What with it being stress awareness month, the internet is aflutter with article after article after tweet after meme about the best ways to relax and relieve stress. So much so that people have started to get really creative with the things you could try to de-stress.
We’ve picked a handful of the quirkiest relaxation techniques out there, specially for those of you who want to chill out but maintain an eccentric bit of character in how you do it.
Take a bath in not water
A nice long soak in the tub has been a steadfast go-to for unwinding and detaching from the stresses of the world pretty much since the introduction of indoor plumbing (before that bathing was a complete nuisance; boiling buckets of water over an open fire and tipping them over yourself while hunkered in what can only be described as a large tin bucket is hardly relaxing). It now seems, though, that the in thing to do is to fill your bath tub with almost anything but water. Some of the best ones we’ve found are peppermint tea, milk (just like Cleopatra allegedly did, though she used the milk of donkeys), red wine or beer… There are quite a few alcohol ones, actually. Strange, that.
Be a tree
Back during the hippy revolution of communes and free love, the more naturalistic took to literally hugging trees – hence the term "tree-huggers". It was supposed to make you one with nature or something. Now, as a melding of meditation and a deep rooted inclination towards those classic hippy ways, some people are meditating themselves into believing that they are the tree. Want to give it a try? Stand barefoot on the floor, preferably on grass, and visualise your bare toes elongating like roots seeping through the ground. Reach your arms out above you, stretching towards the sky and spreading to become branches. You get the idea. You could try hugging a tree instead if you like, but that’s just so 1967.
Ever felt so enraged and frustrated that words just won’t happen? Sometimes we can get so wound up that it feels like the only solution is to take a bat and start swinging it at inanimate objects just so you can delight in their immediate explosion. Well now there’s a place where you can go to do it safely (sort of): Wrecking rooms actually exist.
(Disclaimer: This has been proven to not work. It actually has the adverse effect, making you more stressed and aggressive. You’re better off hugging stuff than breaking it when you’re angry or stressed. See below for more information on hugging.)
Give something a cuddle
We all love a good cuddle from time to time. The difficulty with cuddles is that you generally need another person both physically and emotionally close enough to be there for you to engage with. Well not any more: Meet Hugvie, the oddly shaped snuggle pillow with a heartbeat. Yes, that’s right. It has a "rhythmic vibrator" inside it to simulate a heartbeat. Other features include a pocket on its head to pop your phone in, so you can chat to people while snuggling, and a range of "soothing" colours. Apparently it "effectively conveys [a] sense of human presence". Or you could get a teddy bear.
Be dead for a bit
There’s a yoga pose often used at the end of a session where you pretend to be dead. It’s called Shavasana – "the corpse pose" – and basically just entails lying flat on your back. You let your entire body sink into the floor, relaxing every muscle so you’re not supporting yourself whatsoever. That’s it. The epitome of doing nothing, except breathing of course. It’s actually surprisingly tricky to do entirely because we’re so used to always using some of our muscles, even if it’s just the little ones that move our eyes around.
Watch some wrapping
Yes, that’s right. Wrapping. As in wrapping gifts. It’s an odd little offshoot of the ASMR trend where people just film themselves wrapping gifts and put it on YouTube for you to sit back, relax and presumably enjoy the neat edging and tightly folded corners of some pristinely wrapped gifts. Google ‘ASMR wrapping’ to see for yourself.
While some of these relaxation techniques might seem a bit quirky, to say the least, they do demonstrate that for each and every one of us there are different things that can be the cause of and relief from stress. The best thing any of us can do is to try out what we think sounds interesting and keep experimenting until we find something that works for us.
You can find out more about how The University of Law works to support your wellbeing as well as your ambitions while you study by checking out our support hub.