At-Home Activities to Lower Stress While Energizing the Mind

When we think of stress relief, we tend to think of calming activities that slow things down and lower our energy levels. While it is important to create space in your life for respite and relaxation, there’s another mental health necessity that’s often overlooked: fun. It can be hard to find time in your busy schedule to enjoy yourself, and social distancing restrictions make social plans even harder. The good news is there are many easy activities for adults to enjoy at home, raising morale and in turn, lowering stress.

Science supports the notion that spirit-lifting activities have long-term benefits to mental health. Whether by sparking creativity, prompting feelings of accomplishment, or creating points of connection with others, recreational activities trigger endorphins, leading to a heightened sense of well-being. This relieves stress in the short term and increases overall motivation. In addition to mood-lifting benefits, many activities have also been found to improve brain function and even help prevent memory loss.

Below are a few of ManukaGuard’s favorite at-home activities, all of which are highly adaptable to your needs. Some of these revive and reinvent nostalgic childhood activities, while others add zest to some of the domestic activities that may have lost their excitement. Whatever it is that appeals to you, the most important thing to know is that no matter how old you are, no matter what social distancing restrictions are in place, it’s not only possible but important for you to create fun experiences under your very own roof. If the short-term rewards aren’t incentive enough, look at it as a long-term investment in your own well-being.

Take on art projects. You may not have tried arts and crafts since summer camp, but at-home art projects are a great way to stimulate creativity and develop new skills. From elementary school staples like markers and crayons to more advanced materials like oil pastels or oven-bake clays, there are endless options for focused yet relaxing art-making time. Some crafting activities like knitting and quilting even result in items to furnish your home or add to your wardrobe. It’s easy to find online tutorials for every arts and crafts discipline under the sun, so don’t let a lack of experience deter you! In any case, regardless of the product, what’s most important is the time. For many, art projects are a delightful and satisfying evening ritual, keeping the brain active while checking out of daily stresses.

Play games. Another activity you may associate with growing up, many games actually require skilled thinking and are even more fun for adults. From challenging board games like Monopoly and chess to advanced card games like Hearts, games can strengthen your mental acuity and create absorbing events throughout your week. There are also many great games that require few or no materials, such as Mafia, Charades, and Pictionary. Some find it escapist and stress-relieving to focus their competitive energy on a brief and trivial game, while others care so little about winning or losing that they don’t keep score. Whatever you prefer, games are a wonderful way to carve out lighthearted time with loved ones. 

Try out puzzles. Puzzles of all sorts can be meditative activities, stimulating the brain while requiring extreme focus that will block out your usual stresses. From traditional floor puzzles, which can be enjoyed as an ongoing family activity, to on-the-page puzzles like crosswords and Sudoku, puzzles are a wonderful and nostalgic way to engage the brain in your downtime. 

Garden. A highly rewarding activity with measurable results, gardening is a wonderful opportunity to beautify your home while connecting with nature. Cultivating a garden requires dedication and a commitment to learning, which can be daunting to those who are distracted with their work lives. However, for many, the concentration and unique skills required make gardening the perfect way to escape on a Sunday, keeping energy high but directing it at something wholly separate from your work life.

Learn something new in the kitchen. Whether you’re trying out a new recipe or cultivating a new culinary skill altogether, the kitchen is a great place to invite a sense of play and creativity while accomplishing something new. Baking involves many elements of self-soothing, requiring an exacting focus as well as many repetitive gestures like kneading that are energizing yet restorative.

Next time you have a self-care check-in, make sure you’re accounting for your own need to have fun. It’s easy to feel discouraged or burned out by so much time in the house, but these examples demonstrate that there are all sorts of activities that are possible from home to sustain, encourage, and in some cases even educate you. Whatever it is that creates excitement in your life, make a small commitment to keeping it up. Your mind and body will thank you, and you might find yourself amazed by what you accomplish.

Written by Steph manor

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