It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a challenge thus far, with many of us dealing with lots of extra stress and anxiety. In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, I wanted to share a few quirky stress busters that may help you to keep tension in check and put a smile on your face at the same time!
1. Goat yoga
This is one for after the lockdown ends – but what better way to relieve months of pent-up stress? Now, if goat yoga sounds a little weird… it’s because it is! Believe it or not though, it’s not a new fad, it’s actually been around for a while now.
This trend comes to us from across the Pond (it is said to have originated in Oregon) and basically, you do yoga while goats wander around. Sometimes you may find yourself in downward dog with a goat stood on your back, the rest of the time they may just meander nearby. Devotees say having animals around lifts the spirit. You can find classes around the country, including on dedicated goat farms.
2. Have a beer bath…
If you’re eagerly awaiting the day when your favourite bar or pub opens for business once again, you may cringe a bit at the very thought of wasting pints of perfectly good lager taking a bath. It’s a little strange I agree, but apparently bathing in a bathtub of beer is a stress-reliever. A number of breweries and spas in Europe have been offering this treatment for several years but it’s not quite caught on over here. If you don’t mind sitting in your supply instead of supping it, this is an easy one to try at home.
3. … Or try a sound bath
According to Virgin Entrepreneur, a sound bath is “a relaxation technique and meditative experience whereby participants ‘bathe’ in the sound waves produced by the human voice as well as instruments such as chimes, gongs, drums and singing bowls.” As with the other quirky suggestions on this list, a sound bath isn’t something that has just been invented, the practice actually dates back hundreds of years.
This one is easy to test right now too, with lots of people hosting regular sound bath sessions on social media (Instagram in particular). You can also find videos on YouTube.
4. Buy an adult colouring book
You don’t need to be a kid to spend 10 or so minutes colouring – in fact, adult colouring is big right now. The next time you do your weekly shop, take a stroll down the magazine aisle and you’ll find that there are at least a couple of adult colouring magazines. While it’s something that usually associated with childhood, the theory behind colouring as a stress buster is actually pretty sound. It is a creative activity; it’s rhythmic which is soothing and repetitive which can relive tension. The next time you feel overwhelmed, give yourself a quick time-out from work and give it a go.
Also published on Medium.