Hello, Lovelies! Lately I have been all about fun activities for stress relief. Just this summer, I started a new hobby that I am in love with! As girls, we have so much on our plates. There is our hormones, recent women’s events, school, work, relationships, and so much more. Relieving stress is now a top priority in my life. But it doesn’t have to be boring, that’s where fun activities 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 activities! You will enjoy doing them. Who is up for relieving stress while having a good time? I know I am!
Fun Activities for Stress Relief
- Keeping a Journal
- Knitting, crochet, cross stitch, quilting
- Candle Making
- In Home Aquarium
- Video Games/ Board Games/ and Tabletop
- Suduko & Other Puzzles
- Bullet Journal
- DIY/ Upcycling
- Painting Furniture
- Horseback Riding
- Dog training & Sports
- Bird Watching
- Volunteering for Relieving Stress
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Fun Activities for Stress Relief
These are some of my favorite fun activities for stress relief. I find I leave a little of myself in each one. They help me in times when I desire solitude. They help me get to the core of myself and come back out again. They really help me perfect stress relief and promoting better mental health. As a bonus, they’re just fun activities to do!
Most of us grew up drawing, but ditched it when a snarky adult told us that grass cannot be magenta. Well, tell that to all the fake plants out there! Even if you’re bad at it – and boy am I terrible at it- you can create little drawings that will please young kids. I like to draw little fish. They’re easy, and look like little bubbles. Get back to what you loved as a child and pick up a pencil and some color pencils again.
Did you know a lot of popular careers have drawing at the heart of it? Tattoo artists, designers, game design, animation, movies, and the list goes on!
Keeping a Journal
Keeping a journal is my ultimate stress relief. When my brain is full of anxiety and words, I pick up a pen and write it out. I have kept journals since I was 8 years olds. It has inspired a love of writing and storytelling. It’s a great way to brain dump after a hectic day. I find that just jotting down your thoughts will ease a frantic mind and help ease the brain to sleep.
Keeping a journal can also help you if you choose to see a therapist. Many therapists ask you to recount your memories. Keeping a journal can help you remember details you have forgotten. When you’re ready, it can help you heal painful memories.
There are also food journals, exercise journals, date journals, and more. You can journal anything you want! What a great way to relieve stress if you are forgetful –cough cough, me. What? You heard nothing…-
I purchased this journal for my daughter and she is in love with it. It has 8.5×11 inch pages and a volume of 400 pages! Just for reference, a 3 section notebook is 300! You can purchase this cute heart decorated journal. I know you will love it!
Writing is my all time favorite for stress relief. It 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!
Stories not your thing? You can write about your life, your passions and your interests! You can even write about this list of hobbies! Your passions and interests can inspire others! Want to start a new career, yup, grow a blog.
Career or hobby, a blog is a great way to make some passive income. Kids need new shoes? Want to not spend your savings on Christmas? Or just want to fund that dream vacation? A passive income from blogging can do that for you! You can get a free course at the Blogger Academy!
I am a paper hoarder. BIG TIME. It’s like real live Pinterest for me. I have storage container full of scrapbooks with memories and pictures. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to flip through my mom’s scrapbooks and ask questions about the pictures and papers. I got a love of family from it.
Today, instead of having boxes of paper clutter that stress me, I put them in scrapbooks. It makes it so easy to relive one of my favorite childhood memories. And it keeps old artwork, photos, and cards safe from long-term damage to handling, sun, and other elements.
Those family photos you treasure right now? They fade with age as they are exposed to sun, heat, and body oils. Yes the glass in a picture frame is there for a reason. In a scrapbook, you can preserve your photos for MUCH longer than a frame. And it looks much prettier than a storage box.
Knitting, crochet, cross stitch, quilting
This is a fun hobby if you want something to do that will take a while. I love to cross stitch baby blankets while I am watching TV. My grandma was a seamstress and she would hand make quilts and blankets, as well as clothing! My mother and I grew up making blankets.
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 little moving Christmas ornaments from cross stitch patterns. I have made many baby blankets for family and friends. There is a ton of cloth crafts to choose from. Bonus: if you don’t want to keep them, you can sell them on Etsy!
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 use 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 finalized product of beautiful wax. When you render the wax yourself, you pay less! And can get more wax!
The wax can be used to make beautiful unique candles as well as some other wonderful Bees Wax Crafts. Check out my Pinterest to see some of the interesting crafts you can use wax in!
In Home Aquarium
This is a hobby that many already enjoy! And kids LOVE it! Teach them all about nature and how eco systems work underwater. You can create rivers and oceanscapes. The fish are cute and silly. They play and they can even learn simple tricks!
Bonus: if you have a good eco system and some fertile fish, you can produce little fishy babies! Trust me, they are adorable! Some people enjoy it so much that they turn their passion into a business. Yup. That’s how all the little fish stores get their fish.
