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10 Relaxing Hobbies For a Less Stressful Life

candle, a book and a pair of glasses

Are you constantly stressed from day to day life? Tired of going by your day doing the same thing over and over again? In this post, I share 10 relaxing hobbies that will help you destress!

Life can be super stressful. Whether that be from work, relationships or parenting, it’s important to have a healthy way to manage that built up tension.

Having a relaxing hobby can be a fun outlet to extinguish the anxiety and stress everyday life brings. It’s also an amazing way to an enjoyable and more fulfilling life. 

Why get a hobby?

Because you deserve it! Many studies encourage people to have a hobby for better mental health and enhanced well-being.

Having a hobby not only helps you reduce stress, but also has a positive effect on your daily life. It can increase your productivity, a way to learn new skills and keep your creative juices flowing.

The benefits of having a hobby are numerous! Getting a hobby has helped me:

  • boost my self-confidence
  • unwind while still feeling productive
  • reduce overthinking and overanalysing
  • increase my knowledge and skill
  • lighten up my day-to-day
  • manage my stress
  • discover more about myself

The right relaxing hobby for you

It goes without saying that when choosing a relaxing hobby, you should pick something you’d enjoy.

It’s also important to note that what might be relaxing for others might not be relaxing for you. Like cooking, some people find it therapeutic, but some people might not.

Similarly, you should choose something that is completely different from your job or things you normally do.

If you’re a baker who bakes regularly for work it doesn’t make sense to make a cake to de-stress after a long day of baking.

There’s no right or wrong when picking a hobby, just keep exploring until you find what you enjoy most.

Without further ado, here are 10 relaxing hobbies that will help you de-stress and feel more fulfilled.

10 Relaxing Hobbies For a Less Stressful Life

#1 Grow a garden

Starting gardening can be the most rewarding hobby you’d come across. It teaches self-sustainability and perseverance among plenty of other things.

You don’t have to own a backyard. I’ve been gardening in my apartment for a while now, growing different types of vegetables and herbs next to a well sunlit window.

I have found it quite therapeutic. Gardening is more than just planting and watering the plants.

There are many challenges in gardening that force you to think and come up with solutions. Why are my leaves turning brown? Why are my cherry tomatoes not bearing any fruits?

As you tackle each challenge, you’ll feel wiser than ever!

Indoor Gardening Ideas: Easy Ways to Grow Food

#2 Setup and maintain an aquarium

There are good reasons why some offices and hospitals have aquariums installed. Watching fishes swim can be calming. It also helps lower blood pressure.

Setting up your first aquarium might take a bit of work, like research and shopping for the setup materials. But that’s the fun of it, and it can all be part of your journey in the hobby.

You can start with beginner’s fishes like guppies, platys, bettas, etc. and then try a less hardy type of fish.

I fell in love with cherry shrimps when I was looking into cleaner fish types. I now have a tank dedicated to it.

I check on them every morning and it’s always exciting to see new shrimplets!

Starting A Fish Tank Guide (Buying, Setup, Care, Size)

#3 Read, grow your library

If sport is an exercise for the body, then reading is an exercise for the brain. It doesn’t only act as a stress reliever, reading can improve your memory and concentration.

It can also be a great way to increase knowledge and expand your vocabulary. Furthermore, studies have shown that reading can reduce depression and boost your sleep quality.

How amazing is that?

To start reading, you can visit your local library, or sign up for an online library, like Kindle Unlimited.

Reading from a phone or tablet can give you unwanted distractions. You would also want to avoid screen light exposure to get the most out of reading. That’s why, if you don’t have easy access to a library I highly recommend getting a paperwhite kindle.

The type of genre is up to you and what you enjoy reading about. I love self-development books and I enjoy fiction from time to time.

10 Benefits of Reading for Personal Growth

#4 Jigsaw puzzles

You’ll be surprised to know the many benefits that come with jigsaw puzzles. Not only does it relieve stress, but it is also an effective way to improve short term memory.

We love doing puzzles as a family. If you have a friend that loves doing jigsaw puzzles, you can do a jigsaw puzzle box exchange.

My friend and I enjoy talking about how easy or difficult a particular box is, the best strategies to start, how long it took, etc. 

So far, I really like Ravensburger Escape jigsaw puzzles. At the end of it, there are extra challenges to tackle, which makes the experience all the more fun and satisfying.

