Alternative Forms of Therapy I Often Employ

Here are a few random things that - aside from group and individual therapy, which is v important in my life - genuinely provide me with feelings of healing, comfort, and happiness. Please comment if you have suggestions of things that work for you - I am always in need of more ways to relax!
  1. 1.
    A good cry
    In the shower, in the car, in a public place, in bed - I am a highly emotional person and always feel infinitely better afterwards.
  2. 2.
    A full-bellied laugh
    Laughing out loud because you just can't help yourself - whether alone or in the company of others - is one of the most genuine and wonderful things about the human experience. In my world, an episode of Bob's Burgers is the quickest way to a good LOL.
  3. 3.
    Nights spent in with my best girls...
    that include wine, pizza, hideous sweatpants, and Troop Beverly Hills/Now & Then.
  4. 4.
    Being around animals
    I'm a person who is simply obsessed with all animals, so being around any living being that I can care for, nuzzle, or pet - dogs, cats, horses, birds, snakes, whatever - is so healing to me. When my warm, soft lil cat lies on me and purrs for hours on end, my heart rate slows and my anxieties dissipate.
  5. 5.
    Dancing
    I have danced for virtually my entire life and there's just nothing else that does the same thing for my body and mind. Dance classes, dancing in the kitchen with my lover, dancing on a table, dancing in the mirror while singing into a hairbrush microphone...I get pure, unadulterated joy from moving to music.
  6. 6.
    The ocean
    I'm a California girl through and through; I love being in or near or even within viewing distance of the ocean.
  7. 7.
    Sundays at my family's house
    I haven't lived at my childhood home in a year and a half, but my fiancé and I spend most Sundays there. Homecooked meals, time with my mom and my sister, looking at old photos, rolling around on the grass with our dogs; there's nowhere in the world I'd rather be.
  8. 8.
    Pasta
    Very few things in my universe it can't cure. If I'm sick, odds are it's the only thing that sounds palatable. If I'm blue, a bowl of spaghetti in the Marcella Hazan tomato sauce is an instant happy-maker.
  9. 9.
    Tasks that allow me to turn my brain off
    I work in a very high-stress job and find it genuinely therapeutic to have a finite task that requires no brain activity whatsoever. Examples include sealing envelopes, coloring in a coloring book, or entering numbers into a spreadsheet.
  10. 10.
    A blowout
    A surefire way to pick myself up. Not at all ashamed to admit that having fabulous-looking hair makes me very, very happy.
  11. 11.
    Arranging flowers
    I've been doing this with my mother since I was a little girl; it's one of my favorite activities. Pictured is 1/9 festive, jar-sized arrangements I made for my department's holiday party last year.
  12. 12.
    Physical human contact
    I'm an extremely tactile person; my friends often laugh about how I always place a hand on their arm when I'm talking to them. Back scratches, hand-holding, snuggles, slow dancing, cheek-pinching, and hugs are all forms of touch I consider to be near-magical 💫