Think yoga or a long walk are the best ways to relax? Think again. It turns out, Brits like to unwind by mashing potatoes.
Menial and mundane tasks were voted the best ways to find calm, according to a new survey.
Grating cheese, sorting the recycling and building flatpack furniture also all made the list, and more than half (56%) of the people surveyed found everyday tasks can be more relaxing than yoga or meditating.
And in a very British fashion, the top way Brits prefer to relax is by making a cup of tea or coffee, with 49% saying it helped ease stress and anxiety levels – there’s nothing quite like a good cuppa.
Watering plants and chopping herbs placed at third and second, and perhaps surprisingly, household chores that you might assume people try to avoid were actually favourites: hanging out the washing, mowing the lawn, folding the washing, vacuuming, painting walls and weeding the garden all made the top 10.
And, it seems we’re all strangers to road rage, as driving was also included.
The survey, commissioned by eBay, revealed that around half (49%) of people believe tactile tasks with an end product are among the most relaxing – explaining why crocheting (14%), cleaning the car out (12%) and cleaning the windows (9%) were also on the list.
When it comes to the reasons why we’re feeling on edge, money, work, family and health, occupied our minds the most.
On average, Brits have 10 moments of relaxation a day, with almost half (49%) wishing they had more periods of calm in their lives.
One in three (33%) claiming they had less stress-free moments now compared to three years ago, with 58% saying that phones and computers made it harder for them to relax.
30 everyday activities that Brits do to relieve stress
- Making a cup of tea or coffee – 49%
- Watering plants – 31%
- Chopping herbs – 31%
- Hanging out the washing – 28%
- Mowing the lawn – 26%
- Folding the washing – 25%
- Vacuuming – 25%
- Driving – 23%
- Painting walls – 23%
- Weeding the garden – 23%
- Ironing – 23%
- Wiping the kitchen surfaces – 21%
- Walking around the supermarket – 20%
- Working on your car – 18%
- Making the bed – 18%
- Washing the car – 17%
- Sorting out life admin – 14%
- Crocheting/knitting – 14%
- Sorting the recycling – 13%
- Watching the washing machine cycle – 13%
- Grating cheese – 12%
- Cleaning a tiled floor – 11%
- Mashing potatoes – 10%
- Sweeping – 9%
- Cleaning the windows – 9%
- Trimming the edges of the lawn – 9%
- Tidying your garage – 6%
- Shining your shoes – 6%
- Making flatpack furniture – 6%
- Chopping wood – 6%
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