Weekends are best spent for relaxation and leisure, but you shouldn’t wait for the weekend to relax and unwind. Your whole week is loaded with demands from both work and your home, so your stress levels are most likely fluctuating throughout the week. Making the effort to include relaxation as a part of your everyday habit is good for your physical and mental health.

It is best to set aside some time for stress relief. Have a stress-relieving hobby as part of your self-care plan. Before your life became busy, you surely had hobbies that you were engaged in. Now is the best time to get back into those hobbies.

Hobbies are a great tool to battle everyday stress, promote healthy mental well-being, and keep your mind sharp.  

Does Having a Hobby Decrease Stress Levels?

Hobbies are a great way for a person to reduce stress. They help you focus on the present moment and not worry about tomorrow. Hobbies also push you to take a break and unwind while being productive.

Having a hobby doesn’t necessarily decrease a person’s stress levels. Rather, it promotes positive stress or eustress.

Hobbies help a person get to know themselves better. Not only does having a hobby promote stress relief; it is also generally good for a person’s overall health and self-confidence.

How to Choose a Stress-Relieving Hobby

There are many management strategies for chronic stress; but, lifestyle change is still the best strategy for stress management. The best way to start changing your lifestyle is by engaging in a hobby, as nervous energy is bad for your emotional health.

After a long and busy workday, it would be nice to engage in hobbies that are easily accessible, easy to do, and pleasurable. Avoid hobbies or stressful tasks that are complicated and time-consuming, as this will add more stress rather than pleasure.

The list below shows guidelines for deciding the right hobby for you.

  • If you are the type who likes making things, an excellent hobby would be something that will produce an end result. You will feel a sense of accomplishment if you can create something tangible like a knitted sweater or the harvest from your edible garden.
  • Your brain has been functioning a lot throughout the day. It would be nice to have a hobby that could also engage it in a relaxing manner. There will be less tension when you focus on something different other than work. Examples of hobbies that relax the brain are reading something light but interesting, playing games that are scientifically designed to enhance different brain functions, and solving crossword puzzles.
  • Have a hobby that is totally different from your work. For example, if you are a doctor by profession, you can do knitting as a hobby, which is different from what you usually do day in and day out.
  • Try hobbies can be done alone or with the company of others. There are a lot of hobbies that can be done individually, such as painting and DIY projects. Group hobbies are also encouraged for those who are finding it difficult to start on their own. Group hobbies are also a good way to socialize or meet new friends outside work.
  • Also, consider where you want to do your hobbies. If you are working from home, you might prefer engaging in hobbies that will require you to go outside and enjoy some fresh air. If your work is office-based, you might want to engage in individual hobbies that you can do in the comfort of your home.

There are so many stress-relieving hobbies available for you to choose from. You might have chosen a few ideas already that you want to start right away.

Stress-Relieving Hobbies

It is very common for people to grab a snack and binge-watch their favorite show as a form of after-work relaxation. This is not entirely wrong, but doing healthier activities can be a better diffuser of stress.

There are so many great hobbies that you can enjoy throughout the week. The list of fun, health-boosting hobbies below can help relieve stress.

1. Playing Musical Instruments or Singing

Whether you are listening to music or playing an instrument, music is wonderful for stress relief and a great creative outlet. Playing a musical instrument helps develop your physical health, emotional well-being, and brings out your creative side. You don’t have to be a professional musician to jam and enjoy good music.

There are a lot of music stores that sell various musical instruments. If you are on a budget, you can try visiting thrift stores for pre-loved musical instruments. You can also create music using your voice. Singing helps release happy hormones that improve your mood, so sing your heart out like no one is listening.

2. Journal Writing

Writing can be therapeutic and a great release for all your mental worries. Writing in your free time helps process your emotions and thoughts.

Keeping a journal is easy. You just need a good journal and a pen. Journals are now sold with writing prompts to help you get started. If you are on a budget, a notebook will do. You can personalize it by labeling it with your name.

3. Gardening

What is more relaxing than enjoying the warm sun and gazing at beautiful flowers? Whether you are growing flowers or vegetables, gardening is proven to relieve stress.

