If you’re ever feeling and looking like my son pictured above 👆🏼 then you definitely need to keep reading this blog post about my favourite 5 ways to de-stress, and I call them unique because they’re not your typical ways to de-stress. It’s none of that “take deep breathes, get into a relaxing bubble bath, go for a walk in the park” etc. These are ways that genuinely really help me to de-stress when I’m feeling very overwhelmed, lost, stuck, suffocated, hopeless, unorganised and a bit all over the place – you know that kind of stress?! Oh god, the worst kind!! I wanted to share these tips with you in case they also really help you the way they’ve helped me over the years. I first started doing these 5 things to de-stress when I was just 14 years old and at first I didn’t realise that they were ways to de-stress, I didn’t look at it in that way, all I knew was I felt much better after I did them so I continued doing them each time I felt very stressed. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I took a step back and realised that I had been doing the same 5 things whenever I was having a really stressful week/month and not only were they quite unique but they genuinely worked and helped me. So, without further ado, I’m looking forward to sharing this with you!
1.) Re-decorate / re-arrange a room in the house: so this is the one I’ve been doing the longest. I started doing this when I was 14 years old and it started when I had been going through such a horrible few months at school, I was being profusely bullied & beaten up by the School bullies and I was just completely fed up with coming home and feeling depressed in my bedroom. I wanted to be able to come home and de-stress and be in an environment that made me feel safe and happy. My bedroom, at the time, was filled with bad memories of me coming home and crying on my bed for hours because I was sick of being bullied. So every time I went into my bedroom, the whole room just felt very depressed and sad because of those memories. The bad memories had left a sad feel to the room. So I asked my mum if we could re-decorate my room and, luckily, she said yes. We went to Homebase and bought some paint, and then to ikea to order some new furniture (a new bed and wardrobe specifically) by the end of the week my room looked completely different and I no longer felt sad & depressed when I was in it because it no longer looked or felt like my old bedroom that I cried in every day. It was a completely new room and I loved it! It made me feel happy, safe and hopeful. It was like I was starting a fresh! The actual process of decorating and re-arranging a room is therapeutic too. I tend to re-arrange or re-decorate a room about once a year and it keeps me feeling de-stressed, safe and happy 😊 I can’t recommend this enough!
2.) Adult colouring book/dot-to-dot book: A few years ago I was introduced to adult colouring books and adult dot-to-dot books by friends of mine who just did it for fun. And I don’t blame them, it really is fun. So I jumped on the bandwagon and ended up finding that it helped with my anxiety and stress so much more than a lot of other things I have previously tried. It relaxes me so much, and most importantly, it completely takes my mind off of whatever it is I’m currently worrying about or getting stressed and anxious about, because all my focus and concentration is on the colouring / dot-to-dot book. Next thing I know, 2 hours has flown by, I’m still sat on my sofa colouring in, and I’m feeling as relaxed and peaceful as ever. I really can’t recommend it enough.
(Above: my dot-to-dot book that I spent my Saturday morning doing yesterday. The perfect way to de-stress)
3. Watch oddly satisfying YouTube videos: So this one is a good one! I started doing this most recently, about a year ago. I find that if it’s late at night and it’s too late to start re-decorating or colouring in, I get into bed and I watch YouTube videos on my phone. But not just any video, oddly satisfying videos. My most recent favourite is titled “Most Satisfying Soap Cutting” <— click the link to see for yourself 😂
There’s not much I can say on here that will explain just how oddly satisfying AND relaxing these videos are because not only are you watching and listening to something that is pleasing you, but your full focus and attention is suddenly on these videos and you completely forget what you were worrying and stressing about. So it honestly works wonders for me. I’ll just let the videos do the explaining. I’ll post a few links to my favourite videos below (my favourite is the soap video posted in the paragraph above) :
De-clutter the house:
This one is for when you’re so stressed and fed up you almost just want to start all over again. You want to start a fresh. You want to reset! I personally find that the best way to “reset”, or at least get a similar feeling of resetting, is to completely de-clutter my house. It gives me that sense of getting my shit together, starting a fresh, organising the hell out of my life, not just my day. I get 2 big bin bags for each room in the house. 1 bag is for rubbish and junk that I’ll never want to use again and will be no good at a charity shop or selling online. That pile goes in that bag and then into the bin. The 2nd bag is for bits and bobs that I will never use again, but would be good to sell or send to a charity shop. I go around every room and completely de-clutter so that my house feels like a fresh new home, like I’ve reset the house. It’s such a fulfilling feeling and like a weight has been physically lifted off my shoulders once I’ve finished. I can’t recommend this enough! Little tip: be strict with yourself when de-cluttering. Don’t keep anything that you really don’t need or use anymore! I’m a huge hoarder sometimes (hence why I regularly need to de-clutter)
Knitting: Last, but definitely not least, is knitting. Simply, knitting. To anyone who doesn’t knit and has never even picked up knitting needles before, this is definitely for you! Starting a new hobby can be daunting, especially to people who have anxiety and/or depression. A million questions start going through your head. “What if I’m no good at it?” “What if people judge me?” “What if I make mistakes?” If these are the type of questions that go through your head, then this is just proof you definitely need to start knitting. Knitting is one of the most relaxing hobbies ever. Actually, it’s the most relaxing hobby ever. Being able to just simply sit in a quiet room, or even a semi-quiet room with the tv on low in the background for a bit of company (c’mon, admit you do that too!!?) is just so calming and tranquil. It’s even better if it’s a nice day outside and you knit outside. And the best part of this is you don’t even need to be good at knitting to do this, you really don’t. You don’t have to knit a jumper or a scarf. Just knit a square. You don’t need to make a masterpiece at the end of it! Not at all! The whole point of this is to de-stress, it’s the actual movement of your hands whilst your knitting, the gentle clicking sound of the knitting needles tapping against each other, and your mind completely focusing on what you’re doing – that’s the calming part of it, not what the masterpiece is going to look like at the end of it. So if you’re sat there reading this biting your nails and worrying you won’t be any good at knitting..please don’t worry any longer. Simply knit a square 😊 it’s the principal behind the knitting that helps you, not what you’re knitting!