Creative Stress Relief Activities

Relieve Stress While Having Fun

Woman playing with her dog in the grass
A good dog can be a great stress reliever. Here are some more that you may not have considered.. Anthony Murphy/Moment/Getty Images

I write a lot about popular stress-management strategies, such as meditation, breathing exercises, journaling and other well-known tips. Their benefits are proven, and they're popular strategies for a reason. However, they're not the only ways to relieve stress.

I have to admit that I have a few lesser-known stress management techniques that I enjoy just as much and are helpful for the people who use them.

And the best stress management strategies are the ones that you enjoy enough to practice regularly.  Here are some of my favorites:

Playing with Pets

For those who love animals, there's a special peaceful energy that comes from taking five or ten minutes to caress a cat or love up a dog. Other types of pets can be great "stress-management tools" as well: Fish, rabbits, and even rats can provide their own soothing benefits.  The best pets provide unconditional love and entertainment and stay in our hearts as they help us remember to ​stay in the moment.

Exercise Classes

You probably already know that exercise is a great stress reliever, but creative exercise classes can provide you with extra help. The fun of learning something new can take your mind off your stressors, and the class atmosphere can foster a positive type of peer pressure to keep you wanting to show up - even when you really don't feel like working out.

 Zumba, cardio kickboxing, and other classes can take the mind off of stress while helping promote health.


I really enjoy baking with my kids--it's a fun tradition that helps us bond and stay in the present moment, almost always ends in something warm and chocolatey. This can apply to other forms of baking as well.

Baking provides comforting aromas and soothing, repetitive motions to keep you "in the now" as you're baking and a delicious reward when you're done.  Put on an audiobook or some music if you don't have any "helpers" with you, and you'll enjoy it even more!


Seeking out situations that will bring out the laughter in you can help you relieve stress in a really fun way. Go ahead--be goofy! Consider the benefits to your health and well-being. Maintain a sense of humor about what stresses you, and you'll be much less stressed by everything that life has to throw at you.


Many people find themselves involuntarily daydreaming when bored at work. But visualizations are actually great for stress management as well, so daydream with pride! Vividly imagine your best memories, visualize your success or walk yourself through a peaceful walk on a secluded beach. Giving yourself a mental break in this way is a quick and fun way to step back from your stressors and start fresh.


Now that I have your attention, I should mention that sex (with a worthy partner) can be a great stress reliever for several reasons, including lowered blood pressure, increased intimacy, and stress-relieving  hormones.

Read this if you find yourself too stressed for sex.

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