UPDATED Nov 10, 2022
Hello, Lovelies! Lately I have been all about fun, stress relieving hobbies. As girls, we have so much on our plates. There is our hormones, women’s events, school, work, relationships, and so much more. Relieving stress is now a top priority, but it doesn’t have to be boring. That’s where stress relieving hobbies come in!
Making time for stress relief will help balance your life. It may even build intimacy in your relationships. –No, not that kind of intimacy. We’ll save that for later. Wink.- Plus, these are fun stress relieving hobbies! You will enjoy doing them. Who is up for relieving stress while having a good time? I know I am!
What hobbies improve mental health?
These are some of my favorite stress relieving hobbies. They help me get to the core of myself and come back out again. And they’re just fun to do!
You can grab your free cheat sheet on our Pinterest to have these stress relieving hobbies at your fingertips.
Most of us grew up drawing, but ditched it when a snarky adult told us that grass cannot be magenta. Even if you’re bad at it – and boy am I terrible at it- you can create little cutesy art. I like to draw little fish. Get back to what you loved as a child and pick up a pencil and some color pencils again. This is one of the stress relieving hobbies that can help you feel better through creativity.
Keeping a Journal
Keeping a journal is the king of stress relieving hobbies. It’s a great way to brain dump after a hectic day. Just jotting down your thoughts will ease a frantic mind and help relax the brain.
Of all these stress relieving hobbies, this is a favorite of therapists and doctors. Many therapists ask you to recount your memories and experiences. When you’re ready, it can help you heal painful memories.
I purchased this journal that contains 8.5×11 inch pages and a volume of 400 pages! You can purchase this cute, heart decorated journal here. I love it so much I got more!
RELATED POST: 20 Healthy Mindset Habits You Need to Improve Your Anxiety
Writing allows your mind to return to childhood and create amazing stories. Imagine heroes and heroin on fantastical journeys through far off lands. Bring tragic romances to life! –I wanted to be a romance novelist growing up. Can’t you tell?- You can fight dragons and or save them, it’s all up to you. Your story, your narrative! Amazing things can happen at your finger tips! Writing helps you escape your stresses.
Today, instead of having boxes of paper clutter that stress me, I put them in scrapbooks. It makes it so easy to enjoy my favorite memories. And it keeps old artwork, photos, and cards safe from long-term damage to handling, sun, and other elements.
In a scrapbook, you can preserve your photos and memories for MUCH longer than a frame. It’s one of the best stress relieving hobbies for a creative mind that also likes keepsakes.
Knitting, crochet, cross stitch, quilting
This is a fun hobby if you want a long term hobby. –Unless you’re my mom, then it takes you a week to complete a project.- Busy hands make a happy brain. There is a reason that we fidget. It is a stress relief mechanism. But when you’re sewing, you’re finding relief through a repetitive motion and working your brain.
I remember my mom making dancing elf Christmas ornaments from cross stitch patterns. I have made many baby blankets for family and friends. It’s a great winter hobby.
There are a ton of cloth crafts to choose from. Bonus: if you don’t want to keep them, you can sell them on Etsy, making it a fun and lucrative stress relieving hobby. And the ones you keep are a wonderful story to tell your children when you pass it down.
This is a unique and interesting idea. And you will be set if you ever suffer from a power outage!
When I was a young girl in the 90s –OMG I am getting old & we will just keep that a secret!- there used to be these little candle making kits. I would loving put them together and give them to family and friends as gifts.But my childhood is gone and so are the kits.
Fast forward to now. My brother is an avid beekeeper, and he has a surplus of wax. One of my supreme joys is turning straw into gold, or rendering wax. It looks like a hot mess when you do it. Literal yuck city, but oh the joy of the completed product of beautiful wax. When you render the wax yourself, you pay less! And can get more wax!
This is my summer go to of the stress relieving hobbies.
