How To: De-Stress, Kid-Style

One of the main points I took away from my babysitting years is that spending time with children is surprisingly relaxing. I don’t mean the loud noises, spills, or fights; I’m talking about how children spend their time. Even as a college student, I found myself enjoying some of the brainless (and therefore relaxing) activities that kids often do regularly. The best part? Having flashbacks to your childhood! These are the top five childhood activities I think you should start doing again:

Start feeling more relaxed within minutes, from almost anywhere!

1. Coloring books: Whether you want to stick to an easy kid coloring book or increase the difficulty to an adult coloring book, it’ll be worth the investment! From cute animals to mandalas, Amazon has them all! I bought one of each and this pack of markers for about $20, and I’ve been enjoying coloring during my brain breaks!

If you’re more artistically inclined than I am, you can try drawing on blank paper instead (and probably save yourself a few dollars)!

2. Puzzles: It probably won’t be much fun doing a children’s puzzle if it’s too easy, but more difficult puzzles can be a great way to unwind. Personally, I like 1,000-piece puzzles if a friend and I set it up and work on it gradually for about a month. (Note: When picking out a 1,000-piece puzzle, make sure there isn’t too much “blank” space unless you’re up for the challenge!) I also like completing 500-piece puzzles by myself or with a few friends in one sitting. Regardless of the number of pieces, I look for puzzles that are colorful; I want my de-stressing activities to cheer me up as much as possible!

3. Word searches: This may not be what comes to mind when you think of kid activities, but word searches are another fairly simple way to entertain yourself while taking your mind off of your school work.

4. Chalk: There’s something surprisingly calming about getting your hands dirty coloring with chalk. Whether you take it to the sidewalk outside or find a chalkboard to let your inner child show, you’ll quickly start to feel more relaxed.

5. Outside: Even if you don’t want to run around outside playing make believe or tag, being outside is a sure way to relax: try taking a walk, sitting and “smelling the flowers”, or meeting up with friends in a park. Something about fresh air and sunshine creates the ultimate brain break!

College is stressful (especially this time of the year), and it can be difficult to find time to relax, but most of these activities can be done anywhere! Complete a word search on your train ride, take a walk between classes, or color a picture in a waiting room before your appointment. I hope this post encourages you to relive some of your childhood and de-stress while doing it!

– Sarah C.