Conventional self-care advice not doing the trick? Fair enough. Meditation, journaling, a balanced diet, and social support might not be accessible or effective for everyone. And even if they are, people may still want to add a few outside-of-the-box ideas to their self-care kit. Today, we’ll talk about 6 unusual self-care techniques to manage stress. Read on to learn more!
1. Scream into the Void (or a Pillow, for the Neighbor’s Sake)
Ahh, the existential scream. It can help us blow off steam and give a voice to our struggles, particularly if we’re overflowing with tension. The key is to direct the scream at no one in particular (don’t yell at people). Yell on the balcony, in the forest, or into a pillow. Some people even like to throw in a few “choice” words for added oomph.
2. Watch a Horror Movie
It might seem counterproductive to watch horror movies when we’re stressed. After all, why would we want to experience more anxiety? But horror movies can help reduce stress. Our brain reacts to horror movies as if the threat is real, putting us in a fight or flight state. But consciously we know it’s fake. This allows us to experience stress in a controlled state and process it safely. We can then apply these coping methods to real life. Plus, watching horror movies can distract us from our stressful thoughts for a while.
3. Rearrange the Room
As strange as it sounds, rearranging our space can be a handy self-care tool. For one, accomplishing this task can make us feel like we have an effective, positive impact on our environment. Also, it allows us to flex our creative muscles, and design a space that fits our current needs. In times of uncertainty and stress, creating our desired environment can bring a sense of safety and stability. Move the furniture, art, carpets. Have fun with it!
4. Get Lost, Get Present
Sometimes, getting lost in an unfamiliar place can help reduce mental stress. This won’t work for everyone, particularly non-adventurous types who find new environments anxiety-inducing. But for those with a sense of wanderlust, exploring new places can help us stay present. When navigating unfamiliar territory, our full mental attention is required. This leaves little room to ruminate about other stressful things. Of course, we should wander in a safe place, and take necessary precautions (bring a phone, map, etc.). We can even visit a part of our city we’ve never been to before, check out shops, parks, neighborhoods, etc.
5. Clear the Clutter
The word cleaning doesn’t really spark feelings of excitement (and may even cause stress). But if our homes are filled with clutter, it can damage our mental well-being and satisfaction. It reduces our ability to enjoy our home and feel relaxed. Plus, clutter is a constant reminder that we need to clean, which makes it hard to take pride in our home. Mess often builds up because we think we’ll need an item “later” or we’re holding onto things for sentimental reasons. While this is fine in moderation, we should let some things go. We can clean out each room, and only put back what we want to keep. The rest we can donate or throw away. Even daily tidying of high-traffic areas is helpful for a mood boost. No one likes a sink full of dishes or a dirty bathroom.
6. Duke it Out
Unsurprisingly, using a punching bag to release emotions may help reduce stress. But we’re often taught to view any physical expression of frustration as negative and violent. And this is definitely true for person-on-person violence. However, if we’re not hurting anyone, there’s no reason we shouldn’t pummel a punching bag until we feel better (physical limitation considered, of course). Punching a bag releases endorphins, which reduce pain and increase pleasant feelings. It also relaxes muscles and helps us focus, taking our minds off of our problems.
Who says self-care has to be generic? If healthy creative solutions reduce stress, whether screaming in the forest or at the chainsaw-wielding villain in a movie, we should use them.
Get weird, find what works, and feel better.