This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

20 Easy Activities You Can Do Right Now To Relieve Your Stress

Please take time for yourself.

The next few days are going to be difficult for many people as we continue to watch the U.S. presidential election unfold. You may feel like crying, or vomiting, or you may just feel unsure of what to do with yourself. And that’s OK. This is a stressful time, and it’s OK to admit to feeling defeated and anxious.

We’re not going to bombard you with messages of toxic positivity. You won’t hear us say, “Look on the bright side!” or “Stay positive!”

Instead, we think the best way to support those feeling anxious is to share some comforting things we can do right now to get through this week, and the weeks and months to come. Because even when the election is wrapped up, no matter who wins, it’s going to be a tough road ahead.

Give yourself some compassion if you don't feel OK. Then take some time to yourself to get away from the news.
BRO Vector via Getty Images
Give yourself some compassion if you don't feel OK. Then take some time to yourself to get away from the news.

So, take some time for yourself today and check out the list below of easy things you can do that will hopefully give you some comfort and relieve some of that stress. Take what you want, and leave what doesn’t work for you. And know, it’s OK to not do anything and just cry.

1. Find a cosy spot in your home and take a few deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for another four seconds, and then slowly breathe out through your nose or mouth.

2. Sit somewhere comfy, open up a journal and write uninterrupted for 10 minutes. Write about whatever comes to mind; let your thoughts flow out onto the pages. When you’re done, tuck the journal away in a safe spot.

3. Call a trusted friend or family member. If you need help, ask them for it. If you want to keep the conversation light, go for it. Hearing their voice can be a balm for your anxieties.

4. Grab a cup of your favourite hot drink, be it a soothing tea, a cosy hot chocolate, or a delicious apple cider. Spend five to 10 uninterrupted minutes sitting in a comfortable spot with your drink.

5. Turn off the lights and light a candle. Spend five minutes focusing on the warmth, the smell of the wax (even better if the candle is scented), and the soothing flicker of the flame.

6. Fall in love with the friendship between a pig named Meatball and his best friend, Sweetpea, the golden retriever.

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7. Curl up under blankets and read a chapter of the book you’ve been neglecting.

8. Go for a walk, even for just 10-15 minutes. Walk around the block, or check out a street you’ve never been to, or find a nearby park and connect with nature.

9. Watch this video of Canadian treasure Eugene Levy accepting the Newport Beach Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. You may cry happy tears.

10. Dust off your favourite sex toy or try out a new one. Let out that stress with an orgasm!

11. Do your skincare regimen. Take 10 minutes to apply all your serums, lotions and potions. Your skin will thank you.

12. Cuddle up with your pet for five minutes. They will appreciate the pets, and you will feel that stress melt away.

13. Listen to your favourite album or a song that comforts you. Dance or sing along if that mood strikes.

14. If you’re a crafter, pick up that cross-stitch or sewing project you’ve been meaning to get to and work on it for half an hour. Then bask in how creative and talented you are.

15. Watch this video of adorable dancing baby Brave.

16. Cook or bake your favourite meal. Better yet, support a small business and order takeout so you don’t have to do the work.

17. Make an appointment with your therapist, if you have one. Even if you can’t talk to them right away, you’ll feel better knowing that a supportive conversation is on the horizon.

18. Binge-watch your favourite series or try one you haven’t seen before. If you don’t know where to begin, check out what’s coming to Netflix Canada in November. We’re currently obsessed with “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Schitt’s Creek.”

19. Hug someone in your bubble. There’s really nothing better than a good hug.

20. Watch Tabitha Brown’s TikTok videos and learn how to cook vegan food. Or just enjoy her humour and her comforting and hopeful messages.

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