Taking a hot bath, playing sports, reading, or meditating are among the favorite activities to relax after a hard day. Well, that’s what we thought… A survey shows that some people much prefer to combine business with pleasure, turning to certain household tasks to seek inner peace. A shame!
At the heart of global concerns, mental health is the subject of much scientific research to identify new strategies likely to combat stress and anxiety. Studies have recently shown that practicing physical activity goes in this direction, as does mindfulness, or even listening to or playing a musical instrument. But are these recommendations really followed by ordinary people? Or do they find happiness, if not relaxation, elsewhere? It would seem from a survey conducted by eBay among 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom that the simplest, and sometimes the most unexpected, activities are the most effective for relaxing.
According to this study, respondents say they allow themselves ten moments of relaxation per day, with a third claiming to have fewer stress-free moments today than three years ago. One in two respondents say they wish they had more periods of calm in their life. It remains to be determined which household tasks respondents consider relaxing… At the top of the ranking is making a cup of tea or coffee (49%), considered the most popular way to de-stress. Much more surprising, almost a third of the panel (31%) said that watering plants and weeding are two effective activities for relaxing.
Hang out the laundry, vacuum
How could we imagine that hobbies as simple as they were accessible could represent such a source of satisfaction for others? However, this is the case, and the rest of the ranking is even more surprising. More than a quarter of British respondents (28%) say that hanging out the laundry is a feel-good moment that can relax them, while 26% turn more to mowing the lawn, and 25% to folding laundry or vacuuming. One stone kills two birds, in short.
Among the unusual activities identified in this ranking, also include ironing (23%), going to the supermarket (20%), doing mechanics (18%), engaging in administrative tasks (14 %), sorting waste (13%), watching the washing machine run (13%), grating cheese (12%), or making puree (10%). Note that 6% of the panel expressed themselves in favor of assembling flat-pack furniture… an activity which relaxes some while stressing out others.
While it may make you smile, this survey also reveals that more than half of respondents (56%) say they prefer to do household chores to relax than to practice meditation or yoga. Something that can be explained by the fact that respondents look for activities that do not require any thought (53%), which they consider to be more conducive to calm, but also by the desire of those interviewed to de-stress through activities that save money (37%).
“It’s interesting to see from this research how the most simple and seemingly mundane tasks in life are actually calming and therapeutic. From a psychological perspective, people enter a zone, or mental state, in which they do not need to think and are totally immersed in a feeling of energetic focus and pleasure. It’s as if action and consciousness blend into each other, as people focus on the task rather than their worries and concerns“, commented psychologist Dr. Lisa Dorn.