You can start by taking care of low-maintenance plants. If you don’t have enough outdoor space for gardening, you can do indoor gardening by using pots or small garden beds. 

4. Playing with Puzzles

Mental rest doesn’t necessarily mean your brain needs to stop doing mental work. Mental rest is basically doing something mentally engaging but not work-related.

Working with puzzles builds your mental strength. There are so many puzzle designs or pictures to choose from. If you decide to work on a big puzzle, you can have it framed when you’re done with it. You can then hang it on your wall as decoration.

5. Drawing and Coloring

Drawing is a great way to process emotions and reduce stress. When your creative juices start to flow, you allow yourself to focus on yourself and you forget all your worries.

There are so many adult coloring books available with different designs and patterns you can choose from. Expressing your artistic abilities through coloring is a great way to reduce anxiety and alleviate stress.

Pursuing art therapy can be beneficial to you and can calm anxiety. You are doing something relaxing and, at the same time, getting good therapy.

6. Knitting

Asidefrommaking something for yourself or as a gift to loved ones,doing repetitive motions through knitting is a great stress reliever. Knitting reduces nervousness if you feel stressed.

If you are a beginner, knitting starter kits are available for purchase. You can also watch videos online on how to knit. This is a healthy hobby and a wonderful way to reduce stress levels in your daily life.

7. Leisure Reading

Reading can transport you to a different place, a place where you can escape the stress and worries of the real world. Reading is one of the favorite hobbies of many that helps reduce muscle tension and heart rate.

8. Dancing

Turn up the music and dance to the beat. Dancing is a fun form of exercise and a fun physical activity. If you have been sitting in the office for hours, dancing is a good exercise with many health benefits.

9. Running

Running has many benefits and allows you to sweat out and inhale the fresh air, especially in the great outdoors. Running around your neighborhood or park will make you temporarily forget your worries.

10. Sports

It would be nice to play a good game of basketball with friends. If friends are not available, you can shoot some hoops on your own to ease tension. Playing sports will take your mind off your stress. You can try other sports like swimming, tennis, or golf to improve your physical health.

11. Cooking or Baking

The aroma of freshly baked goods or a delicious meal is wonderful. Staying in the kitchen can make you feel calmer and is a great stress-relieving hobby.

The sense of self-satisfaction is a good mental health booster. You will feel better serving something tasty and new to your family. You can also make this a bonding time with the family. Nothing is more de-stressing than spending time with your family.

12. Gaming

Just like reading, playing video games transports you to a new place and allows you to escape reality. This is a relaxing way to ease tensions and de-stress for both men and women. Just make sure you are not playing for long hours. Too much video gaming is not good for your health. 

13. Photography

With the increase in the appreciation for social media, taking great pictures is vital. You take pictures of yourself, your family, or anything that you fancy. You then share it through social media.

You don’t need a high-tech camera to enjoy this kind of hobby. You can simply use your smartphone. Some photo-hobbyists have turned this into a good business. You can earn and have fun at the same time.

14. Volunteering

It is always rewarding and satisfying to be able to share what you have with others. Sharing your time with those who need you can greatly improve your personal outlook and self-esteem.

By doing a good deed, you forget about your problems and worries. You get to go home in high spirits because helping others makes you feel good about yourself. You can ask around your community for non-profit groups that do regular volunteer work. Your involvement will be greatly appreciated.

15. Camping

Being with nature is a wonderful stress reliever. Having the opportunity to momentarily detach yourself from all stressors is bliss. A good hike can be a nice escape from stressful situations. Traveling in an RV or setting up your tent is an excellent bonding opportunity with the family.

Final Words

You can never escape life’s stressors. You just have to deal with them. You just have to find balance in dealing with everyday stress.

Hobbies allow you to make good use of your time. Rest doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing. Rest is being able to do something new or interesting while being productive.

Having a good conversation with a therapist about your stress is important in reducing it in the long run. The therapists at Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) can personalize a stress management plan, one that incorporates stress-relieving hobbies that suit you best.

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