Stress. Weather it’s from work, home or other it can be a real pain in the arse. It can kill your productivity and make you lose sleep. Companies have made millions… no, billions out of treating stress. From hypnotherapy to stress toys, to self help techniques there are a huge number of things available to help with your stress. Personally I manage mine with some fairly simple objects. Here are my top 5 stress busting…. erm… toys, I guess?
5. NES with Super Mario Brothers 3
This is the single greatest console-game combination in the history of video games. The simple controls make it easy for anyone to pick up and raccoon-tail their stress away. The sound effects, graphics and game play make it pretty much perfect. To this day I think SMB3 is the best iteration of everyone’s favourite Italian American stereotype.
For me, SMB3 takes away stress and worries because it takes me back to my youth. Growing up in Canada I had a NES and would spend hours playing SMB 1, 2 and 3. But 3 was always my favourite. I never owned it though. We had a VHS and game rental place around the corner from us and whenever I had a Saturday with nothing to do I’d rent SMB3. This was when NES cartridges were ferociously expensive so 20 rentals still wouldn’t be as much as buying the game.
4. Breast Implant
Yeah, you read that right. Years ago a friend of mine worked at a place that handled medical supplies. This included cosmetic surgery implants. Every so often they’d find a package that was damaged and/or torn, rendering the product inside useless in the medical field. One of these found it’s way to me. Let me tell you, there are few things better at relieving stress than rolling a silicone breast implant around in your hand. Seriously it’s better than any stress ball.
These days the boob, looking a little worse for wear resides on my desk at work. If I have a particularly rough day or a support client that just doesn’t get it I find myself picking old faithful and everything just seems more pleasant. Funny that way.
Not many people have heard about these things. I’ve had two up to now and I’m totally hooked. The X-Zylo is a Frisbee for the new age. It’s basically a flying gyroscope that you can throw immense distances (if you get the technique right) with not much physical effort. Check out the uber-cheesy video:
See, pretty cool right? If you’re having a stressful week, take a few hours outside in a nice open space and have yourself a little distance trial. You can play catch too but be careful; because of how it flies it is very hard to see if it’s coming straight at you. Also, it flies fast so it can hurt if you catch it wrong. Catching a flying X-Zylo in the forehead will induce more stress than it relieves.
This is a pretty new one. I only got one on my birthday last month but it’s one hell of a stress reliever. The second application of a gyroscope in this list, the Powerball by NSD is more of an exercise and physical therapy device designed to strengthen the arms. You get the internal ball spinning and use a fluid motion in the wrist to make it spin faster. Anything over 10,000 rpm gets tough. My record is about 11,500 but the world record is something silly like 16,000.
What’s great about the power ball is that you can really go for it and if something really pisses you off you can have an all out record attempt on Powerball and it’s just as satisfying as yelling really loud or hitting something.
I was a late-comer to skateboarding and I’ve never been any good at it really but boy do I find it therapeutic. Not only does it give you a great workout, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of freedom you get from coasting around effortlessly on a thin plank of wood. I can forget about everything else and just focus on my feet and the board.
As well as de-stressing, skateboarding can give you a fantastic sense of achievement when you nail a new trick. The real pitty is that I’ve not skated in months. This is something I really want to change before we are landed with shite weather once again. Recently @minutedesigns had me watching videos of the great Rodney Mullen and it got me well and truly fired up. It was like drooling with anticipation at seeing a picture of a juicy steak… except for my feet. Granted, it’s not for everyone but I love it.