The wax can make beautiful unique candles and some other wonderful Bees Wax Crafts. Check out my Pinterest to see some of the interesting crafts you can use wax in, as well as other wonderful stress relieving hobbies!
In Home Aquarium
This is a hobby that many already enjoy! And kids LOVE it! And it is the most passive of the stress relieving hobbies. It just requires setup, and some upkeep after everything is cycled.
Teach kids all about nature and how eco systems work underwater. You can create rivers and ocean scapes. The fish are cute and silly. They play and they can even learn simple tricks!
They are also very relaxing to watch.
Who doesn’t love to “dance it out”. Exercise, of any kind, releases endorphins. You know… it’s one of those feel good hormones that we are all chasing. And it’s the easiest to get. But it does not have to be the boring. Dancing promotes flexibility, heart health, and just makes you feel good!
There are so many styles to choose from: Ballroom, Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Clogging, Contemporary, Belly dancing, Hula, and so much more! There is a dance for you out there. Or you can just pull a “Meredith Grey” and dance it out with your besties.
Of the stress relieving hobbies, this one is social, fun, and has a style for everyone. Bonus: you don’t have to be good to enjoy it!
Video Games/ Board Games/ and Tabletop
Playing games is hands down a favorite of everyone of the stress relieving hobbies. No matter if you are playing the Xbox with friends, playing Scrabble with the kids, or –and my favorite- Dungeons and Dragons, you can bond and have fun.
When you complete a mission, solve a puzzle, or beat a level, your brain releases happy chemicals and gives you a big high five. That’s the way your brain encourages you to overcome obstacles and challenges. There is a game for everyone. All you have to do is find it!
I love playing games as one of my go to stress relieving hobbies because it gets me out of my PTSD anxiety state quickly.
Suduko & Other Puzzles
There is something to be said for a good puzzle. You feel you conquered the world when you have completed the New York Times edition crossword; you filled out a book of Suduko, or you just put a 1000 piece puzzle together. It also is good for your brain. Doing puzzles improves your memory and problem solving skills.
It’s a great way to stay busy when you need a quiet activity. Puzzles make great stress relieving hobbies, as they can be as simple or as hard as you like and it helps keep your brain sharp!
Reading is an all time favorite of mine. There are books on every genre and topic now. You can improve your life, escape into fantasy, learn new skills, and much more.
As a sleep aid, I cut off all electronics and get lost in books. It helps clear a busy brain and helps it relax to a state where it can rest. Reading is scientifically proven to lower stress. It can also teach language skills and vocabulary.
If you have a young child, it can improve confidence! When my daughter was learning to read, she would cry. Then a friend of mine gave me a brilliant idea: reading to the dogs! She would read to them and they would fall asleep to the sound of her voice. Their undivided attention gave her the confidence she needed to succeed without human judgement.
There is nothing better than a good book! With Kindle Oasis, you can take your favorite books with you! Thousands of books can be downloaded to your device, and be ready when you are. And bonus: it’s super light weight and easy to read in any light! You’ve tried reading at the beach, right? Yeah, this Kindle can do that! And for accident prone people like myself, it’s waterproof! -Yup, I accidentally threw my Kindle in the bathtub.-
The difference between a bullet journal and a diary journal is a bullet journal is essentially creatively making lists, vision boards, and collections. You can create a planner, design a vision board, dream vacation board, affirmations, birthday lists, weight loss tracker, habit tracker, and so much more!
I have this bullet journal for my self care plan and for planning my home furniture and decor placements. Writing it down can help you take that first step to accomplishing your goals, and is a great reminder as to what you are working towards. These pretty pens will help you create cute pages! You can look for bullet journal ideas on Pinterest!
This is a great hobby for people who like to hunt for bargains. There are tons of Facebook groups dedicated just to buy, sell, trade, or free items.
Your brain will release that illusive chemical dopamine again when you complete your project. There is no better feeling than a job well done.
