man walking with dog

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Everyone knows that.

Whether it’s due to a petty argument with our significant other, the demands of work, or waiting for almost an hour in traffic, we encounter different stressors almost every day.

While stress is nothing to worry about, it can be damaging to our overall well-being once it becomes too much for us to handle.

If we don’t do anything to cope with it, we’re most likely to experience a slew of health problems – from mental problems like anxiety and depression, to physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, chest pain, and high blood pressure. What’s more, long-term stress can result in stroke, gastrointestinal problems, and heart diseases.

That’s why it’s really important to set aside some me time to relax, unwind, and beat stress.  Sure, stress isn’t something we can ignore and wish away, but there’s a multitude of things we can do to ease it.

In this article, we’ll talk about eight of the most productive activities you can engage in to help relieve stress. Let’s get to it!

  1. Start a Journal

Journaling does more than just helping you remember your memories or discovering self-expression, it’s also good for your mental health.

Recording your feelings and experiences in a journal helps you sort out your thoughts, regulate your emotions, and maintain your mental health. Even taking just 10 minutes to write down a journal entry is enough to clear your head of negative thoughts and refocus your daily life.

Starting a journal is really easy, and you don’t need to have a talent for writing. You’re free to write whatever you want, whenever you feel like. Plus, you can even hone your skills while you’re at it.

  • Exercise

If you’re someone who rarely works out, well, it’s time you consider devoting time to it.

Physical activity isn’t just about improving physical health and making you look like one of those male or female fitness models, it can also relieve stress and boost your mood. Any form of exercise is essentially therapeutic.

It doesn’t mean that you have to sign up for a gym membership, especially if you have a busy schedule. It can be as simple as going for a walk or run each day, using online home workouts, or cycling around the neighborhood.

  • Grow a Garden

Don’t have a green thumb? No need to have it if you’re just gardening for the sake of relaxing!

Gardening can help you manage stress for several reasons. It can get you out into the sunshine and fresh air, it allows you to connect with nature, and it gives you that feeling of joy knowing that you’re bringing new life to our planet.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can create a small raised garden bed in your yard or use an elevated planter box. You might even want to grow your plants in containers on your patio.

  • Take a Course

Another way to reduce your stress levels is by taking a course that can build or improve a certain skill. Think of something that you’ve always wanted to master, or at least, are curious to learn.

For example, if you’re planning to start an e-commerce store, a digital marketing course might sound perfect. Or, if you’re interested to hone your cooking skills, there are countless courses available online.

As you’re taking your course, you’ll forget about the things that bother you. At the same time,  you’ll be expanding your skill set. Now that’s like hitting two birds in one stone.

  • Draw and Paint

Unleash your creative side by getting artsy. Drawing and painting not only provide an opportunity to show off your talent, but they’re among the most effective ways to take your mind off your troubles.

Such hobbies allow you to distract yourself, release your emotions, and achieve other stress management benefits. Who knows, you might even end up selling some of your artworks if you’re that good!

  • Grab a Coloring Book

Speaking of arts, you might also want to give coloring books a try. Gone are the days when coloring was merely a childhood pastime, adults now have their own coloring books!

The adult coloring book trend has gotten increasingly popular over the last couple of years. That’s because coloring has been found to have the ability to relax the amygdala, which is the fear center of our brains. As a result, it generates a state of mindfulness, giving our minds time to rest after a long day.

So, go ahead and pull out the crayons, markers, and colored pencils. You need them.

  • Start a Collection

No, they don’t have to be expensive antiques that are worth hundreds of bucks. You can collect simple items without having to spend a lot of money.

For instance, if you’re a history buff, you can collect American coins from centuries or decades ago. If you’re into birds, you can try picking up feathers you see on the ground and build a collection out of them. A shell collection is great if you love the ocean.

  • Learn to Play an Instrument

While listening to music is already enough to relieve stress, learning how to play music can be more powerful. It can fully keep you away from problems and serve as an outlet for expression yourself.

Picking up an instrument can be complicated at first, especially if it’s your first time. The good news is that you have the Internet to guide you. You can find musical lessons in just seconds. One YouTube search and you’ll be bombarded with guitar (or any instrument of your choice) classes of different levels.

A one-on-one session is even better, though you could choose this option when you’re really serious about becoming a skilled musician. Since your goal here is to fight stress, however, you don’t really have to get a professional class – especially if money’s the root of your stress.

Wrapping Up

Again, stress is something we can’t avoid. What’s important is that we know how to deal with it effectively, rather than leaving it be. The next time you feel so stressed out, be sure to follow any of the tips above.