Stress-relieving hobbies can be defined as activities done regularly in one’s life for pleasure and stress relief. It’s cool that many hobbies can be done with other people, but some are even more fun by yourself. Peaceful, calming hobbies provide an avenue to express creativity, and they are an outlet that allows you to relax and refocus on something other than the stress of the craziness of our everyday lives.
Check out the hobbies we’ve collected here and then decide if there’s one or two you can imagine adding to your life.
#1 Doing Puzzles for Stress Relief
Can you remember Grandma or Dad or Great Aunt Hazel sitting hunched over the fold-up card table putting together a jig-saw puzzle? There’s something about completing a 1000 piece puzzle that refocuses your thoughts and brings a sense of accomplishment. I actually think it’s pretty amazing to put a 500 piece or even a 200 piece puzzle together!
Getting to the place where you can see the picture come into view creates a degree of happiness in my soul. Putting puzzles together can be very satisfying and stress-relieving unless you’re in a rush to get it done. But, if it’s laid out on its own table, ready for someone to come by and work on it when they get a few minutes, that’s ideal.
Other puzzle-solving options might be found in books. Soduko, crosswords, and word searches are relaxing hobbies to some. I can remember my mom loving her ‘puzzle books’ even as she was entering her twilight days of dementia. That activity brought her joy and a measure of continuing positive mental stimulation. I still have one of her books. ❤️
#2 Stress-Relieving Hobbies like Coloring, Hand Lettering, etc.
Have you seen some of the adult coloring books? There are so many titles out there. Here are a couple of these books that appeal to me:
And, they’re all so inexpensive! The Coffee and Animals one looks totally fun! Some nice colored pencils (link to the set I got for my grownup coloring), a cup of tea, and let the heart-calming begin. Ahhhh…
When I was teaching first grade, I prided myself on my ability to print well. (I was an expert at D’nealian if you were wondering 😉). I believe those who have mastered the art of calligraphy are true artists. Here’s a comprehensive article about calligraphy if you want to jump in and try the real thing: The 101 Series: Calligraphy. However, I know there are simplified strategies to fancy up regular printing to bring it closer to the ultimate skill. And, of course, there are books. I own a couple of them, but am excited to put this one in my cart!
#3 Journaling as a Stress Relieving Hobby
Writing can be a very cathartic and stress-relieving endeavor. I love to journal as a part of my thinking/problem-solving process. There is something about putting words to paper (or word processing program) that opens connecting synapses and enables creative new thought.
Free-writing can also get the creative juices flowing. It’s a great place to germinate blog posts or other ideas. I’ve also used journaling as part of my Quiet Time. After reading a part of the Bible, or a study, and before or during prayer, journaling can be an opportunity to open up a divine conversation. ❤️ (I Samuel 3:10)
Bible Journaling incorporates hand-lettering, color, simple art, and a journaling Bible. It’s a way to reflect on your Bible reading and respond to the pages in front of you. Here’s an article from Lifeway that steps it out: How to Start Bible Journaling.
And, of course, you can incorporate your hand-lettering skills to add to the pleasure and relaxation of any type of writing in your journal. Oh, and don’t get me started on all the fun of picking out a new book to write in! (I’m kind of a journal junkie? They’re just so cheap and cute!) I have fallen in love with the Prayerful Planner this year. They have a wonderful biblically based format. With colorful stickers, coordinating washi tape, and pens to match I’ve found my perfect stress-relieving hobby! Quiet Time journaling at its best.
#4 Outdoor Stress-Relieving Hobbies
Fresh air, blue sky, native plants, and trees, running or still water, nature sounds, and even dirt; are all a part of God’s poetry written and created for us. Sometimes the weather isn’t conducive to time under the sky, but when it is, the benefits to your soul and physical heart are immense.
Where are the trails near you? Being relatively new to our area, we’re still searching and experimenting with the trail system. Temple, Texas has made parks, walking, hiking, and biking a priority for the community. And we are thankful!