A bonus: fewer items are going to the landfills for disposal. Stress relieving hobbies can help save the planet too!
My mom says I have never had the same hair color twice. Well, that goes for my home decor as well. I want flexibility and a style that changes as I do.
Painting furniture saves me money and offers me stress relief. It’s a perfect addition to my summer stress relieving hobbies as it helps me get out all my anxious energy and gives me a HUGE dopamine boost by watching furniture turn to treasure!
I got this amazing wooden dog crate, but hated the solid dark wood color. It wasn’t me….anymore. So I did a glow up on it with some paint and glitter. And finished with polyurethane. Now I have a durable paint job that endures doggie nails, and sparkles in dim light! Check out my glow up on TikTok and tell me what you think!
Some of my favorite memories of my childhood were at my grandparent’s farm. There is something very satisfying about growing a plant from a tiny seed or a cutting. You love it, nurture it, and it will grow and take care of you. Yes, your plant buddy will produce oxygen for you.
Did you know having a few houseplants in your bedroom with improve the air quality in your sleeping area? Yup. Plants can help you get more restful sleep. And when you sleep well, you have natural stress relief.
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Most of our favorite past times as a child were biking. Do you remember the feeling of the wind in your face, racing with your friends, and there was not a care in the world? Yeah, I do too. But we grew up and traded our bikes for cars. We just fell out of practice with it and now it feels like, well, exercise.
Biking can be extremely fulfilling. When I lived in Omaha, I had a bunch of weight to lose. -An unfortunate side effect of anti-depressant medication.- My hubby was very bike savvy at the time and told me about his hobby. Not only did I lose the weight that my anti-depressants had piled on me, but I became fit for the first time in my life. My blood pressure went down. I saw a decrease in my heart rate. Asthma was more manageable. And I ENJOYED it! Stress relief AND weight loss? Sign me up!
As a former rider, I can tell you this is a one in a lifetime experience. There is nothing better than feeling the wind in your hair and having a happy 1200lb horse under you. There is a bond, a trust that a horse and rider share. That trust really helps with stress relief.
And what lady hasn’t dreamed of a ride on the beach with her favorite man? Talk about one of the most romantic stress relieving hobbies ever!
Dog training & Sports
There is nothing in the world like the love of a dog. And honestly, they are my favorite! Thousands of years ago, our ancestors domesticated wolves that would come close to the fires in search of scraps. -Or were we domesticated by the wolves? Who knows for sure?- Now we have many breeds and sizes to choose from! There is literally a perfect pup for everyone and every job.
Dogs can do so many things. Dog sports are among the most popular of all the animal sports. There is agility, obedience, hunting, retrieving, dock diving, tricks, free style, herding, and the list goes on and on. Dog sports are the cream of the crop of fun activities.
And for a few special dogs, you can do therapy and service dog work. Like my baby boy Koda, who is currently in training to be my psychiatric service dog. Whether you train with the help of a professional trainer or learn to train your dog yourself, you will enjoy the goofiness and happiness of these incredible and intelligent animals. Don’t forget all the love, snuggles, and playtime that they will give you! Those kisses are natural stress relief!
Related Post: 8 Pros of a Psychiatric Service Dog for Anxiety Managementt
Hiking is the soul of the stress relieving hobbies. Getting back to nature helps ease tension, calm thoughts, and recenter your soul. There are amazing landscapes of all types to see.
Remember what I said earlier about plants producing oxygen? Well hiking is fantastic for having a more pure environment. That oxygen really helps your body be more efficient. And it’s a mood booster too.
Not to mention the little animals that make their homes in the wild. I have pictures of owls, squirrels, birds, and lizards in my collection! I even have a snake.
The best part, for me, is the quiet. Unless you’re going to a very popular park, it is usually very peaceful. You can breathe and relax. For a few hours, you can just be you. And feeling like yourself relieves stress one thousand fold.