Who doesn’t love to “dance it out”. Exercise, of any kind, releases endorphins. You know… it’s one of those three feel good hormones that we are all chasing. And it’s the easiest to get. But it does not have to be the most boring. Dancing promotes flexibility, heart health, and just makes you feel good!
My favorite time to dance is when I am cleaning. I feel more effective and I enjoy cleaning more than if I was to be all serious about it. Go grab your dance partner and take some lessons, or just dance in your kitchen. What a great way to show your spouse you love them by an impromptu dance party in front of the sink.
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 Gray” and dance it out with your besties.
Video Games/ Board Games/ and Tabletop
Unless you have absolute rage when you play games with others, playing games is a silly and fun past time. 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.
You don’t see many unhappy video gamers. Why? That’s the dopamine! Another sneaky brain chemical that gives you that oh so satisfying happy. Gaming is not just for kids, despite what some generations say. And they are right at our figure tips! Heard of Candy Crush? Yeah you have. A couple of great video games for the whole family are Mario Party and Mario Kart.
When you complete a mission, solve a puzzle, or beat a level, your brain releases that oh so happy chemical and gives you a big high five. That’s the way you brain encourages you to overcome obstacles and challenges. There is a game for everyone, all you have to do is find it!
My hubby, brother, and I have a standing Friday night game night. We all log on to an online game and play together. Let the Shenanigans begin! My hubby and I share this passion. We can be apart, but still together. It gives us something to bond over by our mutual geeking out.
Let’s talk Dungeons and Dragons for just a moment. This game has been around since the 70s. You build characters and take them on an adventure. It is a role playing game, kinda like acting. And the more into character you get, the more fun it becomes. I played a pyromaniac rogue who couldn’t find traps. Needless to say, I kept blowing up my party. And we all still laugh at my character years later.
This game is a great teaching aid for kids! They gain confidence in public speaking and math -yes, you heard me. Playing D&D uses addition, subtraction, and multiplication a lot.- As a bonus, a child will learn teamwork, strategy, problem solving, and much more.
Suduko & Other Puzzles
There is something to be said for a good puzzle. You feel like you conquered the world when you have complete 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. And in this day and age, you can just download an app and get your puzzle fix right at your fingertips.
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 was painfully shy. She would cry when asked to read. Then a friend of mine gave me a brilliant idea! She suggested that I have her read to my pups. They would all gather in the master closet, and the pups would settle on their little beds and pillows. 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.
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, but that’s a story for another time…-
For truly hard-core readers, I recommend a Kindle Unlimited subscription. For 9.99 a month, you can borrow books from the Amazon Library and return them at your convenience. You can borrow 20+ books at a time! This program saves me a lot of money, by allowing me to read books that I want to read, but not own. I also use them to learn new skills: like blogging!
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 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. 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!
I LOVE a good glow up! But not a makeup glow up. I’m talking thrifting and creating! I have been checking out Pinterest again –yeah, i know, I really have a problem and should find a local Pinterest addiction group meeting– and I am seeing cute trends on how to make dog toys from old tshirts, turning bowls into cute planters, turning lampshades into planters or furniture!
I recently repurposed a cute plant pot into a kitchen utensil holder. Bigger than a normal holder, I can store all my tools together.
When I lived in Omaha, I would frequently do a “Haul day”. I would go out early morning prior to the trash people running and would scout richer neighborhoods for quality items they didn’t want anymore. I found a great storage ottoman that I’m going to refurnish. All it needed was a new set of hardware!
This really is a great hobby for people who like to hunt for bargains. I am way past my days of driving endlessly and have perfected the hunt! 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.
An added bonus: less items are going to the landfills for disposal. So your thrifty hobby is helping save the planet! Just knowing that I have an eco friendly hobby really helps with stress relief. I have very little guilt for fun activities that help.
I change my mind more frequently than I change my underwear. -Yes, I change it daily!- My mom says I have never had the same hair color twice. Well that goes for my home decor as well. I have some great taste in the looks department, but I tend to want something more custom without the price tag. I am frugal and have expensive taste at the same time. It’s a delicate balance being me. Painting furniture saves me money and offers me stress relief.
I got this amazing wooden dog crate, but hated the solid color. It wasn’t me…. 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. I use to accompany my grandmother to her garden and help her dig for potatoes, harvest corn and peas, and take care of the plants.
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.
They may even surprise you with some flowers or vegetables. It is so nice not to have to run to the grocery store when I need a tomato or some fresh thyme. Peppermint is rumored to keep mice away. Lavender LOVES the sun and helps soothe you! You can even grow your own mint for mojitos. -Shh, I won’t tell anyone what time of day it is. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere anyway!-
Most of our favorite past times as a child was 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. And I don’t remember needing stress relief as a child either…
But like most of us, 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. Now if you live anywhere near Omaha, you know that this city, as well as many others in the USA, has a very grand biking system in place. You can get from town to town without having to battle it out with cars.
