8 Creative Ways to De-Stress, Some of Them Unusual and Great Fun

by Mira

Great ways to relax and unwind, while also staying inspired. Try them, and you’ll see they can make quite a difference!

For most of this year, I’ve been spending loads of time at the computer, with very few real breaks -- most interruptions come in the shape of other work I need to do. As I began to feel stretched thin, I started thinking of changing my life again, in old and new ways -- and I'm happy to say that it's working (pun not intended:).

So what can you do when you work seven days a week and your free time is reduced to a bare minimum? Here are some suggestions, some less surprising and others more creative and offbeat. But before I get to them, here are a few pointers about varying your schedule which also produce great results.

1. Get one good night’s sleep every few days

Research says that it’s important to have a fixed sleeping schedule, but if you can’t manage to get enough sleep, arrange your schedule so that you can catch up on sleep somewhat every few days. If that means taking a natural supplement to fall asleep at 8 p.m., go for it!

2. Vary your work often

Bosses often complain that employees spend time on email or browsing stuff online, but the truth is that most people lose focus if they spend several hours doing the same kind of work. So if you are the type of person who does email only in the morning, for instance, try reading and writing messages during your work day as well. By that time your creative gears are in motion, and you may discover that a personal email can help you find a solution you could use at your job. I have come upon the design idea below (the word “more” with top hat), for instance, after a discussion with a friend.

more, with Top Hat, in Light Pink Glitter
Shirt with the word "more" and top hat, in silver glitter

And now for the more unusual tips for relieving stress.

3. Go someplace really crowded, and then someplace really quiet

Sometimes it’s good to shake your senses in unexpected ways. If you use the subway at rush hours, for instance, your senses will be bombarded by the multitude of people using the trains at those times, which may feel like a lot, but if you decide to be in the moment and observe as much as you can of those people around you, you may discover upon getting off the subway that they have actually passed you by in a pleasant whoosh. If you then go to a quieter place, say at a sidewalk cafe, to enjoy a drink, that experience, too, will be heightened, as you will relax far more into the moment than you normally do.

4. Spend time photographing AND identifying trees and flowers, paying attention to the quality of light

Speaking of being in the moment, photographing nature is a great way to achieve that. Try to discover a new tree or plant every week, or at least one of their various names (scientific and folk names), and you will soon find that you look forward to seeing new specimens, and get rather excited when you do. A few days ago, while buying flowers for my mother, I learned that tuberoses, Polianthes tuberosa, are also called chiparoase in Romanian (besides tuberoze), which would translate in English as a feminine plural form of the word cypress (as in the tree). Given that they’re so boldly tall, I found the name quite suitable.

As you study new plants and photograph them, you will begin to pay more and more attention to colors and the joys of various qualities of light. Spending much time in my home city in the past few years, I found that some days strolling through parks for two hours can feel pretty amazing. Here's why (photos below).

Nature, Colors, Light
Snow-laden fir tree
Snow-laden fir tree
© Mira at Wizzley
Ornamental tree
Ornamental tree
© Mira at Wizzley
Burst-of-yellow tree :) (?)
Burst-of-yellow tree :) (?)
© Mira
Maple tree
Maple tree
© Mira at Wizzley
Birch tree
Birch tree
© Mira at Wizzley
Sunset on the waters
Sunset on the waters
© Mira at Wizzley

Note how the waves and reflections on the water parallel the shape of the willow leaves.

5. Interact with random people

I often talk to flower women and other florists as I walk about the city, and I also address other people to inquire about a nice pair of sandals, or a nice backpack, for instance. People here are quite comfortable being approached this way, and sometimes random interactions of this kind have led to my having a cup of coffee with one person or another. It doesn’t mean I have instantly become pals with them, but a cup of coffee or tea enjoyed in the company of a total stranger can be quite powerful and relaxing on its own.