RELATED POST: 5 Walking in Nature Secrets that are Incredible for Anxiety
This hobby really goes great with gardening as birds are natural pest control. This summer, I set up a feeder for my bird babies so they could come to the house.
I got to see how birds of different breeds interacted with each other. My cardinals were extremely docile, while my sparrows were tiny jerks and would run off more passive birds. The doves don’t see very well as they would miss the perch 90% of the time. It was very interesting to get to know my backyard neighbors.
Not only did I get to see these babies, but I got to hear them as well. They started staying closer to my feeder, and I could hear them in the mornings and evenings as they would sing to me and each other. They even learned to recognize my own little bird call and would flock to the yard when I would whistle for them.
I love photography. It is truly an art of creativity and expression. There are so many ways to express yourself in pictures. It is definitely one of my favorite stress relieving hobbies.
Through my lens, I learned to love myself and my mind. I found out the way my mind works isn’t wrong. It’s different. And that difference created so much joy and beauty in my life and others through my photography. That acceptance gave me a level of stress relief that I never knew that I needed. –Later, I will tell you how Boudoir photography helped me on my self acceptance journey!-
Volunteering for Relieving Stress
Sometimes we feel stress when we become disconnected from others or feel we have no purpose. Volunteering is GREAT for filling both voids. Find stress relief in helping your community. Being social and connecting with another person is a human need!
As a youth, I visited nursing homes. As an adult, I found a dog rescue. Volunteering helped me find myself through service.
As far as stress relieving hobbies go, volunteering helps you connect with yourself and others.
Summarizing Stress Relieving Hobbies for Anxiety
Your stress relieving hobbies can reflect your inner most passions. Many of us give up our hobbies because we don’t have a natural affinity for them. Who cares! Da’Vinci did not start as a powerhouse! Every master was once a beginner. They just kept with something they loved until they mastered it and it became second nature.
Explore what you really love. Dive deep into yourself. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You just might find what you’ve been missing and relieve your stress as well!
What are your favorite stress relieving hobbies? Tell me in the comments!
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These are great ideas! I remember doing those candle making kits when I was a kid! Lol 😂 Thanks for the great read!
Candle making!!! OMG that is such a good idea, idk why I haven’t tried that one yet! BRB while I go order alllllllll of the things!! lol I have such a hard time finding stress relieving activities because more often than not, they make me more stressed. Definitely can’t wait to give candle making a try!
I need to do more of these activities
These are all great ideas! I find that anything that I forces me to slow down and focus just on that one task is a great way to get my brain to stop getting stuck in the anxiety feedback loop. Cross-stitch, jigsaw puzzles, reading. I’ve just started adult coloring books, as well, and find that to be very calming.
I should try some of them. So far I usually focus on drawing and playing logic games to focus myself on something less stressful
These are such great ideas. Dancing, walking, crocheting, gardening, experimenting with new recipes…. are my stress relieving activities. 🙂 Thanks for this! I need to add more to my list.
Some really great (and mindful) ways to tame anxiety!
I really enjoy doing Word Searches when I’m stressed out or over stimulated! It’s something that I have loved doing since I was a little girl.
This is a wonderful list of ideas! A bit of gardening is my favourite, although I am not very good at it!
I am a serial plant killer but I still try!
You’ve covered so many great ways to help relieve stress, many of which I follow. Personally, I find being around animals to be one of the best ways to relieve stress. I love horses and of course my pups. Thanks for such a great post!
as a fellow equestrian, spending time with my horses is one way I relax after my anxiety has been kicking my butt.
Such wonderful ideas! It is my mission this year to focus more on myself – physically, mentally and emotionally. This list will help me stay on track with some easy ways to manage my stress and take care of my own mental health. My faves are reading, crocheting and DIY projects!
Love that you included bird watching in here! My husband and I have put out a variety of bird feeders outside our sunroom and it’s been so wonderful to watch all that nature has to offer so up close and personal! What a way to melt away stress, right?
