Creative Ways to Relax with Plays.org
Modern life is stressful. Finding creative ways to relax is essential. Between balancing family, friends and work (not to mention the never ending disasters on the news!), the overwhelm can sometimes get us down. Not all of us have enough time for a two week vacation in Italy 🇮🇹 and an entire month off work!
Even with all the daily demands we face, most of us realize the value of honoring our commitments to others by maintaining consistency in close relationships, making payroll at work and planting roots for the future. Of course this balancing act isn’t easy. The desire to make it happen is why we work so hard. But it’s vital to find creative ways to relax while we take care of our adult life.
Stress produces actual physiological changes in our body, such as increased cortisol and more. While in the short term stress stimulates our immune system to help with an acute injury or another emergency, in the long term it has deleterious effects. Chronic stress has been shown to actually weaken the immune system and in turn makes us more susceptible to viral and bacterial illnesses like the flu, pneumonia and the common cold. Because chronic stress reduces your body’s response to foreign invaders, it also increases the time it takes you to recover from an illness.
Now we know why it’s so important to reduce stress, but how can we effectively achieve this with a limited budget and a tight schedule? What are the best ways to relax without spending too much money? Creativity is key in this scenario.
Here are the 5 most creative ways to relax:
Hygge means “cozy” in Danish. Of Danish descent myself, this practice speaks to the winter-lover in me. Nothing is more relaxing than putting on fuzzy socks, drinking some hot cacao and cuddling up by the fire with someone you love. The best part of hygge is that it’s so simple to achieve.
Bonus: cuddling with someone you care about is scientifically proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and actually protect your health in a variety of ways.
2. Play an Online Game at Plays.org
When we have ruminating thoughts causing us needless stress sometimes the best thing to do is to preoccupy our minds with something calming. Gaming is perfect for this. I like to head over to Plays.org before bed after a stressful day. The website offers a wide selection of free games – no download, signup or app needed. My go-to stress busters are frontline, knife hit and the classic tetra blocks.
Frontline is an awesome game where spaceships fight invading aliens. The trick is to know when to let the ships rest.
Tetra blocks is a super retro game that requires spacial reasoning and a little bit of strategy. It’s great to play when you have a bit more mental energy. It will definitely help preoccupy your mind, especially if spacial reasoning isn’t your strong suit.
My favorite game of all to play online at Plays.org is called knife hit. It’s a very simple game of hand-eye coordination but there’s something so satisfying about seeing the apples and the wood blocks split when you hit the target! This is my top recommendation for mindless fun to creatively reduce stress.
3. Write, Draw or Paint
Creativity itself is a great stress reliever. It doesn’t matter your skill level, self expression is a great way to get into flow state and reduce your worries. You can do these activities independently or side-by-side with others. You can doodle a small sketch, write a silly story or make your first masterpiece. This is an especially helpful practice if you are dealing with difficult emotions or anxiety. Creative undertakings activate the parts of your brain that process emotions.
4. Be in Nature
Sunlight can do wonders for our mood and positive outlook. The majesty of the sky puts our small lives into perspective. Spending time in nature on a daily basis has been proven to lower blood pressure and promote good mental health. Even as little as ten minutes a day can have an enormous long term impact.
5. Chat with a Trusted Confidante
Sometimes we all need to feel like someone is in our corner and has our back. Chatting with a trusted friend or family member can give us a much needed reality check or change of perspective. Just the act of voicing our feelings can give us immediate relief. Venting is a natural part of human nature, as long as we don’t substitute talk for action.
As you can see, with a little creativity, we can all find some ways to relax on a daily basis. Simplicity is key. What are your top creative ways to relax? Did I miss anything? Please leave a comment below.
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