Stress is a natural part of life and one that isn’t inherently bad. Sometimes, stress helps you become more focused, determined, and creative. But there are days when stress can be difficult to handle, especially when you’re juggling multiple things at once or dealing with a serious problem that’s beyond your control.
People cope with stress in many ways, but what matters is that you choose the healthiest and less damaging way possible. Some of the best ways to reduce stress are yoga, meditation, exercise, self-care, and reading. Sometimes, a good night’s rest is enough.
But if you want something more productive, you may consider taking up one of these therapeutic activities or hobbies:
If you love nature and being outdoors, gardening is the perfect stress reliever for you. Whether it’s a few balcony plants or a big backyard vegetable garden, any type of gardening keeps you engaged, inspired, and happy. It’s also very fulfilling once you see your seeds germinating and flower pots blooming. Plus, gardening is a daily activity, which could help give structure to your life. And nothing is ever more therapeutic than feeling the cool soil in your hands and watching your plants grow and change through the seasons.
Anything you do with your hands for hours on end without getting tired is a great stress-reliever, and knitting is the perfect example. On top of being a new skill that will surely impress your friends and family, knitting also keeps you focused on one thing at a time, drowning out external noises like deadlines, bad news, or a fight with your boyfriend. Plus, being able to create something useful like a sweater, scarf or blanket will give you plenty of satisfaction, further improving your mood.
Yes, you read that right. Welding can be a therapeutic hobby, too, especially for adrenaline junkies. Whether you’re making an abstract sculpture, building a piece of furniture, or fixing something in your property, welding projects can help beat stress. If you’re into welding, invest in a good rig and purchase neutralising fluid to keep your welds clean and smooth.
Whether it’s the traditional colouring book or a paint by numbers kit, any art activity that involves colours is relaxing. Colouring is like compartmentalising, allowing you to tackle one idea at a time. It doesn’t have to be an artistic process. Sometimes, it’s about following instructions to a tee and diverting all your energy to your hands so you can stop overthinking.
If you haven’t tried baking, you’re missing out. It’s one of the most therapeutic hobbies out there that will leave you feeling proud and full! Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to get your sugar fix, and we all know what happens after. If you’re starting, go for simple recipes, like cookies, buns, and cupcakes.
Channel your creativity (and stress) into creating something beautiful and functional. Be it a home accessory, piece of furniture, or upcycled piece, there’s a long list of crafts you can do yourself. If you have a spare room at home, turn it into a mini crafts studio and fill it with tools and materials to keep you inspired. It will be like your quiet refuge after a long stressful day when people won’t be able to disturb you.
Journaling used to be popular among teenagers and young adults back in the day, but it’s lost its appeal in the internet age. But it’s been making a comeback as a great stress-relieving daily activity. Get yourself a good journal, nice pens, and some coloured markers, and start writing your thoughts down. Make an effort to make your journal unique and colourful to make the hobby more enjoyable. For example, you can paste Polaroids or dried flowers on the pages or any piece of memorabilia that represents that day.
Learning a new language is a great way to keep your brain active and is also something to distract you from a stressful experience. Nowadays, you’d only need to buy an e-book, download an app or watch a YouTube video to learn all kinds of languages. So if there’s a language you’ve always wanted to learn, it’s never too late to start.
There’s no shame in admitting that you’re stressed. Plus, bottling it in can be bad for your health. But it’s important that you channel your stress into something more positive and productive. So if your usual strategies for beating stress aren’t working, consider taking one or two of these engaging activities.