Art and creating have gotten me through many of the tough spots of my life. Science is also catching up to what we’ve known since we first drew on cave walls (I’d like to think so at least): engaging in the arts has a massive positive effect on our mental health.
That’s why I’ve started the Stress Less Pencil – a weekly creative prompt designed to improve mental health.
Here are the first 10 prompts that will help you connect with yourself, manage stress, and have fun while you’re doing it.
Continue reading 10 Creative Prompts to Manage Stress and Mental Health
Your weekly guide to using creativity to manage the stress and emotional ups and downs of life.
When I was growing up, I thought being an adult meant you had it all figured out. Life poses no more big surprises, you know how to handle any situation. At 39, I think I can safely say that that’s a load of horse shit.
Continue reading Introducing the Stress Less Pencil
Obviously (gestures widely around the website), I’m a fan of nature and all that planty mountainy good stuff. So I was quite surprised when I recently came across the term “forest bathing” and had no idea what the hell people were talking about.
The first image that came to mind was me lying in a bathtub in the middle of a forest. That. would. be. awesome.
Continue reading What the hell is forest bathing?
Sometimes life gets tough, we are burried in tasks, feel like we need to do 10 things at the same time, and that the day needs another 12 hours in it for us to be able to get ahead. If you’re feeling stressed, take a little breather, and check out these inspirational nature quotes that will hopefully put a smile on your face. There’s much we can learn from old and new wise people alike, such as Lao Tzu, Steve Martin, and Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.
Continue reading 10 inspirational nature quotes to put a smile on your stressed out face
When I was a kid, my parents used to take me hiking. Each year, for a week at least. Sometimes two. I didn’t really care, because there were always other children around to play with and you just kind of go along with what your parents do anyway.
When I was turning from a kid to a teenager though, the whole affair started to get decidedly uncool. Why were we walking up hills for no reason? Why couldn’t I just stay in and listen to music? And good grief, why did those hiking boots have to be so ugly?
It was then that I decided that hiking was for old people only and that anybody with any sense of what was cool could clearly find better ways to spend their time.
I held on to that belief for way too long. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I decided to give hiking another shot. I was having a bit of a crappy time and desperately needed to get out of town.
Untrained as I was, I went on a trip to the mountains with my best friend and we hiked our way up and across some pretty challenging paths. It. was. awesome.
My anxiety couldn’t keep up with me, and I just mercilessly left it behind somewhere on the mountain. Coming out the other end of the trip, I felt sore but happy, and super proud of what we had accomplished. Clearly, those old people had known all along what they were doing. So what is it then, that makes hiking such an amazing experience?
Continue reading Why hiking isn’t just for old people
Stress is the plague of the modern age. Everybody is struggling with it and most people don’t really know how to deal with it. We run around, constantly busy, working on getting ahead in life. We’re trying to meet obligations, expectations and to stay on top of our to-do list. We’re constantly checking our phones for notifications while juggling work and private life. Get that presentation done in time. Take the garbage out before it smells. Make sure the laundry is clean before you run out of underwear. Pay that bill. Call that client. Oh, and don’t forget to get fit and healthy.
No wonder we’re all going down the rabbit hole. So what do we do? We deal with it in whatever way makes us feel, well, less stressed. For some that means having a few beers every night to wind down, others meditate, some embrace the stress and convince themselves that that’s what a successful person’s life should be like.
I have had periods where I would come home after an 11h workday, lie on my bed and listen to ocean sounds for 2 hours before I was able to sleep. Good times!
Fortunately, there’s an increasing amount of research that is looking to understand the effects of stress on the brain, and what we can do to reduce it.
We already know the big items on the list, like getting more active, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and meditating. We also know that caffeine, drinking, and smoking might seem like they’re helping but are actually stressing your body out even more. But what else is there?
Continue reading How to let the trees reduce your stress
Summer is slowly but surely coming to an end. Vacation time is over. Back to school. Back to work. Back to wherever is not the beach. Back to not being able to park on my street because all the families with kids are back in town.
Now, instead of crying about it, I want us to remember all the amazing things that come with the late summer, early fall period. Nights are cooling down, so those of us that live in hot countries and don’t have AC will finally be able to sleep again. Your plants have a higher chance of surviving if you forget to water them for a week. You can take your dog out at noon without fear that his paws will burn to crisps on the asphalt.
And then, there is the rain. Rain for days. Rain that will bring back the green to our gardens and parks. I love the rain, and since it’s a big part of the coming season (at least in my part of the world), I’ve put together this list of awesome dancing in the rain GIFS to get even more excited about it.
Continue reading 5 Dancing in the Rain GIFs to make you look forward to Fall
Do all your tasks and chores seem a bit overwhelming? Feeling a bit stressed and anxious?
Take a quick regenerating trip to nature with these super soothing nature GIFs. Let them take you away for a minute, and return a bit more relaxed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.
Continue reading 5 Nature GIFs To Calm Your Ass Down For A Minute