a year ago – by Lisa Marlin

10 Creative Stress-Busters to Bring Some (Much Needed) Calm to Your Life

6 min read
Learn how to boost your mental health and wellbeing the creative way with these fun and productive offline stress-busters.
  1. Top 10 Stress-Busters That You Can Do At Home
  2. Give Yourself a Mental Break!

In our modern, fast-paced lives, stress is all too common. Whether work, family, or social pressures, stress can snowball to the point that it impacts on your health. Stress is not only devastating to your mental health, but it can also affect your physical health, manifesting in symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, and digestive problems.

Often, stress can build up over time and you may not realise just how stressed you are until it’s already taking its toll. It is therefore critical to include stress-busters in your daily life, and take time out to relax and release the tension of everyday pressures. And there’s nothing better to relieve stress than getting creative!

Top 10 Stress-Busters That You Can Do At Home

From activities that calm the senses to crafting projects, there is no shortage of creative activities that can help relieve stress, while being a rewarding way to spend time offline.

1. Paint

There is something very satisfying about bringing a picture to life with paints, pens, pencil, or chalk. A short session of painting or colouring will put you in a different frame of mind and do wonders to relieve stress.

You don’t need to create your own masterpiece to enjoy painting or colouring. You can keep things simple with adult colouring books, mandalas, doodles, or try your hand at chalk paints. This easy medium has a unique aesthetic and is suitable for working on a range of surfaces, allowing you to make anything from wall art to home décor items.

2. Puzzle

Puzzles are a great way to embrace mindfulness. As you focus on putting the puzzle together piece by piece, you focus on being in the moment, and let the stresses and worries of the day fade away.

Puzzling is one of the most approachable creative activities there is. You literally create a picture out of the puzzle pieces, but without any mess or fuss. Additionally, as you put the pieces together and see the picture form, you can enjoy the sense of accomplishment of finishing your puzzle.

3. Dance

Creative expression doesn’t have to involve a paint brush or putting a pen to paper — you can also use your body. Dance is a fantastic stress buster because it not only means expressing yourself creatively, but it is exercise too.

You can attend a dance class online or in person, follow YouTube or TikTok tutorials, or simply put on your favourite song and dance around your living room. When you dance, your body releases endorphins that reduce stress and makes you feel happy. To get the maximum stress busting benefits, dance like nobody's watching and really allow yourself to let loose. 

4. Journal

Journaling is another great way to relax and unwind. This is great for relieving tension: as you put your worries on paper, this helps to lighten the load. Journaling can also be very creative, with elements such as stream of consciousness writing. Betterly’s Art of Journaling series is the perfect place to start, with all the materials and inspiration you need for your relaxing journaling journey.

5. Make Your Own Candles

There are few things more relaxing than burning a candle, from the calming scents to the soft, flickering light. The aromatherapy value of candles have been scientifically proven: studies have shown that certain scents can help to reduce stress and anxiety. You can add an extra stress-busting activity by making your own candles.

All you need to do for candle making is to add a wick to a container. You then fill it up with melted candle wax and essential oils. Once it hardens, your candle will be ready to use. 

The best part about this activity is that you can customize your candle with your favourite scented oils. If you want to learn more about the power of scents, take a look at our Scented Memories series.

6. Paper Craft

Paper craft projects are creative and productive while being simple and relaxing to do. There are a range of paper crafts, from origami to decoupage that are easy to make with a few basic materials. You’ll be amazed by the beautiful things you can make from paper, such as jewellery boxes, wall hangings, and much more.

Looking for some inspiration? Take a look at these 11 DIY paper craft decorations to bring joy to any space, or this list of fun decoupage projects.

7. Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles have become popular in recent times, as they stimulate the senses in a relaxing way that helps to reduce stress. These bottles are filled with shimmering water and glitter that provide a pleasing sensory experience. You can get creative by making your own sensory bottle for a long-lasting stress busting item.

8. Garden

Gardening may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about getting creative. However, it’s certainly creative in its own way: you’ll be creating and cultivating life as you grow plants, herbs, or flowers.

Gardening is also a fantastic way to manage stress, giving you your own little piece of nature to relax and unwind in. You don’t need to have a large garden to indulge your green thumb: you can make a mini garden with a few pots or a window box!

9. Cooking

Whether baking or barbecuing, you’ll feel the stress melt away as you create delicious foods and meals. Psychologists tell us that getting busy in the kitchen can help to reduce stress and boost your mental health.

This is likely because cooking distracts you from your worries and gives you something to look forward to, such as trying out a new recipe. If you’re not an experienced cook, maybe don’t jump straight into a complex five-course meal just yet. Perhaps start by making some easy muffins, or learn to barbecue with Betterly’s Cooking with Fire series.

10. Crochet

Crochet is the perfect craft project for clearing your mind while making something pretty. Similar to knitting but easier to learn, in crochet you use wool and a hook to make a series of knots that create a cosy textile. The repetitive nature of making knots makes this activity especially soothing. In the end, you create something beautiful that is also practical, from clothing and accessories to handy household items.

Give Yourself a Mental Break!

Don’t take your mental and physical health for granted. These stress-busters will help you to tap into your artistic mind, create amazing things, and improve your emotional wellbeing. Perhaps best of all, these activities will help you to cut down on your screen time.

If you want your own stress busting “me time” delivered right to your door, check out our creative range of subscription boxes.

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