Stress Management: Tools to Let Go Part 9: Add “Fun” to your To-Do List

Can you give me concrete tips for stress management that I can integrate into my life?

supportive-talk-Motivational-MantraMake a point to sprinkle your week with happiness. Ask yourself what small, simple, positive activities give you pleasure and add it to your week. Make a list of ideas and schedule it into your plans. Here are some ideas to get your imagination flowing:

  1. Growing a flower (be close to nature)
  2. Watch funny youtube videos
  3. Look at old photo albums
  4. Sip your favorite beverage while sitting outside
  5. Take a hot bath with candles and soft music
  6. Read a good book
  7. Play a game
  8. Complete a crossword puzzle
  9. Cross stitch, knit or paint
  10. Call a good friend
  11. Reading heart-warming stories (Chicken Soup for the Soul, Listening to Your Inner Voice, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader)
  12. Listening to your favorite music or talk radio station
  13. Sit by a fire or watching the flame from a candle
  14. Look at favorite Pictures (vacation spots, old cars, flowers,)
  15. Favorite smells (studies show men like the smell of apple pie)
  16. Write a card to an old friend
  17. Create some poetry or start writing a story.
  18. Draw a picture (Try drawing a cartoon or coloring) 
  19. Tell a joke or a funny story (look them up on the computer or Youtube)
  20. Play a game of jacks or marbles (My Mom loved Solitaire)
  21. Hool a hoop
  22. Jump rope
  23. Learn a dance step
  24. Count your blessings
  25. Meditate on something pleasant
  26. Plan an exciting adventure or vacation….you can always dream!
  27. Go for a walk.
  28. Enjoy nature.
  29. Pray.
  30. Sing a Happy Tune.
  31. Eat a raspberry or a piece of chocolate and savor all the taste.
  32. Get or Give a Hug.
  33. Write someone a loving note.
  34. Help someone out.
  35. Get a massage.

feet-upAs you can see, there are all kinds of simple ways to calm your mood. Make a point to add the pastimes that you would find pleasurable into your everyday life. Being a stress martyr does not have its perks and no one is going to appreciate that you are depriving yourself of even the simplest of joys. Don’t text or Facebook your life away. Instead…enjoy life and eliminate your stress. As the Disney song advises “forget about your worries and your strife.”  

In summary, Stress Management is an important skill to learn to keep yourself Healthy in this busy, complicated and changing world. It is an ability that should be incorporated into your everyday pastime. Some stress is inevitable, but if you follow these simple steps, you will learn to relax and enjoy your life so much more. Read all nine parts to Stress Management: Tools to Let Go. Then conquer your stress, feel empowered and enjoy your life to its fullest.

If you would like to learn more about this subject from other authors like 10 Steps to Mastering Stress by David H. Barlow, Ph.D., Ronald M. Rapee, Ph.D., Sarah Perini, MA  or The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living by Amit Sood, MD and Mayo Clinic. If you’d like to read more by this author, you can go to and read Part 1: Understanding your Stress or Part 2: Stress-Reducing Healthy Initiatives.

In addition to this 9 part series, there is a specialty sheet on A List of Health Problems Related to Stress at