5 Activities to Help Clear Your Mind and De-Stress
There’s no denying that modern life can be intensely stressful. If your work or professional life (or both) has you feeling overwhelmed, we have the answer. We’ve gathered five fun activities that can get your mind off your worries—and lower your anxiety. Not only that, you’ll have a blast while you do it! Get ready to dive in, focus on something other than what’s stressing you out, and truly relax.
1 - Go For a Run
Have you been fidgeting and squeezing a stress ball constantly? Put that energy to use and get your body working by going for a run! Not only will it feel better than sitting still and overthinking, but the physical activity will release endorphins. These feel-good chemicals will give you a natural high and lower your stress, helping you feel better before you know it.
Are you worried that your work or home stress will follow you on your run? Engage your mind as well as your body by listening to podcasts or audiobooks while you jog. This is a fantastic way to give your mind a break while also nurturing it.
2 - Play Strategy Card Games
Looking for a fun way to be social while destressing? Invite over your best friends and have a night full of strategy card games! When you play something as sophisticated as poker, it’ll fully occupy your mind, letting you leave your worries behind. And if you’re new to the game, don’t be intimidated; learning how to play can be fun and surprisingly simple!
If money is one of your current stressors, your poker night doesn’t have to add to it. Instead of betting cash, you and your friends can bet candy, party favors or even Monopoly money!
3 - Ready, Set, Bake!
If you’re eager for a stress-reducing distraction that also feels productive, baking may be your next hobby. Unlike other forms of cooking, which can be more freeform, baking is a precise science. Because of this, it’ll fully engage your mind. You won’t be able to ruminate on your professional or personal problems. Instead, you’ll totally occupy yourself with measuring, mixing and timing everything exactly.
And there’s an even better bonus! Baking for someone else has been shown to reduce stress and make you feel great. So head into the kitchen, bake up a batch of cookies, and gift some to a friend. (You can even bet your cookies while playing poker for twice the stress relief!)
4 - Get Creative
Letting your inner artist out can be a wonderful way to relax and occupy your mind. Remember, you don’t have to worry about how “talented” you are or how “good” the result is. All that matters is letting loose, relaxing and allowing your project to be your focus. You can sing, learn an instrument, knit a sweater or follow along to a Bob Ross tutorial. Whatever it is, silence your inner critic and just have fun.
One easy and proven option? Coloring! One study has shown that coloring complex, geometric patterns may reduce anxiety. So settle in with a coloring book, crayons or colored pencils and prepare to let your worries fade away.
5 - Try Yoga
Anxiety can leave your muscles feeling tight and tense, and can even make you feel disconnected from your body. You can solve both issues by trying out a few yoga stretches. Not only will this help loosen and relax your body, but yoga has also been shown to actually lower stress.
Your mind will also get a break. One of the points of yoga is to help you focus your thoughts on the present moment. Instead of cycling through your worries, you’ll be focusing on your poses, your breath and connecting your mind and body.
Clear Your Mind With These Fun Options
No matter what is stressing you out, these stimulating and engaging hobbies will help calm you. By redirecting your mind from your worries to something new and interesting, you’ll give yourself a major break. Whether you try running, baking, yoga, being creative or playing poker, let it grab your attention and relax you!