Blog Post

Finding Creative Outlets and Stress Relief

Running a business is stressful, not just occasionally, but every day. There are so many balls to keep in the air at any given point, and at times like these, when holidays have passed and you’re trying to resume the rhythm of a routine, it’s a good time to figure out ways to incorporate downtime and breaks into your days.

As enjoyable as the holiday season can be, it’s also a hectic time filled with demands that can exceed even your busiest days at work. On top of that, it can be hard to let go of work, and there’s often a little nagging voice reminding you of what will be waiting for you on your return. When the first weeks of the new year arrive, it’s easy to feel jet lagged and sleep deprived, wishing that you had time for a vacation from the vacation!

It’s a lot easier to realize the need for downtime and rest during times like these, but it’s just as important to routinely get time away from work and daily stresses well after putting away the Christmas ornaments.

A creative outlet or some form of physical activity can be just the remedy for stress-filled days, so why not take the time to plan for some fun activities away from the office?

Get a Hobby

There are so many ways to blow off steam. It can be as simple as a daily walk, but you might also enjoy:

  • Joining an acting, photography or painting class at a local college.
  • Baking or cooking something special each day.
  • Gardening or visiting nature centers in your area.
  • Dancing or taking a dance class.
  • Exercising or bike-riding.
  • Swimming, rowing or simply being near water.
  • Reading or starting/joining a book club.
  • Hiking, jogging or preparing for a marathon.
  • Sewing, crocheting, pottery-making or painting.
  • Spending time outdoors or with your pets.

The options are truly endless, but the important thing is making sure to reserve time for it every single day, so be sure to find something that’s accessible and convenient so that you’ll actually commit to it and make it part of your routine.

Schedule It In

The New Year is here, and it’s the perfect time to set your intentions and make room for those things that are most important to you, and taking time for yourself to unwind and take your mind off work should be at the top of your list. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not operating at your best, which can actually take away from the attention you provide your life and business.

Reserve time now for yourself and activities that will rejuvenate you and help you bring the highest level of energy and clarity to your business.

How do you unwind and decompress from the stresses that can come with running a business?

Image from Flickr by lepiaf.geo

18 Responses to “Finding Creative Outlets and Stress Relief”

  1. ( please delete my first post thank you)

    I decided to take up book binding just after Christmas as a way to distract me from my work. Because I work from home i never seem to switch off. I am naturally a creative and was finding it difficult not have something creative in my life. So I thought book binding would fit the bill. A definite stress buster.

  2. I decided to take up book binding just after Christmas as a way to distract me from my work. Because I work from home i never seem to switch off. I am naturally a creative and was finding it difficult not have something creative in my life. So I thought book binding would fit the bill. A definite stress buster.

  3. Love all your stress busting suggestions, I really do believe that keeping active is the key. sadly the human race is becoming too sedentary and stress is taking over.

  4. Hi Amber,

    Thank you for your lovely article. I agree with you totally about how holiday periods can be really stressful…

    This year mine was really beautiful… snowed in and relaxed – lots of relaxation, toboganing and walking.

    I work on my website from home most days and have a regular break every hour – I set my alarm, put the computer on standby (means I don’t have to shut my programs down) and go for exercise. I either do yoga, kickboxing or tai chi.

    I agree that scheduling in this time is so important – otherwise the day has gone by and you haven’t left your seat all day!

    Be well,


  5. I often tell my clients the importance of taking time out for ourselves – and it doesn’t have to be a lot – just going for a walk, having a bath or even doing some reading can help so much.

    For me, a walk or hike is the prefect way to de-stress!

  6. I’ll echo Betsy’s comment that running or any physical outlet is great therapy for stressful times. You feel great after doing it and it can be meditative while exercising.
    But the best activity for me is coming home and playing with my one year old son. His laughter puts it all into perspective.

    • Amber Riviere

      Agreed, Tyler. Anytime I stick with exercising (the real issue for me), I feel so much better, both physically and mentally, and I’m a lot more focused and productive at work. It’s a great outlet for stress, for sure, but I was reading “The Joy of Living” just last night, and it basically said that laughter is the best medicine, and what better way to laugh than hanging out with kids? Great points!

  7. I couldn’t agree more. Scrapbooking makes a lovely hobby, if I may say so. Of course, as the owner/editor of the trade journal Scrapbook Update, I’m probably biased. But I’m also a devoted scrapbooker and it is what I use to unwind from the stress of work and life.

    • Amber Riviere

      That’s an interesting creative outlet I hadn’t considered, Nancy, but I bet it’s great at taking your mind off everything else! I know during the holidays I was baking every evening, and it was such a great stress-reducer. I found myself more centered and quickly able to sleep better at night (and this from the chronic insomniac!). I guess that’s the key, though, just finding an activity that completely engrosses you.

  8. Spot on post. This is what I’m constantly telling my clients. ‘If you’re not taking care of yourself, you are not operating at your best’. Taking time aware from our work means that, when we return, it is with a clearer vision and focus. I make sure I take a little bit of me-time everyday! Heather

    • Amber Riviere

      I agree, Heather. If we’re not taking care of ourselves and putting the best version of ourselves out there, then every other area of our lives suffers (including our work). We really have to reprogram ourselves to know that it’s a priority, not an option.

  9. I’ve recently picked up knitting and crochet again, after having work completely eat the rest of my life for the last few months.

    Reminds me of a quote from Winston Churchill I read somewhere about how he painted to relieve stress in the midst of dealing with WWII.

    If Churchill could find time for a hobby while his country was being bombed, a web worker in the midst of a recession surely can, right?

    • Amber Riviere

      @ KatFrench – I completely agree. I sometimes catch myself thinking that I don’t have time for “me-time,” but then I can always think of someone who is one hundred times busier than I am who still manages to take time out for being active, a hobby, cooking a good meal, etc. Then I know that there’s really no excuse! If they can do it, I definitely agree, so can we. Happy knitting!

  10. Hi, Amber. I’ve recently taken up running, and I’m amazed at how clean my mind is after a good workout. We get so attached to our gadgets and being connected all the time that it is a refreshing break to be away from it all, even for just half an hour.

    • Amber Riviere

      Exactly, Betsy. It doesn’t matter so much what you do, but just breaking completely away from work and the steady stream of updates makes a ton of difference.