If you’ve been craving a creative hobby to ward off your anxiety, you’re in good company. Turns out that finding hobbies to occupy both mind and body are often the answer to stress relief– challenging you to think about things outside the source of the stress and offering a sense of relief. From coloring to knitting and yoga to running, here’s a look at seven hobbies that provide major stress relief .
#1. Adult Coloring Books. Have you caught on to this recent trend? These cool coloring books made just for adults offer an opportunity to get creative, but in the most relaxing way. Grab your crayons or your colored pencils and spend some time just coloring, you’ll be amazed at how the stress melts away. (BTW: Check out some of the pages at the end of this post to print and get your started. I promise it’s addicting in the best way.)
#2. Cooking or Baking. Getting into the kitchen to whip up a delicious creation requires your undivided attention, which is excellent for getting your mind off work and other stressors. It’s also a great way to let your creativity soar when you put your special touch on whatever you’re whipping up.
#3. Knitting. Similar to the way the adults coloring books allow you to be creative, but also completely calm, knitting can feel just as good. You have to concentrate just enough to take your mind off the stress that’s weighing you down and let your creativity free.
#4. Running. Taking in the deep breaths of mother nature and fresh air is often the best medicine to a stressful day and running can easily get that job done. It’s challenging enough that your mind is distracted by each step and breath, but you can also often find a rhythm that helps sooth and mellow the mind at the same time. Sometimes getting out there is half the battle, but once you do – your mind and body will easily reset.
#5. Gardening. Getting some fresh air and sunshine on your back is just the start to how good a little time in the garden will make you feel. Jumping in and getting your hands dirty gives you a chance to focus on connecting with the earth and at the end of the day, you’ll feel totally accomplished too.
#6. Crossword Puzzles. While they might seem totally frustrating to some, for many of uscrossword puzzles offer just the right balance of fun and challenge. They make you think and put your creative hat on too when you often have to get out of the box to meet the challenge of riddles. Great for exercising the brain and the keeping your vocabulary strong too.
#7. Yoga. Life often gets so hectic that we don’t have much time to spend an hour focused on simply working the connection of our body and mind, but when you have a chance to head to the yoga studio you always come out feeling renewed. The challenge is to get your mind to stop racing and focus on what’s at hand – the moves and the quiet. When you can overcome that, the calm is right there with it.