When it comes to getting enough relaxation, parents (particularly stay-at-home moms) always struggle, as they have too many chores to undertake – from attending to a screaming child, getting the dishes clean, to planning the next family meal.
In fact, a study featured by the Huffington Post revealed that mothers only get about 17 minutes of ‘me time’ a day, where 42% said they even use this free time to plan things for the following day.
“Many live so much for the rest of the family that it can be hard to remember themselves. Even if it's just a matter of catching their favourite programme each week or taking half an hour out to relax in their bedroom, it's important mum remembers to get that 'me time' each day to recharge,” said a TVBed.com spokesperson.
However, research in 2013 mentioned that cuddly things such as a teddy bear has the ability to relieve stress, even any existential angst (fear of death). Researchers from UV University Amsterdam found that this new discovery opened a new form of ‘hug therapy’ that is essential for patients with depression and anxiety.
“Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance,” said Sander Koole, psychological scientist and lead researcher at UV University Amsterdam.
But what ways can we gain relaxation from cuddly things?
Hug a stuffed toy
If you think children are the only ones who should be in possession of stuffed toys, think again. Adults can also benefit from owning fluffy toys as they have similar positive effects as real pets, which have the ability to relieve people of tension or anxiety as they divert their attention and energy somewhere else away from their troubles.
A few minutes of cuddling stuffed toys can cure someone troubled with depression, although experts said it should never be used as a real substitute for proper treatment. Scientist from Boise State University found that teddy bears can also help patients suffering with Dissociative identity disorder (DID) and bipolar disorders.
One of the researchers at Boise State University suggested that cuddly things can support therapy sessions by offering patients a way to express emotions and receive unconditional support.
Own a pet
If you aren’t allergic to pets and have the time and energy to care for one, then consider getting a dog or a cat at home to help you relieve stress.
In China, a medical clinic is using an adorable calico cat to help patients relax while getting their pulse checked by a physician. In a report by Rocket News 24, it stated that traditional Chinese medical practices have used fluffy cushions to relax patients for years. This particular clinic went viral online for using their own pet cat to help patients relax.
Using dogs or cats for medical reasons isn’t a new concept at all, as pets have been found as a great way to put a smile on a patient’s face and put their mind at ease. Their unconditional love towards patients helps reduce tension that improves their overall mood.
Play cute games
If you cannot own a pet, then maybe playing cutesy games is a better option for you to relieve stress.
Video games have been proven by different researches as an effective method to relax the mind and reduce stress levels of the players. In a 2010 study by the Texas A&M, it mentioned that playing video games for a long period of time can relieve tension that helps a person to be less hostile during stressful tasks as well as reducing the chances of depression.
There are plenty of relaxing mind games that one can try. In fact, some titles even use the concept of ‘cuddly’ and ‘cuteness’ to encourage female players to try it, such as games that feature fluffy stuffed toys. Additionally, board and card games can also act as relaxing pursuits with the former being the perfect game to play with the family to help build strong and lasting bonds.