Photo by scragz
We all need it. Even when things are going well, we are often busy with one task after another, going from work to taking care of the kids and keeping the house in order. Some stress is good, but often when we are working hard and things are great, we think we can handle even more and thus we tip the balance of work and play.
Stress relief is important because left unchecked, stress produces harmful changes that can lead to health problems and depression. If we want to be happy it’s important to take care of both mind and body.
To reduce stress we need to have a method or set of steps to follow to feel better when we’re tired, overworked, feeling ill or sad. We need a way to give our body and mind a rest, a chance to recover from the symptoms like pain, headache, poor sleep or unhealthy eating. To relax and rejuvenate so we’re ready to tackle a new day.
There is a huge variety of stress busting techniques available. They range from the ordinary to the unusual. Since we’re all different, using an assortment of ideas and methods to match our individual styles is highly beneficial.
Some of my favorite stress relievers are meditation, music, dance, exercise, reading, chocolate, TV and laughter. Other people enjoy gardening, painting, basketball, bubble baths, a glass of wine, playing with the kids and playing video games.
There is not right or wrong way to take a break. If you can’t remember what it is you enjoy doing, now is the time to make a list. Get a sheet of paper and list 10 other things you ‘d rather be doing right now; fishing, taking a nap, watching a movie, bird-watching, yoga, laughing with friends, visit a museum, play the guitar, get a manicure or go to beach.
A great way to add to your list is to include things you like to do on vacation. See if there are ways to do the same things at home. If you golf, maybe you can mini-golf with the kids; if you love the ocean you could join a gym with a great pool. The wonderful thing is we can continue to add new ideas to our relaxation list until we have so many ideas we couldn’t possibly do them all. Maybe you could start a monthly spa day with the girls!
Here’s a list of a few more relaxing/fun ideas:
- Go cloud watching.
- Ride a bike at the park.
- Rock in the backyard hammock.
- Ride an ATV.
- Light some scented candles.
- Jazz it up with some upbeat contemporary jazz music.
- Play squirt gun tag.
- Dance like a ballerina.
- Cook an elaborate dinner.
- Watch lightning bugs flash in the dark.
- Close your eyes and pretend you’re a tree.
- Throw a barbeque party!
- Do some wood working.
- Treat yourself to some fresh-cut flowers.
- Write a letter of love to your mom.
- Build a tree fort retreat.
- Trade massage treatments with your spouse.
- Listen to classical music as you clean.