Stress and anxiety are daily and inevitable thing – every day, our work and personal life stresses us out, and while more obstacles are hurdled at us daily, we don’t have nearly enough in comparison to combat and counter that stress. For those of us who are on a tight budget, we can’t go to the spa weekly or a getaway to Turks and Caicos – so here are some hobbies you can take up to easily fight that anxiety and stress.
Studies show that journaling can reduce stress and anxiety. It’s cathartic – writing down your thoughts and expressing them in words allows you digest your thoughts, be more reflective, and self aware. Like self therapy!
This is actually a form of aromatherapy – we knew there was a reason behind why we chilled out so much when we smell chocolate chip cookies! Baking has an automatic calming effect and a positive overall effect on emotions, as well as a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Art is a great meditative form of therapy it’s highly soothing, whether you want to go with some Bob Ross style painting, or just filling out an adult coloring book. Different colors can impact your mood and heighten creativity along with sharpening your mind. Purple incites meditative qualities, yellow with optimism, and blue with tranquility. Relieve your tension and paint some trees!
Hey, hey, knitting and crocheting isn’t just for old ladies! The repetition of the action actually lets you focus and profess your thoughts more effectively. Basically, it helps you practice mindfulness. This in turn helps release serotonin, which makes you feel happy and calm.
This might be one you’ve heard of, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! A lot of people don’t even practice yoga for physical health, but say that it helps center them and ease their stress. It also helps you adopt more mindful eating habits, and boost your oxytocin, otherwise known as the “love hormone”.
Gardening is proven to lower your cortisol, according to the Journal of Health Psychology, and improve your mood. It’s a grounding activity, no pun intended. It literally brings you closer to the earth and helps you connect with nature, interacting with other living things and healing yourself through that. It can also make your supermarket budget stress lower if you garden well enough! Scientists also think the bacteria in soil may help activate brain cells which produce serotonin. Gardening as a natural anti-depressant! Who knew?
7. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter
We love this suggestion, because honest, what depression can’t be solved by adorable fluffy dogs and cats? Studies have shown that spending time with animals or having an animal as your companion is positive for your mental health, and it’s good for our fluffy buds as well!
8. Hiking Somewhere Pretty
Taking a walk or a hike has been proven to help stop you from that annoying habit of obsessing over your negative emotions and thoughts. It can also improve your mood, and adding the adrenaline of a hike (endorphins, anyone?) and some pretty scenery can’t hurt, right?
9. Listen To Music And Make The Perfect Playlist
Music, especially classical, can have a calming effect and be used in therapy for stress relief. If classical isn’t your thing, don’t worry, listening to any music for at least 30 minutes a day lowers your brood pressure, chills out your heart rate, and lowers overall anxiety and stress levels, says Harvard Health.
Just like journaling has some really positive effects, reading and absorbing text also does as well! It can help ease muscle tension, reduce heart rate, and can be a great hobby for when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just six minutes of picking up your favorite juicy novel is enough to reduce stress!