Sometimes you just need to take a step back and do something by yourself and for yourself. Since I’ve been in Spain and frankly not meeting a ton of people to spend my time with, I’ve become somewhat of an expert of types solo activities. A lot of times, my mood dictates what sort of activity I’m looking for. Nothing about this is going to be ground breaking – I hope that maybe these ideas might inspire you.
When I’m looking for WELLNESS:
- Write a gratitude log – everything you can think of in that moment you are thankful for
- Take a nice long walk at dusk or dawn- the best times of day.
- Stretch out your neck. Just as an added bonus – this can relieve tension headaches if done consistently (per my doctor’s orders). This is especially effective if I warm up a towel and leave it on for awhile beforehand.
- Yoga – I think it’s good to know a few standard positions and then listen to someone talk you through it.
- Make a list of recipes you want to try to promote your health – this is especially good if you like cooking or are in an unhealthy food rut (welcome to my life).
- Work out – if you are into that sort of thing. No judgement either way.
When I’m wanted to PAMPER
- Face masks – try cooling or heating masks if it’s been particularly warm or cold.
- Give yourself a massage – thank you Kyan from the original Queer Eye for showing me how this works. Is it a little dorky – sure, but it’s also awesome
- Put your eye mask into the fridge and then apply it for an extra cooling effect.
- Try out an at home detailed mani/pedi. Follow a specific tutorial for best results.
- Take a ridiculously lavish bath – pull out all the stops with candles and bubbles and oils and music. Whatever you want to do to make the experience that much more special. I love Lush Bubble Bars.
When I’m feeling CREATIVE
- Paint – Personally, I find watercolors to be the most easy place to start
- Write – write a letter to a friend or in a journal. Write a short story or a blog.
- Doodle – Bullet journal doodles are obviously my favorite.
- Make something for a friend. It can be big or small but make it personal.
- Try your hand at photography or photo editing. I find both to be relaxing and photo editing in particular to be really creatively satisfying. I should note – I am so glad I can take a million pictures and not worry about wasting film. It definitely doesn’t make me nearly as anxious as film would.
When I just want to CHECK OUT or RELIEVE STRESS
- Do a puzzle – even sorting the pieces immediately calms me down. But then, I’ve been doing thousand piece puzzles since I was 8 so maybe I’m a little biased.
- Adult coloring – not for everyone but I think it can be satisfying. I didn’t like it until I started to use markers. It’s not something I do all the time but it can be a nice relief.
- Pop on an audiobook or a podcast. There really is something for everyone and I love the passive growth that just listening gives me.
- Organize something that’s always bothered you – maybe it’s your closet or your pen collection or your papers. It sounds like a task but for some people – it can be extremely stress relieving to just organize something. Personally, I find that I don’t really even have to think as I’m organizing. (This one isn’t for everyone)
- Make a detailed plan to fix something that’s always bothered you – maybe you hate the way your handwriting looks. Maybe your car is a huge mess. I think some people might feel calm and in control but writing a step by step list of how they want to fix that problem. Not only does it give you some control but it also accomplishes the task of moving forward with purpose.
When I’m feeling ADVENTUROUS (but I’m not specifically on an adventure)
- Use these awesome Anywhere Travel Guide Cards – a student gave these to me at the end of her Senior Year and I absolutely love them. That was four years ago now and I still drag these out from time to time.
- Write out a bucket list of places you want to travel in the near, medium and far out future
- Put on some music and walk in a direction that you’ve never gone before – I do this all the time in Zaragoza. I see interesting things and sometimes find genuinely awesome shops, cafes, street art or views. I specifically love doing this using old music. I’m not sure why but It somehow calms me.
- Check flight prices for the next mini break or long weekend you have using something like skyscanner or Kayak’s explore option. If you have the funds – go to the cheapest place you’ve never visited before.
- Letterbox – I’m not sure exactly how much of a thing this is but it sort of combines being creative and adventurous. When I was little, my dad explained to me that he heard of letterboxing from a friend in the UK. Basically, someone hides a box with a sketchbook and a stamp and leaves instructions online for how to find it. You go with your own handmade, personal stamp and book to search out the box. You stamp their stamp in your book and your stamp in theirs. It was so charming. I think together we found 6 or 7 and honestly I should get back into this hobby. Anyways – there are websites you can search and I’m sure there are apps. It was awesome.
- Find the nearest park and really explore it. Go down an interesting path or climb to the highest part. I know I have found some really neat shit in parks all over the world. From the Eternal Flame in my hometown of Orchard Park
So that’s my list of things I’ve either historically done or am currently doing regularly to take some time out and destress. I personally tried to limit activities on this list which involved the computer or social media as I find that can be a really slippery slope into stress. What sorts of activities do you find to calm you down especially when you are on your own? Let me know in the comments section below!