According to my exhaustive Google searches, about 57% of Americans say that they are stressed about their mental health, with 72% of adults experiencing additional health impacts due to stress. Chronic stress is linked to six leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide, according to the American Psychological Association.
Of course, if you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of helplessness or self harm, please contact a medical professional or other resources (see below) immediately, and this post is not to make light of those instances.
However, I have observed friends and relatives managing the more measured, though consistent stress that we all feel day to day. Work, family, money, kids, whatever the heck is going on with Tay-Tay. How do they manage? Well, with soothing and mildly instructional YouTube videos, of course.
Can you do this, too? Of course you can. It just so happens that I’ve compiled a list:
Ok, this one is the OG. Dr. Sandra Lee, the internet’s most trusted dermatologist for over a decade, has been posting videos of cyst aspirations, lipoma removals, and excisions of dilated pores of winer (don’t know that term? It’s just a mamma-jamma blackhead) for just as long, and she is 100% aware that her fan base uses her videos to relax, unwind and float away on a blemish-pocked cloud. If you’re squeamish about medical stuff, this one isn’t for you.
Dr. Pimple Popper: Sandra Lee
This is a pretty broad category, applying to everything from actual TV shows where designers meet with clients and help them design their ultimate 100 or 250 square foot paradise (sometimes larger) to YouTube videos of people who convert panel vans and old Winnebagos into viable, even adorable tiny homes. There is a level of zen that my Gen X husband can only reach after watching a few panel van videos, a cabin in the woods video, and one or two humorous videos of buddies competing to make the most wind-resistant teeny Tiny Home.
“Tiny House Nation”
When Facebook added the “Reel” feature, the algorithm quite quickly figured out that I wanted to see people refinish furniture. At this point, I have favorite contributors, strong opinions on certain techniques and colors, and have even branched out a little into some tool rehabilitating videos. But I’m not going too deep down that rabbit hole, I’m loyal to furniture. This one comes with it the added benefit that it is instructional, both in technique of refinishing, and in home design.
If you’re not familiar with this one, I don’t just mean your living room carpet that your teenager spilled Coke Zero and orange juice all over, I’m talking about rugs that this guy finds in dumps and other gross places. They are all CAKED in mud and grossness (some have actual grass growing from them) and they have been that way for a while. He follows the same process in almost the same steps for every rug, and he keeps going until the water runs clear and the rug is fully clean. The moment you can see the pattern on the carpet is my fave, though the first satisfying squiiiiiiiish of mud being squeegeed out is pretty good, too.
This one is very near and dear to my heart, as it was introduced to me by my 15 year old. My favorite sound has always been that of shoes softly crunching on gravel. Knowing this, she sent me an Instagram video one day of a woman crushing blocks of gym chalk, the type used by gymnasts to keep their hands and feet from clinging to gymnastics equipment. This shone a light on a whole community of ASMR contributors who crush chalk, sometimes tinted with food coloring or paint, sometimes including glitter, and sometimes dried into fanciful shapes- but always delivering that satisfying soft, crunching sound. We have our favorites, which are not always the same. I tend to favor the softer, more colorful crushes, while she prefers the squeaky, harder, plain ones. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, but are slightly intrigued and are a person who finds soft crunching sounds soothing, you should definitely check them out.
There are many contributors, but the below is one of our faves:
These are just a few examples, but I know there are others! What “unusual” ways do you have to unwind, and would you recommend them to others?
Crisis Text line: 741741 Text “HOME”
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255