Things other people find relaxing/unwinding but you find stressful

Two examples for me:

  1. Taking a shower: Loud water gushing, those harsh seconds before the water gets warm (even though it was already warm coming out of the bathtub faucet) - then it’s too hot; by the time you get comfortable it’s time to get out and start shivering all over again. Definitely a stress situation; I’d never want to wake up by showering first thing in the morning.

  2. Driving. No matter how scenic or deserted the road is, driving is either tiring or stressful; never relaxing. I don’t understand those car commericials where they make it out to be something fun, I don’t care how nice the car itself is.


Thank you.

Jogging. No matter how fit or conditioned I got jogging/running was just awful. I could never get used to the constant pounding on the feet, knees, hips, back. Biking, rollerblading, swimming I could go for miles. Jogging I was shot after one mile.

Golfing. I tried it and hated it. Not relaxing at all for me.


I will add: cable news, whether daytime or evening. Any network. It invariably stresses me out, and it’s not the subject matter.

EDIT: but I see others use cable news as a constant audiovisual background. In waiting room-type places, but also in their homes.

Any sport that requires constantly changing direction. Basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee…five minutes and I’m out.

Massages. They’re invading my space and the massage doesn’t relax my muscles.

Boating. Whether a canoe or pontoon or a larger fishing boat (I’m on a lake in Minnesota) I really just want to be back on land.

Another driving-hater here, and – well, I’ve never actually done yoga, but I find the idea of yoga horrifying, especially in front of other people. It is a mystery to my why it is a thing women my age are supposed to like.

Not “me”, but my wife seems to get super-stressed out about doing the kids laundry. I don’t really understand it. I kind of find a sort of “zen” effect in cleaning, laundry, and doing housework. Or at worst, I’m indifferent to it as just something that needs doing. Then again, I feel my wife suffers from some sort of weird OCD where actually putting shit away causes an anxiety attack.

Agreed. Always disliked it.

Watching broadcast TV. The jangling commercials, the laugh tracks, the sense that everyone ate way too much sugar candy and drank too much coffee and absinthe, the least-common-denominator audience targeting… just sets my teeth on edge.

^ Broadcast radio, especially in the car. You might get 3 songs in a half hour in between the yakkety-yak/commercials and the beginning and end of the songs are voiced-over. Plus, I’m trying to be aware of any strange car noises. I leave it off.

Let’s try that new restaurant!

When I take a shower, I check that the water is warm before I step under the shower head. I close the bathroom door to trap the heat, and dry off while still standing in the shower, both of which keep the cold-and-shivering part to a minimum.

That may not be enough to make you like showers, but could make them a little less stressful.

Breathing exercises. They are supposed to be good for anxiety, but when I’m really anxious, breathing exercises are like fighting against my own body and it’s a horrible feeling. I’m talking the ones where you have to count as you breathe.

I can do breath awareness meditation and stuff, but nothing where I actually control my breath.

Going out to eat.

At a “nice” place the prices are insane, drinks are even more insane, I have to tip, it’s invariably noisy and filled with clashing sounds, and the restaurant is using psyops to “bum’s rush” me out the door. Since they need to clear the table for the next walking wallet, I’ll save them the trouble by cooking at home.

Covid didn’t change my restaurant habits at all.

Most of the above stress me out too.

Driving, though – I can drive 12 hours a day for weeks at a time. Especially if the radio is off. I hate being in a car with radio or music playing.

Phone calls. Worst thing in the world. Talking to someone and not being able to see them is my definition of hell.

My first thought was driving. To me, it’s a necessary evil, especially living in the boonies as we do. I’ve seen so many people do so many stupid things on the road, I’m constantly on alert.

Even worse was when my husband wanted me to go on his motorcycle with him - HATED IT!!! Knowing that many drivers just flat-out don’t see bikes, plus it was uncomfortable and loud - I honestly don’t see how he found it relaxing and liberating. I was terrified the entire time.

These replies make me happy. I have such a long list of activities I find stressful, it’s nice to see other people have some similar feelings.

I dislike showers but have become inured to them as we don’t have a good bathtub. Some day I will have a bathtub again.

All driving I find stressful but the least stressful is a long lonely road all by myself, without any decisions about directions. I can do that a long time. Worst: trying to find a new place, in city traffic.

I find social gatherings stressful, and the more strangers, the more noise, and the more crowded, the more stressful it is.

I also find phone calls a chore. Even to people I enjoy talking to.

Anything which involves a motorized tool. Vacuuming. Blowdrying hair. Mowing lawns. Mixing batter. Drilling holes. Weedwhacking. Luckily my husband loves motors.