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Soothing activities with soothing descriptions

muratart / Shutterstock
This is NOT a soothing image (muratart / Shutterstock)

There has been so much bad news and so little any one person can do to change it. We’re all subject to the urgency to do something or say something, or, in other cases, to shut-up and keep to ourselves to get by. It can be too much.

With that in mind, I think it’s worth taking the time to gather yourself and disengage for a bit. By all means, get back in the ring when you’re ready, but if you need a break, try some of the following activities.

Watch Bob Ross

If Bob Ross were still alive, I would say he’s a living buddha. His spirit continues on Netflix and YouTube, encouraging people paint what makes them happy. He’ll paint landscapes with happy little trees where no one’s angry or fighting. The world is beautiful for Bob Ross, and he wants you to experience that world, too. Let his soothing tones wash over you, and the video of magically painted mountains and rivers settle like a balm on your heart. For half an hour, all you need to do is enjoy the surprising flexibility of the wet-on-wet oil painting style and Bob Ross thanking you for spending time with him today.

Tend to a Quiet Living Thing


Maybe it’s a fish, a plant, or even your sour dough culture, so long as it doesn’t actually ask you for anything, but you give anyway. Notice how your small actions let this living thing thrive. Your plant develops tiny buds of new growth with only a bit of water and sunshine. Your fish excitedly flits about as you provide a couple flakes of food. Your sour dough culture ferments vigorously. It wouldn’t happen without you there.

Perhaps you’re not great at taking care of things, and that’s okay. You can still enjoy quiet living things in parks, botanic gardens, and aquariums. Watch as they go about their near silent days without worry.

Do Some Coloring


Coloring can take up just enough concentration to let you block out other concerns for a while. Think about what colors your want to use, if you want to employ shading, and what kind of picture you want to end up with. Turn off all your communication devices and screens, and take however long you need to fill in little blocks of color until you are satisfied. Choose a picture that you like and will enjoy filling in. See how your efforts are well rewarded, and let yourself feel a touch of pride. (Here are some free printable pages.)

Play a Game

If you need more activity to disengage, try playing a game. Whatever game it is, the main thing is that you have fun and it’s low-pressure. Whether you play fetch with you dog, go out and catch some Pokémon, or Cards Against Humanity with your friends, the important thing is that you’re redirecting your emotional energy towards something else. Let yourself focus on the task at hand, however simple or silly. Appreciate how you’re able to be creative, efficient, clever, or goofy, and that, in and of itself, is worthwhile.

Allow Yourself to Cry About It

People deal with anger, frustration, and sadness differently. If you don’t cry when you deal with these emotions, that’s fine. For those who do find relief in tears, allow yourself that relief. While it’s true that crying doesn’t change your circumstances, if it makes you feel better, then it’s worth it. Go somewhere safe and comfortable, and release your negative emotions. Give yourself the space to take care of yourself so you will have the ability to face tomorrow’s challenges.

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