Why ‘comfort’ activities can help you to stress less

When things get hectic and you can't switch off, why not try some 'comfort' activities during your downtime? These familiar things to watch, play and read are ideal for helping you to relax.

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You know how ‘comfort food‘ is a popular way to give yourself a treat? It’s familiar, nostalgic and satisfying so it can help create a cosy vibe and help you to feel calm.

Well, the idea of ‘comfort activities’ is similar – enjoying tried-and-tested things that you already love in order to help you relax during your off-duty days.

With ‘comfort activities’ there’s no jeopardy that you might not enjoy your valuable time off. You know what you’re getting – a happy, calming, fun and relaxing way to feel truly chilled out.

Here are some examples of ‘comfort activities’ you can try:

Comfort viewing

When you’ve got a chunk of time to yourself and don’t want to waste it by scrolling endlessly, turn your attention to some ‘comfort viewing’ to entertain yourself.

Think back to a favourite TV show from your youth or a film that you’ve watched over and over but still love every minute of it. Nostalgia gives you a comfortable and calm feeling and can help you to truly relax.

Watching something that you already know inside out means you don’t really need to concentrate on the plot and can just enjoy the entertainment washing over you. It can be an easy-watching animated film for kids or a beloved TV series that you cried at when it finally ended.

Anything that makes you feel comforted and calm when you put it on and snuggle under a blanket is quality ‘comfort viewing’.

My personal favourites for ‘comfort viewing’ is the TV show Friends, especially the first series, and watching the film You’ve Got Mail. Just the soundtrack alone is enough to make me feel calm and lets me know that I’m in for some quality entertainment with no pressure to figure out plot twists because I’ve seen it all before.

Comfort playing

Much like comfort viewing, picking up a game that you’ve played a hundred times is a fun way to spend your spare time. ‘Comfort playing’ is a more active option for days off as it can include classic garden games like boule or vintage board games that you can play with other people.

If you’re spending time alone, you can still enjoy ‘comfort playing’ with a classic computer game, such as Solitaire. Remember spending hours playing the classic card game on your PC? Something that isn’t too full-on with graphics and sounds is ideal for ‘comfort playing’ as you won’t become overwhelmed.

With ‘comfort playing’ there’s no stress of figuring out the (often complicated) rules of the game because you’ve already played it countless times. You may have even made up your own family version of the rules many years ago and can just enjoy playing without reading through game manuals.

When you’re in the midst of playing, you’re fully focused for the duration of the game, which takes your mind off any stressful thoughts. You might even get a euphoric feeling at the end when you complete the game, bonus!

Personally, when I’m on my own I enjoy playing Mahjong. The familiarity of the tiles and the simple act of matching them is so relaxing. To me, it seems like tidying up, so it’s a really satisfying game, and the fact that it’s so quiet and focused really helps to relax my brain.

Comfort reading

Much like ‘comfort viewing’ this activity lets you enjoy a favourite story without being challenged by a twist in the plot. ‘Comfort reading’ takes you away from screens to give your eyes and brain a rest and can be done anywhere.

I like to start reading classic fiction that I’ve read many times before during my holidays. That way, I’ll probably have finished it before the end of my break and it gives me something to pick up whenever I get a spare half-hour. Which stops me from absentmindedly checking my emails when I’m supposed to be relaxing.

Reading is good for your mental health and it doesn’t need to be a long novel for you to enjoy ‘comfort reading’. You could just sit down with the latest copy of your favourite magazine – it’s full of new articles yet it’s comforting to catch up with your favourite mag. Plus, buying yourself a physical copy feels like a real treat.

My favourite ‘comfort reading’ is The Darling Buds of May by H.E. Bates, which I read almost every year during the bank holiday at the start of May. I can also enjoy children’s books from my childhood, such as The Jolly Postman or Please, Mrs Butler, as they’re quick to read and bring that familiar, nostalgic feeling.

Comfort people

You know who I’m talking about – those friends and family that are so close to you that you wouldn’t mind coming around to your dishevelled home and hanging out with them in your PJs doing other ‘comfort activities’.

They join you during your ‘comfort viewing’ or take part in your ‘comfort playing’. They may even have a home that you find comfortable to spend time in, such as your parents’ or grandparents’ home, so head over to visit them and take your slippers with you.

There are no airs and graces with ‘comfort people’, they’re just there to support you, care for you and never judge you. You can have a good laugh together, reminisce about the fun times you’ve had and enjoy some more calm and cosy times on the sofa with a cup of tea.

What do you think of the idea of ‘comfort activities’? Would you try any of these out when you want to de-stress and relax? Let me know your favourite comfort books, TV shows and games in the comments below. 🙂

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This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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