girl silhouette leaning on fence against sunset

Ways to de-stress and ideas for self care

Even before the pandemic, people were feeling more stressed out, mental health issues were increasing. We’re more aware than ever before about how important mental health is. For those of us lucky enough not to suffer from any mental health issues, self care and the ability to relax and de-stress is important. Not everyone finds it easy to practice self care, so here’s ideas of ways to practice self care, to take time out and relax.

Self care “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress”

ways to de-stress

Ways to practice self care and de-stress

Readlose yourself in a book or listen to an audiobook. Choose wisely depending on your mood, but read for your enjoyment not because someone has told you about a good book ‘you should read’.

Listen to music – choose your favourite genre, with lyrics or without. Why not set up playlists for different moods (e.g relaxation, upbeat, mood-boosting)

Dance – dancing can help you come alive. It’s my favourite thing to do, although I prefer to get out for a specific event to dance the night away with others.  But if at home, I’m happy to just put on music and dance around the kitchen.  As they say ‘dance like no-one’s watching’.

Sing – another moodbooster. Research has proven that singing can improve a person’s mood. Sing along or join a choir.

Get outside – for a walk, just sit in the garden or park and watch the world go by, fly a kite

Jump in puddles – be like a child without a care in the world

Smell flowers – using the sense of smell will help relax, and help you appreciate everything around you.

Stroke pets or enjoy time with animals

Nap – not for too long. 20 minutes nap time is meant to be a good length for adults.

Catch up with friends – combine this with one of the other ideas, like going for a walk or exercising together.

Set yourself a challenge – something that’s different to your everyday and will switch your mind off from normal activities, e.g completing a puzzle

Meditate – there’s lots of mediation ideas online, on youtube, or try a wellness app like Headspace.

Give up unhealthy habits – drinking, smoking or staying up too late (I’m terrible at staying up way too late). Recently there’s been a decrease in drinking by young people, millennials and Gen Z choosing to drink less, while there’s been a huge increase in alcohol free beers availability and purchasing.

Get active – it doesn’t matter how you do it, but enjoy it and you’ll do more of it. I find dancing around the kitchen while cooking is great.

Hug a friend 

See family – being part of a community and family can make you feel more loved and closer to people, able to unload stresses with others.

Volunteer – helping others and doing something worthwhile can bring lots of benefits.

Look for the positives – the more you look for the positives in something, the more you’re likely to feel happier and more lucky in life.

Try breathing techniques – not just for pregnant women or those who have panic attacks. Learning breathing techniques can be good for everything, giving you chance to just focus on that at the time.

Call a support person – everyone needs someone to unload to, whether it’s a partner, friend or a therapist. Sometimes it’s better for it not to be someone you’re close to, who you’ll feel will be impacted by any of your problems.

Get creative with painting, colouring, or stickers by number sets.

Go to the beach – walk, body board, fly a kite, skate on the promenade, or just sit and people watch or listen to the sea.

Listen to white noise or nature sounds to make you relax and zone out from everyday sounds.

Identify your stress triggers – learn what makes you stressed and find ways to cope and reduce the impact.

Walk – alone, with a dog or with friends.


girl silhouette leaning on fence against sunset

Eat healthily – increase your fruit and vegetable intake, a well balanced nutritious diet, drink plenty of water, eat at set times through the day, and avoid eating late at night.

Change your sleeping hours to be more productive – but keep them consistent with similar wake up times for weekdays and weekends.

Get plantsplants help bring the outside in, clear the air, and can provide a boost to wellbeing. Green is also a calming colour

Declutter – removing clutter can help you feel unburdened and less enclosed in your space.

Unplug – give time to non screen hobbies and activities. 

Scream – if you’re feeling tense and stressed, find somewhere to scream and shout.

Also check out my lists to help with anxiety and stress

What do you do to de-stress and relax?

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  1. There are things we do on a regular/daily basis. If can see how incorporating even 1 or 2 of these in a daily/regular routine, will help with our well being.

  2. These are some great suggestions to help de-stress and practise self-care. I like to spend time with family and my partner, have a long shower or bath, put on a face mask or watch my favourite tv shows/movies. Thank you for sharing.


    1. Family is definitely a good one to take your mind off things. Sounds like you’ve got de-stressing down to a fine art.

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