known stress reliever and helps you reduce anxiety. Lift your mood by watching something funny, whether it’s a comedy special or a silly movie, you’ll feel so much better.
Right now many people are having watch parties and using applications like zoom or Facetime to discuss as the movie plays. How much fun is that?
6. Clear Your Mind
Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to give your mind a break. If you tend to churn and churn over current events, pick a mantra (a few words in Sanskrit or English!) and repeat them over and over for 10-15 minutes while closing your eyes.
For example, people often use “Om” which is called the Universal sound as a mantra. But you might choose something like, “I am at peace” or “I am filled with gratitude.” Pick a phrase that feels positive and is easy to repeat.
There have been loads of research studies on the benefits of mediation. What’s most amazing is how the benefits extend beyond this quiet time, spilling over into the rest of your life. You can even find guided meditations on YouTube so no excuses.
7. Breathe Deep
When you purposefully breathe deeply, you will feel a calmness settling into your body and mind. This is by far one of the simplest stress relieving activities available.
Counting the breath is highly recommended. There are several ways to do this. You can inhale to the count of four, hold for four, exhale while counting to four, and be still for four. Then begin again. You can also count slowly to seven on the inhale and seven again as you exhale.
If you repeat this 10 times or do this for even just 3 minutes, you will feel a remarkable difference in your body and mood. Deep breathing works to decrease anxiety!
8. Pick Up the Phone
Talking to the people closest to you is one of the strongest stress relieving activities. Feel uplifted by catching up with your best friend or reconnecting with an old friend. Chat with a supportive family member whose positive outlook you can count on.
Chances are you’ll be lifting their spirits as well – it’s good for everyone. Don’t just text. Go the extra step to hear someone’s voice which makes a tremendous difference. There are so many nuances in the voice that can be soothing and affirming vs. texting which has no tone of voice at all.
Keep your connections strong because there is nothing like good friends and family members who are there for you through thick and thin. During difficult times like these when you are self-isolating, it’s totally worth making the effort to pick up the phone.
9. Get Grounded
If you are struggling with anxiety and looking for ways to relieve anxiety, getting grounded is fast, easy and amazingly effective. When you feel overwhelmed or that too much is going on – that is a sign you are not grounded.
You might also be unfocused and feel incapable of making any forward movement. Again this is where grounding helps tremendously. Experts say feeling anxiety can be caused by not grounding your energy.
How do you get grounded? Simple – just use this easy visualization and you’ll feel better in no time at all.
Close your eyes and take two to three deep breaths, hold for a couple of seconds, then slowly exhale. The next time you exhale, imagine roots growing from your tailbone and feet down into the earth. With every exhale allow those roots to dig even deeper into Mother Earth until nothing can rock you.
Excellent – now you are grounded!
10. Move Your Body
Whether you are stretching and breathing doing yoga, or running outdoors, you’ll be circulating more oxygen which is excellent for your brain and all your cells. Oxygen promotes healing.
Not only will the exercise keep you fit, but it helps you feel calmer. Moving gives you a greater sense of control over yourself which is particularly helpful when you don’t feel like you are in control (like a pandemic).
Stress Relieving Activities
The truth is we control very little in our lives, so learning how to RESPOND to stress and finding ways to alleviate it are key to living a healthier life. Now you have plenty of options to choose from.
Your next step? Pick one or two and do them! Try to do something every day. Or choose one of the quick stress relieving activities and take time in the moment to feel calmer.
If you want to learn more self-care methods for reducing stress and anxiety, let’s have a 15-minute complimentary conversation. Book your call here.