Engaging in Fun Activities to Mitigate Stress

5 min readApr 6, 2022


By Dr. Ryan C. Warner

Engaging in Fun Activities to Mitigate Stress (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Work can wear you out, so it’s important to find the best ways to recover when you have time off. Finding fun activities that help you rebuild your strength can make you happier, more productive, and help life be more enjoyable.

Keep reading to discover several great ways to have fun and relax.

Self-Care Tips

The most important thing you can do about your self-care is to make it routine. There are many ways to reduce stress, so where you start isn’t as important as just getting started. The more you incorporate stress-reduction techniques into your life, the more fun you will have. Get started today for the best results.

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On the other hand, overhauling your morning and evening routines can be an ideal place to improve your self-care. Brushing your teeth can be boring, so put together a fun playlist and make the task more interesting. Music can reduce stress, too, so adding it to your bedtime routine can help ease you into a pleasant night’s sleep. Personally, I like to listen to comedy routines in the morning to give me an upbeat attitude and energy.

Listening to Music Can Reduce Stress. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Going forward, you can look at other aspects of your life and find additional tasks you can turn into habits. Physical and mental exercise, food preparation, laundry, and hygiene are all important self-care activities that can be turned into automatic routines. The longer you practice them, the easier they get, and the deeper engrained they become as habits. And you can always find ways to make them more fun.

When self-care becomes automatic, your stress levels will decline. Having a growth mindset can be a huge help here because there is always something you can do a little better. As gratitude is essential to the growth mindset, incorporating fun rewards into your routines can really give you a boost.

Vacations as Self-Care

Vacations can also improve our mental health by reducing depression and anxiety. Vacations do not have to be long. In fact, research shows that even a short vacation can reduce stress. Additionally, the destination does not have to be an extravagant location. It could simply be a “stay-cation” or time away from stressful tasks. It can be tempting to plan vacations packed with experiences where you rush from location to location, but this can backfire. When you try to do too much, you come back from a vacation more stressed out than when you left, and you might feel like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation.

A Short Vacation Can Reduce Stress. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Furthermore, you may have noticed that anticipating something is often more intense than the actual event you’re anticipating. This holds true for both good and bad events. Mark Twain said. “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

You can use this truism to maximize your relaxation. As soon as you get back from a vacation, start planning your next vacation. In fact, you should put your fun activities on your calendar. Even if you prefer spontaneous fun, if you schedule some of your activities out, you will get the real advantages that come from anticipating fun things. If you don’t want to lose the magic of spontaneity, practice looking forward to the surprises that spontaneity will bring.

Stress-Reduction Techniques

Sometimes you need more than some relaxing fun to get on top of your stress. In these cases, practicing stress-relief exercises can be a lifesaver. I like to use them as a preventative measure whenever I anticipate something difficult coming. They are a great way to mitigate stress and stay on top of things.

Learn how to reduce stress by starting small. Take a few minutes to think about the activities you do on a given day and in a given week. What do you already do that relieves stress? Are there small things you keep putting off that increase your stress? I like to ignore my laundry, but when I do, it piles up and creates unnecessary stress for me. That’s why I’ve put my laundry on a schedule. I do laundry twice a week, even if I don’t need to. That way, I stay on top of it and I don’t get stressed about my laundry anymore.

Scheduling chores and unpleasant activities reduces your stress because once they are on your calendar, you don’t have to remember them.

Learning how to manage stress is easier when you use a schedule. The more you plan things out, the less you have to remember, and the fewer things you will miss or forget. If you don’t already use a schedule, I suggest you start. It’s easier than it looks, especially if you only schedule things you know you are going to do.

Managing Stress: Good for Your Health | Veterans Health Administration

You can use your calendar to help, too. April is stress awareness month, so why not take advantage of the opportunity and use it to overhaul your stress-management plan?

Indulge in Fun Activities That Help You Relax

Everyone deals with stress, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. While unplanned things occur in life, being continuously active can help the mind relax.

10 Relaxing Things To Do By Yourself | Self Care Habits | Malama Life

If you’re just sitting on the couch, it’s easy to worry about all the things that might go wrong or are going wrong. Engaging in activities that make you move your body will help you sharpen your focus and keep it on things that can help. Nothing’s worse than worrying about things you can’t change.

When you engage in vigorous exercise, it can actually reverse stress-induced brain damage. When your heart rate goes up, the body releases hormones like norepinephrine that improve your mood and help you think more clearly. It stimulates nerve activity and growth, repairing damage that has been done to the brain by stress and helping you become more resilient.

Fun activities lower your stress, and this is reflected by stress hormones like cortisol. In addition, when you are breathing deep and your heart is pumping, your body flushes out waste products. This is a natural way to cleanse your body of toxins and help you feel great.

How often do you plan out self-care? I recommend you take five minutes right now and plan out a fun activity that will help you better manage your stress. I guarantee it will do you good.

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