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Behavioural Activation - Amazing Activities to do and Be Happy! #SoteldoPsychotherapy

Updated: Mar 27

a person making a heart with their hands

Fun Activities Catalogue Below is a list of activities that depressed people are encouraged to do to feel motivated and have fun. You’re allowed to add any activity that you think might help you or other depressed people.

· Jogging, walking

· Going to home opens

· Researching a topic of interest

· Going to the beach

· Redecorating

· Volunteering for a cause I support

· Smelling a flower

· Opening the curtains and blinds to let light in

· Going to the zoo or aquarium

· Doing jigsaw puzzles

· Harvesting home grown produce

· Exploring with a metal detector

· Giving someone a hug

· Taking a holiday

· Going to the hairdresser or barber

· Swimming with dolphins

· Picking flowers

· Sandboarding

· Going to the beauty salon

· Buying myself something nice

· Playing squash

· Going to a quiz or trivia night

· Spending time in nature

· Watching the clouds drift by

· Debating

· Painting my nails

· Going ice skating, roller skating/blading

· Scheduling a day with nothing to do

· Giving positive feedback about something (e.g. writing a letter or email about good service)

· Feeding the birds

· Spending an evening with good friends

· Flipping through old photo albums

· Upcycling or creatively reusing old items

· Going sailing

· Stretching muscles

· Maintaining a musical instrument (e.g. restringing guitar)

· Playing soccer

· Buying clothes

· Going to the botanic gardens

· Going to a scenic spot and enjoying the view

· Going to the speedway

· Snuggling up with a soft blanket

· Listening to an audiobook

· Going to see live stand-up comedy

· Making a pot of tea

· Using special items (e.g. fine china, silver cutlery, jewellery, clothes, souvenir mugs)

· Doing a DIY project (e.g. making homemade soap, making a mosaic)

· Taking care of my plants

· Telling a joke

· Going to a public place and people watching

· Discussing books

· Going window shopping

· Watching boxing, wrestling

· Giving someone a genuine compliment

· Buying a meal from a food truck or hawkers market and eating outdoors

· Operating a remote control car / plane

· Playing board games (e.g. Scrabble, Monopoly)

· Savouring a piece of chocolate

· Hunting for a bargain at an op shop, garage sale or auction

· Buying, selling stocks and shares

· Going to plays and concerts

· Buying fresh food at the market

· Beachcombing

· Dining out at a restaurant or café

· Playing mini golf

· Recycling old items

· Going to a water park

· Practising karate, judo

· Boxing a punching bag

· Cleaning

· Driving a Go Kart

· Daydreaming

· Learning about my family tree

· Picking berries at a farm

· Watching kids play sport

· Setting up a budget

· Writing a positive comment on a website /blog

· Getting a manicure or pedicure

· Collecting things (coins, shells, etc.)

· Donating old clothes or items to charity

· Lying in the sun

· Learning a magic trick

· Talking on the phone

· Listening to a podcast or radio show

· Walking around my city and noticing architecture of buildings

· Doing arts and crafts

· Going on a ghost tour

· Gardening

· Going camping

· Joining a club (e.g. film, book, sewing, etc.)

· Lighting candles

· Going bowling

· Going to museums, art galleries

· Reading comics

· Having coffee at a cafe

· Trying new hairstyles

· Taking a road trip

· Watching a fireplace or campfire

· Whistling

· Playing darts

· Going to a flea market

· Working from home

· Eating something nourishing (e.g. chicken soup)

· Babysitting for someone

· Taking a class (e.g. cooking, improvisation, acting, art)

· Combing or brushing my hair

· Writing diary/journal entries

· Sketching, painting

· Mowing the lawn

· Going horseback riding

· Doing the dishes

· Sitting outside and listening to birds sing

· Going to a free public lecture

· Travelling to national parks

· Going to a fair or fete

· Playing cards

· Putting moisturising cream on my face / body

· Volunteering at an animal shelter

· Re-watching a favourite movie

· Playing laser tag or paintball

· Joining a community choir

· Doing a nagging task (e.g. making a phone call, scheduling an appointment, replying to an email)

· Taking a ferry ride

· Shaping a bonsai plant

· Watching planes take off/ land at the airport

· Planning my career

· Reading non-fiction

· Writing a song or composing music

· Sleeping

· Driving

· Going crabbing

· Playing with my pets

· Abseiling

· Going kayaking, canoeing or white-water rafting

· Listening to the radio

· Baking home-made bread

· Walking barefoot on soft grass

· Watching a movie marathon

· Skipping/ jumping rope

· Being physically intimate with someone I want to be close to

· Going to karaoke

· Wearing an outfit that makes me feel good

· Cooking some meals to freeze for later

· Hobbies (stamp collecting, model building, etc.)

