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Some Old Fashioned Stress Relief


By Jess | 9th Apr 2013 | Posted in Productivity

This post has nothing to do with marketing. But it might be worth a read if you’re a stressed out marketer.

Modern life is stressful, there’s no two ways about it. And we’ve all felt the uncomfortable pinch of stress at some point in our personal and professional lives.

There are many ways to relieve stress, and there are plenty of blog posts, articles, and television shows offering that very solution.  Some advocate meditation, others talk of the benefits of plenty of exercise and a good night’s sleep.  Most talk of the importance of taking time for yourself.  But these, I think, are a bit too conventional.  Finding something that satisfies you and gives you a sense of achievement can really help you relax and feel less tense.  With retro lifestyles and nostalgic hobbies now in fashion, there are loads of activities you can take up to help you relax.

Knitting and crochet

You’ve probably never given knitting a second thought.  It’s something that mums and grandmothers do. It involves needles and wool and purling and it’s a big confusing mess.  And crochet?  That’s a misspelling of a Victorian lawn game, right?  Knitting and crochet are fun and inexpensive hobbies that are quick to pick up and fun to learn.  They’re something you can do when you have a spare five minutes, and shouldn’t take away any time from other activities.  After all, you can still watch Game of Thrones while making a scarf.

Embroidery

Cast aside any gender stereotypes you might have for this one.  I admit it, playing with needles and thread might not seem the most interesting of diversions, but there is something very satisfying in making something with your own hands.  You can make patterns, or recreate your favourite movie scenes, or even make presents for yourself and friends.  You can forget about whatever’s troubling you and just focus on what you’re making.

Baking

Yeah, baking has become very popular recently and for good reason.  You can make delicious things and improve your state of mind.  Following a recipe and beating out your frustrations into a bowl of batter can do wonders for your stress levels.  It also provides you with cake, proving that baking is the perfect hobby.

Growing vegetables

Gardening is a great hobby, and growing your own vegetables is even better.  It’s good for you – it’s great exercise, gets you out in the open air and helps with your five a day.  It’s good for the environment – you’re less reliant on vegetables that have been flown halfway across the globe and built up a huge carbon footprint in the process.  It’s good for your wallet – if you’re successful, you’ll be buying a lot less food and saving up a bit of money that can be better spent on DVD boxsets and cake.

Keeping livestock

Okay, bear with me on this. Sure, the idea of buying animals is stressful in itself and sounds expensive.  Sure, it might seem a bit weird to consider keeping chickens or geese or even a goat in the back garden.  However, there is something incredibly rewarding and calming about keeping animals.  Caring for animals can really put your own troubles into perspective and lets you spend, let’s say, an hour a day not having to think about anything.  If you choose to get birds, you’ll enjoy the benefits of fresh eggs daily.  And for that extra sense of satisfaction, there are charities that let you purchase ex-battery hens to give them a better life.  You get to nurture them, to see them happy and outside the confines of cages, and develop a bond with them.

These unusual means of stress relief are nostalgic and that’s the key to their success; they remind us of a simpler time, when pressures were minimal and there was little to worry about – other than dying of tuberculosis. They can lead to us finding new social groups, new friends, and providing a sense of community and support. The feeling of being supported and encouraged is what we all want, right?  Something simple that makes you happy is the key to feeling less stressed and more content.

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Jon Buchan
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