Personalizable iPhone 7 Plus / 8 Plus Case with a quote from Goethe: "I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should"

6. Teach strangers some of your skills

There are plenty of centers for adult education around the world, along with community centers. Think of something you could teach others, and start doing it! The interaction with a trainee can be fantastic if you’re passionate about the knowledge and skills you’re sharing. When I teach English at the end of a long day, I sleep better than I normally do, because the human interaction works some magic on me.

Coffee Mug with a quote from Tolstoy: "All, everything that I understand, I understand because of love."
Work ever smarter, be ever kinder Tank Top

7. Help strangers

While it’s true that charity begins at home, there is great charity and love in helping strangers. I’ve learned that from my American friends and I’m passing it on. One of my most inspired examples: I once searched for submission calls for an artist I believed in, and because he needed a portfolio online I created a website for him and digitized his work. He received an impressive prize at that competition, along with paid expenses for a trip abroad.

8. Drink lots of tea

Green, white, black, and oolong tea has a chemical, L-theanine, which improves focus while reducing stress. Speak of a fabulous combination!

Tea is also rich in flavonoids -- antioxidants which prevent illnesses and help us age better.

Drink tea and let it be Tea Cup
Friends and tea make a sweet combination Tea Cup
I believe in flavonoids T-shirt
Life requires determination. And tea (mousepad)

I hope you've enjoyed my tips. Please feel free to share your own ways of shedding stress :)

Updated: 05/19/2019, Mira
 
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Mira 22 days ago

Hi Shraddha, thanks for your input. Yes, I have read many articles and studies saying that anxiety and depression will be serious problems in the future.

I have been looking at meditation for years now but somehow I just can't make it work for me. I am not giving up though :) What I find works wonder for me is spending time in nature. The sounds of nature are simply marvelous. I now remember you did an article on this :) So maybe I'm doing involuntary meditation when I walk in parks :)

WriterArtist 23 days ago

You have some great ideas to relax and de-stress. The problem however is that mind refuses to listen. Anger, anxiety and depression are some of the symptoms when the mind rolls in desperate thoughts repeatedly. Sometimes the period lasts for minutes, other times it would not go even after an year.
All the ideas you have listed will help if a person wants to be helped and in extreme cases, one might need the help of psychiatrist. It is an ever increasing problem with our generation and future, due to many reasons - nuclear families, no time for socializing, life style choices and many others.

I have found that meditation helps. It helps even more if one makes it part of daily routine.

Mira on 09/07/2018

Hi Derdriu, that building is a shed next to a restaurant. I took several pictures and that man appeared to be sweeping or mopping that ledge. I agree it's an intriguing photo!

Mira on 09/07/2018

Yes, apparently breaking things is a stress reliever! As is sitting by the water! Thank you, Tolovaj! :)

Mira on 09/07/2018

Thank you, Pam! Same thing here with photos. And yes, knitting is nice, too. I've been a knitter since my childhood days. Not so much in recent years, but sometimes I listen to the occasional podcast while knitting :)

Glad you like my products! :)

DerdriuMarriner on 09/06/2018

Mira, Is the last photo of a private or public building? It has all the makings of a mystery novel, a short story or a spy tale since the man looks furtive, serious or tired.

Tolovaj on 09/06/2018

Stress is a number one killer in the Western hemisphere. If I may add two more anti-dots: sitting by the water and breaking old flower pots. Both tested!

dustytoes on 09/06/2018

Mira this is an inspired page. You have shared some very unique ideas to de-stress. Photography is one of the best things and especially if you don't expect too much from it. I take many photos to get maybe one or two I truly like. (I stay away from trying to photograph wild animals - it only annoys me!) The photos you shared here are wonderful!
These days walking or knitting are great stress relievers for me, but when I was raising my 4 children, I rarely found time to relax. When I did, I tried to soak in the peaceful moments wherever and whenever they happened.
I love your products too!

Mira on 09/06/2018

Thank you, BSG!:)

blackspanielgallery on 09/06/2018

I like the photographing idea.

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