Webding Inspired Stress Relief Tips

In starting to set up Stress Relief Central, I ended up playing with webdings to try to find how many stress relief tips I could match up to various web-dings… here’s my efforts so far:

ˆı Spend some close time with animal friends. Ideal is to have your own pet, if you are well enough to care for one, or if you have support people to help you. If that’s not a go, see about borrowing a well mannered snuggler from a friend now and again, or look into what options might be available in your community. Are there therapy dogs who visit the local hospital, and can you get in on that somehow? Does a local animal shelter or farm need people to snuggle baby animals? Believe it or not, snuggling baby animals is an important job in helping them to become habituated to people and thereby good pets who will find long term homes, so you can do good while feeling snuggle-icious!

Ú Enjoy wildlife whenever you can, even if it’s only watching the squirrels in the park, or feeding pigeons in your town square. Nature is full of miraculous beauty that can refresh and recharge us.

ÛA bird feeder outside your window can be a never ending source of gentle, restorative entertainment. Just make sure that you don’t encourage the birds to stay for the winter if you aren’t totally sure you can continue to provide for them! Taper off as fall progresses, but enjoy them through the spring and summer. Same goes for hummingbird feeders.

ZSpend some time with plants, especially flowers (though beware of commercially grown hothouse flowers as they can be a source of pesticide exposures, which are not safe for CNS disorders!). Growing some of your own can be as easy as sprinkling a wildflower seed mix in a bare corner of your yard. With the right tools, and a little self control and pacing, a little gardening (indoors in pots, or outside) may be possible for you; if so you may find it massively stress relieving. Look for free public gardens in your community, especially those with pesticide free or IPM policies, and spend some time smelling the roses. If you can’t get out at all, perusing seed catalogues or gardening websites can be wonderful diversions. Oh, and did you know there are such a thing as “air plants”? I kid you not; plants that grow with no soil, and pretty much no care needed, just a gentle misting now and then.

PSpend some time with plants, especially trees. In Japan, the newest therapy for overstressed business people involves simply that; spending time in nature, especially among trees, and there’s good reason for it! Local parks or protected forest lands can be well worth the trip to get there. Find out which of the streets in your community are lined with extra lovely trees, if you live in the city, and using them for your physio walks (or wheeling walks). Make friends with a special tree near you; get to know its bark, its scent, the many kinds of beauty it has to show you through the seasons.

MQSpend some time with nature, especially with wilderness. If you live in an urban area, be dedicated at finding all the hidden enclaves of nature that every city has to offer. Seriously consider how it might be possible for you to get out to experience just a taste, even once or twice a year, even for an afternoon, or just an hour; ask a loved one for a drive up to a mountain top viewing spot or a local forest enclave for a birthday present. Then, savour the experience! Take in every detail; make sure to get some quiet time to let your inner cameras roll then take out those films when you need them later on. If it takes significant travel to get to wilderness, and it’s absolutely not a possibility for you, try travel mags, wilderness photography or national park sites on the internet, and dream… picture your own special wilderness and use it in self-hypnosis and relaxation exercises.

ü"Art! One of the most wonderful of human stress relieving activities! Create some art, peruse some art. Don’t think you’re artistic? Don’t be intimidated… that’s just crappy old training kicking in. Ask any child under 7 or 8 “can you draw?”; they’ll ask for the crayons. Get yourself some basic materials, even “kid’s” art supplies from your local dollar store and let your inner kid out to play. Experiment! How about playdough? That could be great hand therapy! Collaging, cut (or rip if scissors are too tough to tackle) and paste? Great fun! Invites a friend or friends over to play, especially if some of them are or have little ones. (What’s the spider web signify? Crafts, silly! Knitting, sewing, scrap-booking, basket weaving, beadwork; any kind of making that involves esthetics is art, as far as I’m concerned! Find one that you can physically do, and enjoy!) If your hands are right out of the picture right now, try mouth or foot painting or sculpting, or just be an art aficionado. Galleries (both public and commercial… you don’t have to buy to look!), used book stores, and the internet are chock full of wonderful artworks for you to enjoy. Most cities have art festivals of some kind; take one in if you can. And if all else fails, paint in your mind. I did this one year when I didn’t have a studio and found that my skills improved tremendously, just from imagining myself painting all the images I had building up inside me.

But WAIT, there’s more! I want to get this blog up and running and my imagination is getting carried away with this silly idea… hmmm I think that coming up with posts is not going to be a problem! Here’s some more web-dings to inspire us. Choose one and email me your web-ding inspired stress relief ideas and I’ll add them to the list!

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