Wouldn’t it be great if your body, mind, and spirit had a reset button like most electronics? You may not have a reset mode, but you can do things as an emotional outlet that can rejuvenate you.
These simple activities divert your brain and can help you cope with daily challenges.
What is an Emotional Outlet?
Have you heard the saying “blowing off some steam?” It doesn’t necessarily mean that your temper is flaring. When you are stressed, and your emotions are churning inside, you need constructive and healthy coping methods. Some of these outlets may include hobbies and other interests that clear your mind and relax your mood.
Since everyone is different, what works as a stress reliever for one may not work for another. Fortunately, your choices of activities are vast. Here are 15 emotional outlet suggestions for you to consider.
Parents and teachers of young children know that one of the best ways to keep kids occupied is to give them coloring books and crayons. Notice how it calms them as they fill in pictures with vivid colors. You can have the same tranquil effect as an adult.
Adult coloring books are all the rage in department stores and art supply shops.
Whatever your favorite subject, be it nature, fantasy, or abstract, you can find it in a coloring book. They are inexpensive and come at all skill levels. All you need are some crayons or colored pencils to color away your stress.
2. Trace Your Family Tree
When you know about the past, it helps you to understand the present better. Did you ever do a family tree project in school? Most people can trace back to their grandparents and sometimes their great-grandparents.
Tracing your genealogy is not only a pleasurable pastime, but you can also glean fascinating information. Many public libraries have a local history and genealogy department, and they can help you on your journey. You can also find a plethora of online sources that show people how to trace their lineage.
During your research, you may meet new distant relatives and see the country origins of your family.
Doesn’t it seem like when you help others, you benefit, too? An article published by Aging & Mental Health explains that volunteering can positively affect your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. No matter how you volunteer, you get the satisfaction that you’ve helped make life better for a person, animals, or the environment.
4. Learn to Bake
What could be more satisfying than the aroma of fresh baked goods wafting through your kitchen? If you are looking for an efficient, emotional outlet, whipping up some homemade bread or chocolate chip cookies may be your answer. You can save money when you make your own goodies, and they taste much better than store-bought.
Start with simple recipes and work your way up to more advanced ones. Baking is something fun you can do with the family. You’ll love the smiles you see across the dinner table.
5. Take Dancing Classes
Have you ever seen a dancer who wasn’t smiling and having the time of their life? You needn’t be a Broadway star to use dancing as an emotional outlet. Whether you choose tap dance, ballroom, or even hip-hop, there are classes for them.
According to a study published by Sports Medicine, dancing is also a beneficial form of physical fitness. You can groove to your favorite tunes yourself, with a partner, or in groups. The next time you are feeling frazzled, turn on some music and get your body moving.
6. Learn a Meditative Exercise
When your emotions are over the top, they can affect you physically and mentally. One way you can address your body is with meditative exercise. Ancient practices like yoga and Qigong use gentle stretching, meditation, and mindful breathing to pull your body in sync.
Talk to a certified fitness instructor to find the meditative exercise that’s right for you. The good news is that you can practice almost anywhere, and it doesn’t require a bunch of expensive equipment. Plus, stretching and movement can help keep your bones and joints limber and healthy.
7. Take a Technical Course
Do you often get frustrated when your computer or other electronic devices go haywire? Why not consider taking a technical course to improve your skills and give your nerves a break? Most universities and community colleges offer individualized studies that don’t require you to earn a degree unless you choose to do so.
You don’t even have to attend in person since so many courses today are offered online. If you are a senior, many colleges and institutions provide deep discounts or even free classes. Learning new technical skills can always come in handy around your house.
Are you a musician, or have you always longed to play a musical instrument? Maybe you played one in your high school band and haven’t picked it up since. Playing music is an emotional outlet for the musician and those who hear it.
Be true to your dreams and take classes with any instrument you choose. You may not become a concert pianist or play the drums for a rock band, but you can have fun learning. Learn to appreciate different musical styles and incorporate them as you practice.
9. Transform Your Bedroom
Your bedroom should be a sacred space where you can cloister yourself from the world. It should be a beautiful sanctuary meant for sleep, romance, and restful contemplation. If you use your bedroom as a workspace and it’s a cluttered mess, consider revamping it.
Get rid of the clutter and create a soothing space decorated tastefully with only things you love. You’d be surprised how a couple of gallons of paint can transform the mood of a room. Invest in a lovely comforter and plenty of fluffy pillows.
10. Adopt a Pet
One of the many beautiful things about pets is that they live to please you and love unconditionally. When you are feeling depressed, spending time with a furry friend can lift your spirits. They are remarkably intuitive to their humans’ feelings.
Instead of paying exorbitant prices at a pet store, consider one of the countless dogs and cats in shelters waiting to be adopted. You can adopt a fur baby that’s been fixed for a nominal fee and had all its shots.
11. Plant a Garden
Give your green thumb some exercise and plant a garden. Even if you only have a small area in your yard, you can raise a few veggies or attractive flowers. You can even create a lovely container garden on your patio if you haven’t a yard.
It’s magical watching your seedlings grow into stunning plants that will benefit you and the wildlife around you. Growing your produce or cutting flowers you grow saves money and beautifies your space. Try planting a few pots of your favorite herbs and set them on your kitchen windowsill.
12. Go Thrifting
If shopping is your emotional outlet and you don’t want to spend a fortune, go thrifting instead. Visit thrift stores in your area to find gently used items for you and your family. You can find brand-name clothing, vintage items, and just about anything you can think of at affordable prices.
13. Play Board Games with Your Kids
You never get too old to enjoy a game with your kids. Instead of their usual high-tech video games, why not introduce them to some classic board games. Turn off the cellphones and tv and have an evening of fun and laughter.
Another classic pastime is working on jigsaw puzzles. Set up a small table in your family room so everyone can help. You can find tons of beautiful puzzle pictures and styles in department stores or online.
14. Write an Old-Fashioned Letter
Unfortunately, the gracious habit of writing letters has been replaced by impersonal emails and texting. Why not surprise a friend or loved one with a handwritten note? Buy some stationary, some colorful pens, and a book of stamps to bring back the nostalgia of letter writing.
15. Go for a Nature Walk
When the stress of life is too much, taking a walk outside can boost your spirits. It can be a stroll through your city park or a familiar path in the woods. With each step and mindful breath, you can feel the tension at ease.
Listen to the melodies of the birds and watch the antics of the squirrels in the trees. Feel the warmth of the sun, and the gentle breezes whisper past. Just a half-hour can revitalize you and may offer you a different perspective about your problems.
Don’t let undue stress rob you of freedom and joy in your life. When you give yourself a break with an enjoyable emotional outlet, you can restore your well-being. It’s one of the most compassionate things you can do for yourself.