While meditation is a wonderful practice for stress-relief, not everyone enjoys the process. It can be hard to sit still or get into the groove if you’re not into the meditation vibe. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other great stress-reducing activities to try! From going out into nature to playing with a pet to learning how to cook, there are so many helpful, calming things to do.

Here’s a list of our favorite stress-reducing activities

  1. Exercise is absolutely number one on the list. It boosts your endorphins and gets that extra energy out. It can also help stabilize your breathing.
  2. Journal! Write it down and see if you get relief from expressing your feelings about whatever is happening that causes the anxiety. Perhaps you’ll see things from a different perspective once it’s in black and white in front of you.
  3. Consider supplements. Many supplements can have a calming effect. Look into Omega-3 fatty acids, Green tea, Valerian, and others that might make an excellent addition to your wellness routine.
  4. Laughter is the best medicine. Take a moment and find something to look at online, call someone who can help you see the humor in whatever is going on. Get home and watch something funny and let your mind relax. Lean into that feeling you get when something makes you laugh.
  5. Candles or essential oils. Many people swear by the power of scents. From lavender and rose to Bergamot, Ylang Yylan, and Sandalwood. Explore the scents that you like. Can’t hurt to have a soothing, nice-smelling candle around.
  6. Animals. Whether you have a pet of your own or you have access to other people’s pets, playing with an animal can be incredibly soothing. Animals are present in ways we struggle with, so it’s interesting to spend time with them when you’re stressed.
  7. Cooking. Cooking is a great activity to kill time, get present, and make something delicious in the process. Don’t know how to cook. Start with easy recipes for beginners.
  8. This is an activity but cut down on caffeine and sugar! Those can add to feelings of stress and anxiety.

There are so many other activities we can suggest from being out in nature to coloring that also has a lovely soothing effect. We make a 12-Step coloring book for this exact reason.

Explore what feels good to you and try making a list for reference of your favorite activities that lend themselves to staying calm. I hope you like our ideas for stress-reducing activities and click here for more on what causes anxiety and what you can do


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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.


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