I absolutely love it! And it’s very fun when mamas start being the babies!
It definitely gives very good ideas to spend quality time with yours. Thanks you very much!
I love you great suggestion!
All of your ideas are awesome! I love doing a DIY
These are great ideas to release stress. I use some of these strategies for my students as well.
Such great ideas. I used to Bullet Journal A lot before I had my baby. it’s truly therapeutic!
These are such great ideas. Bullet Journaling is so therapeutic! I used to do it before I got pregnant.
I live photo taking, bird watching and reading the most!
Amazing post! so helpful, i do some of them like DIY or photography, but I love dog training and watching birds ideas! Thank you so much for posting this.
This was such a great list! As an anxious girl I can confirm these are all great ways to cope with anxiety! I love to go hiking or play video games. They are great ways to keep my mind from wandering too much and let me relax for a moment.
Wow so many great ideas here, Krystian! I also am a huge fan of scrapbooking. I find it’s really time-consuming though, so maybe carving out smaller chunks of time to do it would be worthwhile. I really want to give candle-making a try too. You’ve got me thinking that this is the year to do it!
I am in love with candle making! My brother raises bees so I can do it on a low budget!!
I love anything artistic, crafty and creative and it’s good to keep the mind busy but what relieves stress the most for me is running and weight training. I do my best thinking on long runs.
This is me and hiking!! The sound of nature centers me!
This is a great list! One of my favorite things to do when I have high anxiety is to plug in my AirPods and dancing like no one is watching! I don’t care if I’m off beat or look like I’m about to have a stroke lol. I do whatever my body feels and just go for it.
My dance song of the month is “I Want To Break Free” by Queen 😂
Writing is my go to. I’ve also dabbled a little in gardening and caring for plants.
Me too! I do a lot of journaling when I am not blogging.
I love writing and I do some scrapbooking in my down time. Something about that creative process helps relieve stress!
This was such a fun post to read. So many ideas that sparked new ideas I have not thought about in a long time. Thank you! I am going to look again and find my new passion to add into my life 👍🥰
That’s wonderful to hear!! I am always on the lookout myself for hobbies and activities that will banish the blahs!
I love these ideas! I find many of these activities to be relaxing especially hiking! Thanks for sharing!
Wonderful post! I already do some of the things on this list; however, I see a few I want to try 😊
I have so many more hobbies off this list I want to try in the coming year!
Great suggestions! I definitely recommend Painting and Writing, it helps tame my crazy anxiety! I will try the other recommendations! Thank you 🙂
Biking is such a fun and relaxing activity. Especially when you pair it with amazing scenery. Great post.
Wow! a great list, Krystian. My favourite is gardening and I can wait for spring. In the meantime, I love making flower arrangements.
Me too! We are already prepping seeds for growing in the little tiny containers. I really hope I don’t botch it so I can show it to everyone here.
I took up crocheting a few years ago. And it has been so beneficial and soothing for a busy brain! Great list here.
I also enjoy cloth and fabric crafts. Especially in the winter! Wrap up in my chair with some fabric and watching tv is a favorite of mine.
I’m a “stress over little things” girl. So I appreciate this post. I need more things to take my mind off trying to make everything “perfect.” But even my hobbies give me anxiety, for that same reason. It’s pretty ridiculous 😀. I’ll work on your tip that you don’t have to be good at your hobbies!
That was my huge hang up. I was so busy aiming for perfection that I missed out on the joy! Once I gave up that was when I started to really get good at it. I think the little flaws in it is what made it for me. I still find flaws in my work now, but now I see it as my signature instead of a failing.
This is so useful! I deal with anxiety every single day. This is just what I need as a distraction. I took a screenshot 😃 thank you for putting this together!
You’re very welcome! I’m glad it’s helpful!
This is a great post. New stress reliever that I picked up lately is painting by numbers. Absolutely love it
That’s a great one! I love coloring!