· Talking to an older relative and asking them questions about their life

· Listening to classical music

· Doing Sudoku

· Planting vegetables or flowers

· Walks on the riverfront/foreshore

· Shooting pool or playing billiards

· Getting an indoor plant

· Making jams or preserves

· Going out to dinner

· Buying gifts

· Having a political discussion

· Repairing things around the house

· Washing my car

· Watching TV, videos

· Sending a loved one a card in the mail

· Baking something to share with others (e.g. family, neighbours, friends, work colleagues)

· Taking a sauna, spa or a steam bath

· Having a video call with someone who lives far away

· Organising my wardrobe

· Going to a Bingo night

· Playing ping pong / table tennis

· Buying an ice-cream from an ice-cream truck

· Going on a hot air balloon ride

· Sightseeing

· Organising my work space

· Dangling my feet off a jetty

· Writing (e.g. poems, articles, blog, books)

· Dancing in the dark

· Having an indoor picnic

· Reading classic literature

· Going on a date

· Taking children places

· Going whale watching


· Genuinely listening to others

· Participating in a clean-up (e.g. picking up litter at the beach or park)

· Eating fish and chips at the beach

· Rearranging the furniture in my house

· Doing water aerobics

· Blowing bubbles

· Buying new furniture

· Watching a sunset or sunrise

· Star gazing

· Watching a funny TV show or movie

· Making pottery, or taking a pottery class

· Playing musical instruments

· Going to the ballet or opera

· Lighting scented candles, oils or incense

· Spending time alone

· Exercising

· Putting up a framed picture or artwork

· Flirting

· Entertaining

· Riding a motorbike

· Wine tasting

· Going to the planetarium or observatory

· Birdwatching

· Doing something spontaneously

· Going on a picnic

· Having a warm drink

· Singing in the shower

· Browsing at a second hand book shop

· Test driving an expensive car

· Refurbishing furniture

· Exchanging emails, chatting on the internet

· Knitting/crocheting/quilting

· Napping in a hammock

· Skipping stones on the water

· Doing ballet, jazz/tap dancing

· Archery

· Going on a Segway tour

· Visiting a grandparent

· Making a gift for someone

· Having discussions with friends

· Trying a new recipe

· Going swimming

· De-cluttering

· Going rock climbing

· Whittling

· Going on a ride at a theme park or fair

· Arranging flowers

· Going to the gym

· Working on my car or bicycle

· Juggling or learning to juggle

· Contacting an old school friend

· Calligraphy

· Surfing the internet

· Doing embroidery, cross stitching

· Browsing a hardware store

· Donating blood

· Massaging hand cream into my hands

· Fantasising about the future

· Laughing

· Flying a plane

· Playing tennis or badminton

· Clearing my email inbox

· Planting a terrarium

· Playing lawn games (e.g. bowls, croquet, bocce)

· Going to a party

· Getting out of debt/paying debts

· Seeing and/or showing photos

· Going on a city tour

· Going to an agricultural show

· Playing cricket

· Signing up for a fun run

· Scrapbooking

· Accepting an invitation

· Cooking an international cuisine

· Solving riddles

· Scuba diving

· Watching home videos

· Building a sand castle

· Planning a holiday

· Sitting at the beach or river and watching the movement of the water

· Watching fireworks

· Making home-made pizza

· Cheering for a sports team

· Origami

· Doing something nostalgic

· Putting extra effort in to my appearance

· Playing golf

· Doing a favour for someone

· Building a bird house or feeder

· Looking at pictures of beautiful scenery

· Having family get-togethers

· Listening to music

· Learning a new language

· Taking a free online class

· Working

· Washing my hair

· Singing around the house

· Watching my children play

· Going to a community or school play

· Making jewellery

· Reading poetry

· Going to the hills

· Getting/giving a massage

· Shooting hoops at the local basketball courts

· Flying kites

· Savouring a piece of fresh fruit

· Playing hockey

· Eating outside during my lunch break

· Floating on a pool lounge

· Practising yoga, Pilates

· Walking around the block

· Shaving

· Writing down a list of things I am grateful for

· Maintaining an aquarium

· Playing Frisbee

· Teaching a special skill to someone else (e.g. knitting, woodworking, painting, language)

· Playing chess (with a friend or at a local club)

· Going to a games arcade

· Jumping on a trampoline

· Sending a text message to a friend

· Going fishing

· Doodling

· Putting a vase of fresh flowers in my house

· Participating in a protest I support

· Going to a movie

· Surfing, bodyboarding or stand up

· Playing volleyball

· Going bike riding

· Entering a competition

· Doing crossword puzzles

· Patting or cuddling my pet

· Cooking a special meal

· Soaking in the bathtub

· Having a treatment at a day spa

· Seeing a movie at the drive-in or outdoor cinema

· Making my bed with fresh sheets

· Lifting weights

· Early morning coffee and newspaper

· Planning a themed party (e.g. costume, murder mystery)

· Wearing comfortable clothes

· Shining my shoes

· Acting

· Borrowing books from the library

· Having a barbecue

· Sewing

· Dancing

· Having lunch with a friend

· Talking to or introducing myself to my neighbours

· Holding hands

· Going to a free art exhibition

· Making a ‘To-Do’ list of tasks

· Travelling abroad, interstate or within the state

· Having quiet evenings

· Geocaching

· paddle boarding

· Photography

· Watching funny videos on YouTube

· Doing something religious or spiritual

· Putting on perfume or cologne

· Digging my toes in the sand

· Hitting golf balls at a driving range

· Reading magazines or newspapers

· Calling a friend

· Sending a handwritten letter

· Going snorkelling

· Going hiking, bush walking

· Reading fiction

· Meeting new people

· Doing 5 minutes of calm deep breathing

· Buying new stationary

· Turning off electronic devices for an hour (e.g. computer, phone, TV)

· Buying music (MP3s, CDs, records)

· Relaxing

· Going to a footy game

· Buying books

· Meditating

· Training my pet to do a new trick

· Planning a day’s activities

· Waking up early, and getting ready at a leisurely pace

· Holding a garage sale

· Saying “I love you”

· Making a playlist of upbeat songs

· Colouring in

· Taking my dog to the park

· Pampering myself at home

· Going skiing

· Doing woodworking

· Planning a nice surprise for someone else

· Playing video games

Raquel Soteldo RP(Q), MA, ABA, PMP, CCC

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