10 Reasons Jigsaw Puzzles Are NOT a Waste of Time

#5 Keep a journal

Do you have so many ideas in your head? Want to let out how you feel on certain matters? Then journalising can be for you.

It can also be a relaxing hobby to add to your self-care routine before bedtime. 

All you need are a notebook and a pen. You can also start a digital journal if you prefer.

I love revisiting my old notes from years back and seeing how my mind has evolved since then.

How to Keep a Journal That Will Actually Make You Feel Better

#6 Make a scrapbook

Scrapbooking is another form of journalising.

But the difference is, it’s less writing.

You can that you can have more fun by using stickers, doodles, photos, etc. and decorating your book with them.

You can do it digitally or have an actual scrapbook.

There are many types of scrapbooks. It can be a family memory book, recipe scrapbook, photography scrapbook, etc.

#7 Colouring

You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy this hobby. 

Colouring is a form of meditation. It’s therapeutic, improves your motor skills and more importantly, helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Colouring books aren’t just for children. There are many colouring books for adults on the market. So many choices to choose from! You can browse Etsy for downloadable adult colouring pages.

Search for ‘colouring pages for adults’ on Etsy.

#8 Crochet & knitting

This is an amazing hobby you can get into which is both relaxing and rewarding. At the end of it, you can wear it or gift it.

You can choose your yarns’ colour and types, learn various patterns, pick a project, and stick to it from start to finish. How fun!

There are always the options to either keep it, gift it or sell it.

Whoever receives it from you as a gift will know how special they are!

18 Step-By-Step Crochet Tutorials For Beginners And Beyond

#9 Watching documentaries

I know many women who unwind by watching crime and serial killer documentaries. Although I find it interesting I can’t imagine how it’d help one destress, lol.

I wonder if my neighbour could be a psychopath? Is my door locked? Can someone break in with the key attached?

Nu-uh, not for me.

If you find crime documentaries relaxing I’d like to know how, ha ha.

However, if you’re like me, you might find documentaries like nature and travel more relaxing.

I particularly enjoy Mark Wein’s videos and Abroad in Japan on YouTube; watching worlds I’ve never seen before, and knowing about different cultures and food.

Recommended documentaries:

#10 Exercising

Yes, exercising can be a hobby and a damn good one. Various studies show the benefits of being active.

And it doesn’t have to be a boring one either! You can enjoy exercise as a hobby in multiple ways. Hiking, jogging, basketball, swimming, and weight lifting – are just some of the endless options! 

40 Fun Ways to Exercise (Without Realizing It)

When choosing the type of exercise you want to include in your daily routine, it’s important to take a few things into account. How often can you do it? Is it affordable? Is it easily accessible?

If you choose swimming, and the swimming centre is an hour away from where you live – are you willing to spend two hours commuting every other day to enjoy the hobby?

Remember, you’re exercising to reduce stress, not add to it.

You can even choose something easy like walking. Just walk out of the house and walk 20 minutes.

The best part about exercising as a hobby is that you know it’s good for your health. Besides reducing stress, staying active helps keep you young and energetic.

Other relaxing hobbies

These are only some of the relaxing hobbies I’ve done or seen my friends and family do. The options are endless!

Some other relaxing hobbies include:

  • Cooking (it can be relaxing)
  • Baking
  • DIY and Crafts
  • Origami
  • Learn a new language
  • Cloud/nature watching
  • Blogging
  • Photography
  • Creative writing (poetry, fiction, etc.)

How many hobbies should you have?

There are no rules that say how many hobbies you can have. However, I do advise sticking to two or three.

I read somewhere you should aim to have three hobbies. One to keep you in shape, one to keep you creative and the last one to make you money.

While it’s good to be making money on something you enjoy, I don’t recommend starting a hobby with the intention to make money.

The reason is you’d lose motivation when you’re not earning money (as much or as fast as you’d like).

Be in the mindset of “I’m starting this hobby because I enjoy it. If it makes me money in the future, awesome. If it doesn’t, as long as it makes me happy then that’s enough.”

Bottom line

Starting a few hobbies and growing in them was one of the best decisions I made in recent years.

Whenever I feel down and unmotivated, I check on my plants or fish. Or sometimes I read on subjects completely unrelated to work and my other responsibilities.

Now my days feel less stressful and more fulfilling. And it can be the same for you!

Did you enjoy this list? What would you pick? Perhaps you are already invested in some of the hobbies. Or maybe you decided to pursue a hobby that’s not on here.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to share them in the comments. 😉

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