Here is a starter list of activities to help you build your own personal arsenal of healthy ways to address unpleasant emotions. Pick out ones you like and write down some of your own.
Stress Busters! Feel Good Things!
Videos On Stress
- Planning my career.
- Paying off some debt.
- Collecting things that interest you (coins, shells, etc.).
- Going on vacation, even if only for a day.
- Thinking how good it will be to finish school.
- Recycling old items.
- Going on a date.
- Going to a movie in the middle of the week.
- Jogging, walking.
- Knowing you have done a full day’s work.
- Playing with your pet or someone else’s.
- Recalling past parties.
- Buying household gadgets.
- Laying in the sun.
- Planning a career change.
- Thinking about your past trips.
- Listening to people you admire.
- Reading magazines or newspapers.
- Picking up a former hobby, such as model-plane building.
- Spending an evening with good friends.
- Planning a day’s activities.
- Meeting new people.
- Remembering beautiful scenery.
- Eating something that’s good for you.
- Practicing karate, judo, yoga.
- Thinking about retirement.
- Repairing things around the house.
- Working on your car or bicycle.
- Remembering the words and deeds of loving people.
- Wearing sexy clothes.
- Having a quiet evening by yourself.
- Arranging flowers, tending to plants.
- Buying, selling stock.
- Going swimming.
- Putting together a scrapbook.
- Going to a party.
- Making a holiday gift list—even if it’s July.
- Playing golf.
- Playing soccer.
- Flying kites.
- Going bowling with friends.
- Having family get-togethers.
- Riding a motorbike.
- Running track.
- Going camping.
- Singing around the house.
- Practicing religion (going to church, reading a religious text, etc.).
- Losing weight.
- Going to the beach.
- Thinking you’re an OK person.
- Having a day with nothing you have to do.
- Planning a class reunion.
- Going skating.
- Going sail boating.
- Planning a trip abroad or in the United States.
- Finger painting.
- Doing needlepoint.
- Taking a nap.
- Driving in the country.
- Going to a special-interest club (garden, Parents without Partners, etc.).
- Thinking about getting married.
- Going hunting.
- Singing with groups.
- Playing a musical instrument.
- Doing arts and crafts.
- Making a gift for someone.
- Buying records.
- Watching a sports event on TV.
- Going hiking.
- Writing poems, articles or books.
- Buying clothes.
- Going out to dinner.
- Joining a book club.
- Sightseeing in your own area.
- Getting your hair done.
- Trying on new makeup.
- Early morning coffee and newspaper.
- Playing tennis.
- Watching your children play.
- Thinking you have a lot more going for you than most people.
- Going to plays and concerts.
- Planning to go to school.
- Thinking about sex.
- Going for a drive.
- Refinishing furniture.
- Watching old sit-coms on TV.
- Making lists of tasks.
- Walks in the woods or along a waterfront.
- Buying yourself a gift.
- Planning a trip to a national park.
- Going to a spectator sport.
- Eating a scrumptious dessert.
- Teaching a skill to someone else.
- Going fishing.
- Staying on a diet.
- Reading fiction.
- Acting in community theater.
- Writing diary entries or letters.
- Cleaning your apartment or house.
- Reading non-fiction.
- Taking children places.
- Going on a picnic.
- Reminding yourself, "I did that pretty well" after completing something.
- Going to lunch or coffee with a friend.
- Going to the mountains.
- Thinking about having a family.
- Thinking about happy moments in your childhood.
- Splurging on a special item.
- Playing cards.
- Solving riddles mentally.
- Having a political discussion.
- Playing softball.
- Seeing and/or showing photos or slides.
- Playing guitar.
- Doing crossword puzzles.
- Shooting pool.
- Dressing up and looking nice.
- Reflecting on how you’ve improved.
- Getting caught up with someone by phone.
- Lighting candles.
- Listening to the radio.
- Getting a massage.
- Saying, "I love you."
- Thinking about your good qualities.
- Buying a self-help book.
- Taking a sauna or a steam bath.
- Going skiing.
- White-water canoeing.
- Doing woodworking.
- Fantasizing about the future.
- Taking dance lessons.
- Sitting at a sidewalk café to people watch.
- Starting an aquarium.
- Going horseback riding.
- Thinking about becoming active in the community.
- Making jigsaw puzzles.
- Reminding yourself, "I’m a person who can cope."