Do your research. You’ll find trails near you, and if not, take yourself to a neighborhood with pretty yards and sidewalks! As you walk, you’ll be able to feel the stress and anxiety drop away from your heart. Do you listen to music or an Audible book while you walk? Sometimes having a walking partner adds to the value of your time outside. Choose wisely; however, you don’t want to add drama to your life while hiking!
On those days when you can’t be outside other peace-creating, heart-calming options might include yoga, walking and listening on a treadmill at the gym, or even swimming. I’m addicted to my Chair Yoga class at Firefly Yoga and Movement Studio. I’m eager to try their Holy Yoga classes soon. Of course, they offer a wide range of yoga flows, as well as Yoga Trapeze and a high-energy dance class called Refit.
#5 More Stress-Relieving Hobbies with Your Hands
I have loved decorating our new Texas home and shared many of the things I learned along the way in a post called Time for Some Home Decorating Magic. Several of my friends spend many joy-filled, stress-relieving hours working on beautiful creations made by their own two hands. I’ve seen quilt, pottery, and watercolor creations. There are knitted pieces and crocheted treasures. Have you heard of junk journals? Two friends create these memory-packed collections. A weaving loom just appeared in a writing friend’s home, and she is ecstatic.
Cooking and baking and collecting recipes (check out this excellent place to save your recipes – the Plan to Eat app) are also stress-relieving hobbies. Word-working isn’t just for men! My friend Kara has been busy using reclaimed wood to build furniture for her home. And, another friend Natalie creates gorgeous mountain-scapes out of colorful wooden pieces.
Creating jewelry with beads is a relatively inexpensive hobby and can be another satisfying endeavor. My friend Linda has everything you need including patterns and bead boards to make some cool pieces for yourself or for others as gifts. Here’s the link to her website: Come Bead with Me.
Is this something that sounds appealing to you? Maybe you tried one of these activities long ago and gave it up. It might be time to pick it up again. You’ll be amazed how quickly it comes back to you and how much stress it can relieve! I stopped knitting back when I was about 13, I picked it back up a couple of years ago, and my fingers knew what to do! It took a few minutes of review, but once I had the basics going, it was like my hands were happy and content to be back creating this way.
#6 Books, Music and Coffee with Friends
We have landed on one of my favorite stress-relieving hobbies of all time. Is there anything more relaxing or anxiety-decreasing than escaping into a ‘can’t put it down’ well-written book? For a few minutes (or hours if you have that luxury of time), you can escape into another time and place with characters different than those you deal with daily. They might have their own set of stresses, but those challenges aren’t yours!
Here’s a Pin for your favorite board!
And, if the drama gets to be too much, you can simply put the book down or turn off Audible. (I’m currently listening to the Chronicles of the Kings series by Lynn Austin. So good…historical biblicalNow, if you find a book series that you love, you are one blessed girl!
Music can trigger some strong memories. If I had a link to “Hey Jude” by the Beatles here, what would flash across the big screen of your brain? (I’d see that cute Mike I met while working at the Shipyard…shhh, don’t tell Rick ?) So, listening to music that brings back good memories can help reduce stress levels almost immediately. Classical music might be the trigger for your relaxation and anxiety relief. Or maybe the old hymns or Christian worship music will calm your heart.
Let’s finish with the best stress reliever of all (you’ll see me participating in the “Hello” box on each page of the blog.) Grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks or around your kitchen table with a friend is my favorite and most effective heart-calming method. If you’re drinking a grande Mocha Frappuccino, it’s even better!
Let’s Wrap This Up…
We’ve done an overview of many stress-relieving hobbies and activities that could be helpful during a hard time in your life or as a way to maintain peace in the everyday stresses of life. Everything from coloring to quilting to hiking to hand-lettering or yoga. And, so many more. The stress-relieving hobbies collection is arranged into six sections for ease of locating the perfect hobby for you. Still, I suggest bouncing around in different categories and looking at some new possibilities.
You might find the creative endeavor your heart has been yearning for years! And, while you’re trying things out, you might just find a new friend or two along the way. I wish you peace and joy and hope to enjoy the life you’ve been blessed to be given. ❤️
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Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.