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!
My family and I would bike 20 miles several times a week to a lake that had a cute secret. It had a family of otters that loved sharing your snacks! And some very friendly geese. Talk about a stress relief secret!
And remember that endorphins are feel good hormones. Yup, biking can give you a boost in brain chemicals, metabolism, and other body functions. Can you say self esteem boost? This activity is king of fun activities! Stress relief that gets you out and active while also being exciting.
Biking is a very flexible hobby that you can do in cities, suburbs, and the country. You can go mountain biking, cruise the beach side streets, or you can even bike for charity. And this is family friendly as you can get seats and carts for kids that aren’t old enough to ride yet.
There is a reason that every kid wants a pony as a child. Most of us grew up with movies and tv shows like The Black Stallion, Black Beauty, Heartland, and one of my favorites Tangled. -Come on, you knew I couldn’t leave good old Maximus off the list!-
As a former rider, I can tell you this is a one in a life time experience. There is nothing better than feeling the wind in your hair and having a snorty 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 horse sports are just pure fun! You have rodeo sports like barrel racing and herding. There is fancier sports like dressage and jumping. You can relax and trail ride or just hang out with your horse buddy. I get stress relief just watching them on Tik Tok! -You know you’ve seen the video of the horse playing with his girl’s zipper. If you haven’t, it is hysterical! And laughing is the best form of stress relief!-
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.
We all see those magical relationships like Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Wishbone, Homeward Bound, and many, many more. It’s not movie magic. It’s literally bonding and training. And yes, it is stress relief.
All those hours spent training your pup and rewarding them for those cute tricks and sits shows your dog that you are someone that is worth being with. That you are the giver of good things. And the giver of good things is worth being around.
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!
Hiking is one of my favorite past times. Getting back to nature helps ease my tension, calm my thoughts, and recenter myself. There are amazing landscapes of all types to see. Every walk along the beach while hunting shells? Ever go to a National or State Park? Ever take your dog for a trail walk? Congrats! You’ve been low key hiking.
Hiking is just walking, but in nature. 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 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.
My dogs love being able to be off leash –if the area allows that- or on a longer leash. They get to engage in nature and get all the excess mental and physical energy out. A tired dog is a happy dog.
Most National and State parks have different trails for different types of hikes. They have trails for beginners to more advanced or more fit hikers.
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 me relieves my stress one thousand fold.
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. They would sit on my plants, and of course poop -bird poop is good fertilizer for plants- but they would also eat the pesky larger bugs that were snacking on my produce!
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.
I even got to see how agile my squirrel Brian really was. She would jump from the roof to the top of the feeder and then shimmy down to get the peanuts. That’s a good 15 foot drop!
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.
The absolute best part is that one of the little bird couples that visited my yard decided that they loved it so much that they built their next in one of the lower level plants. Even with the dogs going in and out daily, they found my yard to be a safe place from bird predators. So I got to see how the nesting process for a Carolina Wren takes place. And who doesn’t love those little bird babies!
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 fun activities.
This – and blogging– is my big creative outlet. Creating what I am seeing in my mind’s eye is a HUGE stress relief for me.
When I started my photography journey, I was so frustrated. I would go to Target or Walmart and see all these little art pieces, but they were not quite right for me. They were the wrong color, or size, or just didn’t fit with my decor.
I was sick of not finding what I was seeing in my mind, so I created it instead. And it started me on a journey to stress relief and accomplished my mission to have a unique art display for my home. -Bet you’re not seeing the pictures below on anyone else’s wall?-
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!-
There are MANY genres of photography. It really goes well with blogging. You can also use your photography skills to create charming family photos, volunteering, and even have your own business. And the sky is the limit for photographers!
Volunteering for Relieving Stress
Sometimes we start feeling stress when we become disconnected to others or feel we have no purpose. Volunteering is GREAT for filling both of those voids. Find stress relief in helping your community.
When I was a teenager, our church group would frequently go to the local nursing home and talk with the residents. It would bring them so much joy. And I would feel it as well knowing that I gave a person the time they needed. Meeting basic human needs and connecting with another person is what makes us human. And compassion brings joy.
As an adult, I found a calling closer to home for me: dog rescue. I helped train and rehome hundreds of dogs who has no one to call their own. I am still getting emails and pictures of the pups I have helped. It warms my soul knowing that somewhere there is a happy healthy dog thriving because I gave him my love and expertise when he was at his lowest.
Now maybe nursing homes or dogs aren’t your thing, but there are other ways to volunteer. If you’re a fitness guru, participate in a charity marathon. If you sing, help a bride save money by singing for her wedding. You can design flyers for a local charity or non profit. You can use your talents and skills to help someone that needs it.
Your hobbies can reflect your inner most passions. I recently read a saying on the internet that said, and i paraphrase, that you don’t have to be good at your hobbies to do them. And it is so true. 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.
What Hobbies do you like most for stress relief??