We’ve spent the last year locked down in our homes with family and possibly friends if you’ve got a roommate or a trusted bubble. We’re all started to get back out there one way or another and at a pace that feels comfortable for us, which is exciting but can be scary, too! Though our new normal may look a little bit different for a lot of us, there are ways we can ease the potential stress of this brave new world.
One of the most tried and true ways to alleviate stress and create calms for ourselves is through healthy hobbies. Ways to productively pass the time can look different to everyone, and some of us may not have found a hobby that genuinely resonates with us yet. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, and you feel good in your free time.
There’s nothing that can set a relaxing mood or calm you down quite like the music you love. With that in mind, it’s essential to have an arsenal of tunes that do just that for you at the ready. Whether you want to subscribe to an online streaming service, pay monthly fees for unlimited downloads or go old school and collect vinyl through thrifting or an online record store, the choice is yours to make!
There’s nothing like the sound of a record playing on a turntable, and to many, it’s the ultimate listening experience. Take things a step further and set the vibe with candles or another aromatherapy route to hit several senses at once and lean into the music.
Houseplants are always in season! Not only do they have the added benefit of purifying the air you breathe inside your home, but plants also bring a sense of life and beauty to whatever space they’re occupying. It’s a great hobby because there’s so much to learn about the plants you’re raising, and they bring a great sense of accomplishment as you grow something from a seedling and keep it alive long enough to see it grow and thrive in your home.
Some people go so far as to name their plants and become really attached if they enjoy the hobby. You can also grow plants outdoors to enjoy this summer, and who doesn’t love fresh herbs while cooking?
Cross stitching, knitting, and sewing are definitely not just for grandmothers! This is seriously one of the most relaxing types of hobbies to pick up. You are entirely focused on the task at hand and producing something wonderful in the process. What’s great about these types of projects is they’re very beginner-friendly, so you can start with zero knowledge and work yourself up to a knitting or sewing maven.
The added bonus here is that these make fantastic heirloom gifts for the loved ones in your life. Even better, with platforms like Youtube, it’s so easy to watch a video tutorial and pick up the process quickly.
You’re already there if you’re reading this! But seriously, reading and accumulating knowledge is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. Some people don’t identify as book worms, probably because they haven’t found their niche yet and what really keeps them turning those pages. Whether you want to read romance novels or historical fiction, it’s always a great idea to add reading to your hobby list.
You can join book clubs to delve into what you’re reading about and discuss things with a group of people. Reading is a great way to make new friends and expand your network, too – win, win. If you’re still not comfortable hanging out with people outside of your bubble, or maybe you don’t have the time to head out in person every week or two, there are even virtual book clubs now. So, head to your local bookstore and start exploring the wonderful world of literature.
Let’s Get Physical
Of course, the ultimate in health hobbies is going to involve moving our bodies. There are so many directions you can go with this too. Would running be a better hobby for you than swimming? No problem! Don’t want to leave your house? Try strength training or yoga. There’s a ton of virtual instructions on working out too, so if joining a club isn’t a possibility for you right now, you should still give things a try.
It’s all about keeping our mental and physical health in top-performing condition – during a pandemic or not. So, give one or several of these new hobbies a try; you might just find something you genuinely love that changes your life!