Stress is something we all experience. It’s unavoidable. And with our increasingly busy culture and demands of work and home, it’s important to set aside time to decompress. Choosing to engage in hobbies for stress relief after work is a great way to combat everyday stress, stay healthy, and keep your mind and memory sharp.
While we usually think of weekends as the time to wind down and relax, it’s important to make relaxation a part of your everyday routine, especially after a busy day at work. Having a stress-relieving hobby is a great way to fill this void that many of us have in our self-care practices. While there are many hobbies to choose from, the hobbies gathered below are those that help relieve stress and can also be done right from the comfort of your home.
Choosing the Right Hobbies for Stress Relief After Work
If you already work long, busy days you’ll want to choose a hobby for stress relief that is accessible, enjoyable, and easy to do. Choosing a hobby that is too complicated or involved will lessen the chances that you will follow through, engage in your hobby, and reap the benefits of having a hobby for stress relief in the first place. Here are a few things to consider as you work on identifying the right hobby for you:
- Do something that will produce an end-result. If you like being productive and making things, this might be a good factor to consider as it will give you a sense of completion knowing you created something tangible.
- Choose a hobby that will not only relax you but also engage your mind. This helps offset any tension or worry about work since you’ll be concentrating on something other than work.
- Choose a hobby that is not work-related. The whole point of your hobby is to detach from what you generally do during the day at work. So, choose a hobby that is in a different category than your profession.
- Consider whether you want to do your hobby alone or with others, or have the option to do either. A flexible hobby can help you to maximize your stress relief plan by opening up options for socializing with others, too.
- Consider where you want to be when you engage in your hobby. If your goal is to take up a hobby for stress relief after work – and you work in a building or at home all day – you might consider an outdoor hobby to get you in touch with nature. Being outdoors, breathing fresh air, and feeling the sunshine on your skin are all-natural stress relievers. Or perhaps, you prefer an after-work hobby that can be done from the comfort of your home. It’s all up to you.
Finding your new hobby doesn’t have to be hard. You might already have some ideas in mind. But if you’re struggling to come up with ideas for stress-relieving hobbies, below are those that we’ve researched and found to have great stress-relieving benefits.
10 Relaxing Hobbies for Stress Relief After Work
While it’s tempting to grab some takeout and lounge on the couch all evening when you’ve had a rough day at work, consider that engaging in a healthy activity can help you to diffuse some of the stress from your busy day. There are many hobbies to choose from, and every hobby listed below has proven stress-relieving benefits.
1. Make music
Music has many benefits for the player and those around. While listening to music is a great way to relax, playing a musical instrument can turn off the stress response to improve physical and emotional health. You don’t need to develop professional skills either. Studies show that the less structured your “jam sessions” the more effective they’ll be in preventing chronic stress from setting in. You can pick up a second-hand instrument at a thrift shop or find a keyboard or other small instrument on Amazon.
2. Keep a journal
Journaling is a proven way to process your life events, including stressful situations that may come up in daily life or occasionally. Journaling can help you get to the root of a problem, gain perspective on an ongoing issue, help you process your thoughts and emotions, or build a more positive mindset. Starting a journaling practice is easy. You can invest in a guided journal with writing prompts if you want a bit more structure.
But if you’re ready to get started, simply start writing your thoughts down in a notebook. Writing even just a few lines a day is a great way to process life events and lower your stress level. Journaling consistently helps you develop a record that you can look back on in the future.
3. Grow a garden.
Whether you grow flowers or vegetables, gardening as a hobby has multiple benefits. It gets you out into the sunshine and fresh air. You’re able to connect with nature. And gardening is also a proven stress-reliever. Make sure though that gardening is truly a hobby and doesn’t become another thing on your “to-do” list.
Gardening doesn’t have to be complicated, either. It can be as simple as growing in containers on your patio, gardening in an elevated planter box, or creating a small raised garden bed in your yard. Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies for stress relief after work. In addition to relieving stress from a busy workday, you will also be growing your own fruits and vegetables to add to an overall healthy diet or beautiful flowers to bring you joy around your home.
4. Work on puzzles
Lose yourself in puzzles after work. When you engage your mind, focusing completely on this activity, you enjoy a break from any stressful situations you had to deal with during your workday. This allows you to build your mental strength and gain clarity on any of life’s stressors.
You don’t need to sign up for art therapy to benefit from this creative stress-relieving activity. Adult coloring allows you to switch your brain off from stressful tasks or thoughts to be present and in the moment. This can result in reduced anxiety and stress levels.
Coloring is not just for kids. In addition to stress relief, some of the mental health benefits of coloring for adults include:
- improving motor skills
- improving vision
- reducing anxiety
- improving sleep
- improving concentration
Coloring requires no skill and is a relaxing way to unwind after work. So grab your colored pencils and markers, and start coloring!
6. Knit your holiday gifts this year
Knitting is a wonderful way to create something beautiful for yourself or a loved one. But this hobby is also a great stress-reliever. As you knit, you are doing repetitive motions that help ease you into “flow” as well as reduce any nervous energy you may be carrying around. You might think knitting is a challenge, but it’s actually easier than you think.
Getting started with knitting requires a few simple supplies which can be purchased individually or as a knitting starter kit. Many f these kits will include knitting needles, yarn needles, stitch markers, yarn, patterns, fabric measuring tape, and more – everything you need to get started with knitting.
Whether you create poetry or short stories, writing is a hobby that can help engage your creativity while reducing stress levels.
Drawing pulls in your creative side and allows you to be distracted. As you work on creating something beautiful you are also processing emotions and reducing stress.
Reading can help ease tension in your muscles and lower your heart rate. This healthy hobby is a great one to add to your after-work routine to lower stress. And according to research, even six minutes of reading is enough to reduce stress levels by as much as 68%! So grab a favorite book and dive in!
Dancing is not just great for exercise. It’s an amazing stress-relieving activity. And you can easily “get your groove on” after work hours with or without a dancefloor.
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Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps overwhelmed parents to build better habits and healthier routines at home and live a more balanced life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and vegetable gardening geek in her spare time.