[Editor’s note] What are the things that make YOU feel well, happy, calm, peaceful, joyful, relaxed, and all the other good feelings?

You probably have a list of favorite go-to activities, songs, and relaxation techniques for improving your mood and staying well.

We challenge you to take some time in May to search out and try some less common, and perhaps surprising, Wellness Tools that may work for you. Use can use Carol’s list below as a starting point!

Carol’s Out-of-the Box Wellness Tools

1. Every single day has a few celebrations. [Today, April 25, is World Penguin Day! My husband, Tom, and I once celebrated National Ravioli Day by going to an Italian restaurant and, you guessed it, eating ravioli! The day I wrote this list is February 20, National Love Your Pet Day and National Muffin Day. I don’t have a pet, so I will find a delicious muffin to commemorate this fun occasion. You can find more unusual day designations at nationaldaycalendar.com.

Make up your own national holiday and celebrate it with great fanfare! For example, if you love strawberries, you could plan your own strawberry festival with a strawberry pie, strawberry candy, strawberry streusel, strawberry dancing—whatever you like! 

 2. Play a kazoo! They are really inexpensive and fairly easy to find. You play your kazoo sort of the same way you would a harmonica, but with a humming approach. There are easy videos on YouTube to get you started. On March 14, 2011, 5,190 kazoo players achieved the largest kazoo ensemble ever at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. This achievement qualified the event for recognition by the Guiness Book of World Records.

 3. Go to your local library with a blank notebook and wander around with no particular designation. They have a wide array of music (and sometimes listening stations), books, movies, magazines, computers, newspapers, and more! There will always be a librarian to help you find whatever makes your heart happy. You might get fascinated by subways around the world, the invention of the airplane, or games to play with your friends. Whether you write anything in your notebook doesn’t matter. What is important is that you will be in an amazing place with seemingly unlimited.

 4. Take a music bath! Put some relaxing music on and lie down on the floor or sofa, letting the music wash over you for at least 15 minutes. I usually listen to classical music, but you can choose any music you like. Close your eyes and let your mind drift. When I do this, I feel such good calm energy and so at ease afterwards. I also feel more confident in my abilities to deal with life.

5. Make a treasure box. You might have had one when you were a child where you kept your most precious belongings. This is a special box for you to have at any age. In my treasure box, I have a Weeble (Weebles wobble but they dont fall down!) from my childrens toddler play times, a purple glass heart my sister gave to me, my fathers wedding ring, a cobalt blue glass ball, and a book of poetry, among other things. The items in my treasure box change from time to time. I dont even have to open it for it to comfort me. Those happy memories make me feel loved and, yes, treasured! Some people call their treasure box a Wellness Toolbox. 

6. Do something fun you used to do in your childhood, such as skipping rope, playing with toy cars, cutting out paper dolls, climbing a tree, sledding, or re-reading a favorite childhood book. If you like, you can invite a friend to join you in your retro play time. My friend Beverly and I recently started a paper doll club because we found out that we enjoy the meditative process of cutting out our paper dolls. Oddly enough, it’s a meditative process, but also very social!

 7. Do a research project on the history of your town. You can check the library, your local historical society, old newspapers and magazines, and even do some interviews with people who have firsthand knowledge of your area’s history.

 8. Put together a mystery adventure for a friend or family member. You could take them to something as simple as a poetry reading at a local library, a play, a musical concert, an unusual place for dinner, or even a picnic that you plan. I have experienced mystery adventures myself, and coordinated them too, so I know how fun they can be.

9. If you have to do something a little difficult, plan something fun for a later date. For example, if you are going to the dentist, you can think about the movie you are going to go to with a friend the next day. If you have an appointment with your tax accountant, you can remember that you are going out to a special dinner with someone you love later that evening. I have even purchased tickets to go see a favorite band at a later date after a problematic event.

10. Write a poem every day. My friend Mary Ellen and I started exchanging haiku poetry (5-7-5 syllables) almost two years ago. The poem a day idea was initiated in Writer’s Digest magazine and the time period was for a month. We take turns sending prompts to each other. We do not have any particular poetry skills, we just have fun and love words. Here’s an example:

New Chapter 

It’s a miracle! 

You can start a new chapter 

any time you want! 

11. Declare a day of peace, calm, and quiet. Every once in a while, it is refreshing to unplug and not watch TV, play with your phone, listen to the radio, or get on your computer. You can catch up on some reading, take a walk, visit with someone, or whatever you like. It is an amazing experience to find some extra time to spend however you wish!

12. Take a cooking class. You might even want to try learning types of cuisine that are unfamiliar to you. The next step is to make an incredible meal for your family and/or friends to show off your new skills.

13. Design and make your own T-shirts or sweatshirts. This is a great idea for reunions, groups of friends, and family get-togethers of any kind. You can even use a favorite quotation or have a special photograph put on it.

14. Get someone a bunch of balloons—either for a special occasion or for no reason at all. There is nothing quite as festive as a bouquet of cheerful balloons. You could even get them for yourself!

15. If you are picking up someone for an adventure on their birthday, decorate the inside of your car with crepe paper streamers and signs. You can even put signs on the sides of your car that say, “Honk! It’s ________’s birthday!”