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What hobbies are activities are good for mental health?

How can you use hobbies to help anxiety and mental health?

I tell you – loads.

These aren’t just for mental health either. Some hobbies are really great for relieving stress. The thing is, your lives are much less active than they used to me. We’d either be on our feet at work or primitively out hunting animals.

This is our natural way of relieving stress. Obviously, we don’t need to hunt prey anymore and spend much more time sat down.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, here is some! I’m going to start off with movement-based hobbies. There is a reason behind my madness I promise!

Exercise is good for the brain

As you know, we all have a brain! This brain needs engaging every once in a while. You might be thinking that you really couldn’t think of anything worse when you’re stressed. Or maybe going through a rough patch with depression or anxiety.

But I promise you. Exercise is great. It releases endorphins into the blood stream. The bodies natural chemical. It helps bust up stress and makes you more alert. It helps to increase energy levels and helps your sleeping.

What is better than that! As well as improving your brain, you’re increasing your bodies strength and wellness at the same time.

You don’t even need to join a gym. Walking around the block is all it needs. Honestly, you’ll thank me later.

Something with rhythm is also spot on for mental health

Have you ever noticed how calm you seem to feel after going for a walk? Or if you’re into running, a quick jog? Ignoring all my huffing and puffing along the way, I find walking and running extremely beneficial.

That bit of peace and quiet is always great to process your thoughts and feelings. You could also practice Mindfulness along the way! Read about that here and get your FREE resources!.

My doctor once told me that any exercise which has a rhythm to it is really good for mental health. Like a regular pattern. Something which you can count. These all help those suffering from anxiety and other mental health issues.

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Do something physical to get rid of your anger/frustration

Have you ever thought about doing gardening? You know, pulling up weeds, chopping down trees and decorating your garden? Honestly, these kinds of activities are great for relieving any built up stress and anxiety you might have.

You could imagine that the overgrown bush in your garden is whatever is causing you stress. Take it out on that bloody bush and sort it out. By the end of it, you’ll have a nice neat bush, and you’ll feel lighter for getting rid of whatever it is that was bothering you.

How to use hobbies as a way of helping mental health and your anxiety

Or how about boxing? Lots of people have told me about the great stress-buster boxing is. It’s fantastic for burning fat and building muscle, and you can use an object to take out all of your worries on. Honestly, by the end of the training session, you’ll feel free, and have a hot bod to go with it!

Here are some ideas for exercise with rhythm

For the introverts out there:

Swimming

Walking

Running

Weightlifting

Cycling

For the extroverts

Tennis

Badminton

Depending on whether you prefer to exercise on your own or in a group, any of those above could be good for you. Plus, if you enjoy such activities then it won’t feel like a workout because you’ll be enjoying yourself so much.

My problem is that I’m not very competitive. The group exercises don’t really work for me.

So if you’re a bit like me there are still other activities which you might find fun.

Here are some more examples for you:

Reading – there is nothing better than settling down with a nice book! If you prefer time on your own, this could be a good one for you.

Writing – I’ve written lots of posts which talk about why writing is great for anxiety. Here is one for you (includes FREE resources to browse). Honestly, it is really great for taking your mind off things for a while. Sometimes a distraction is great for anxiety (and panic attacks). Read this post on how to use distractions to your advantage!

Keeping a journal – Journals are also great if you want to get some of your feelings out. Sometimes it is easier talking about feelings this way rather than speaking to someone about them. I know I’d much rather write them down that try and explain them to someone!

Crocheting – I used to love this when I was younger! It is actually a really therapeutic activity when dealing with a lot of anxiety. It takes your mind away from the physical symptoms of anxiety and can really calm you done.

Knitting – Very much like crocheting. Knitting can also be great to take your mind off issues and worries temporarily. It allows you to focus, process and digest your thought processes.

Embroidery – Again, similar to the two above but this one takes more practice! It’s probably not for everyone either.

Become a milliner – Another take on using thread to create your own designs, except this one could make you some money! If you have a creative flare, not only could you design your own hats, but you could sell them for money too. *cough* new business idea right there *cough* 

Drawing – If you have any artistic bone in your body, this could be really great for you. Saying that though you don’t need to have the talent to draw! Literally, anyone can draw, even if you think you are awful at it. 

Painting – Again this is a little like the above, but just with paints rather than pencils. Heck, you could paint with any material you see fit, to be honest! My point with these two is that they are amazing at helping you focus on the job at hand and worry less about your thoughts. Anxiety has a way of taking over the brain so use painting as a nice distraction.

Joining a social group – If you don’t feel like meeting any friends or family, you could instead join in on some social groups. Just doing a quick search on the topic in Facebook brings up huge lists of them. Get more social using the internet rather than in person. Sometimes discussing your passions and emotions is easier this way. It might be helpful for you, and you could make some great friends along the way!

Join an online forum – Online forums are again a great place to meet new people and share your hobbies and interests with other like-minded people. 

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Learn a new language – I am awful at learning languages. I know a few French, Spanish and German words. That. Is. It. So, don’t be like me and start learning a new language! There are apps to help you and free resources all over the internet. You won’t struggle to find anything I promise you!

Dabble in web design – I used to do a lot of this during college years. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped now! But that’s not to say you shouldn’t. If you run your own blog, this could be a particularly handy skill to master. Plus, you could earn a few pounds along the way *cough* another great business idea! *cough

Logo design – This is another really great way to delve into the creative industry. If you enjoy designing using Photoshop or something similar, this could be for you. I bet you could waste hours away designing logos. Again this could be really great if you run your won blog. You’ll definitely save money doing it yourself than paying someone else.

Graphic art/design – To keep things simple I’m not going to go into detail about all the different types of graphic design as there are literally hundreds of them! But if this takes your fancy I would recommend doing some research on how to get started. If you have a gift for it, you could be rolling in mega bucks if you take it seriously!

Selling your wares on eBay – I love reading about rags to rich stories about people who have made a bit of money selling on eBay. If you’re drowning in stuff, selling them on eBay will rack in a few pounds and gives you something fun to take part in. 

Pet sit/dog walking – If I didn’t have to work full time, I would basically spend my days looking after animals! This is my dream job, to be honest. I couldn’t imagine anything better than looking after animals for a living. If this is something that interests you, offer it to friends/family. Eventually, you could start charging and turn it into an awesome side hustle. Plus, the walking will do your anxiety some real good.

Volunteering – It’s been proven that helping others can actually benefit ourselves too. There’s nothing better than knowing you are doing some real good. Volunteering is perfect for this. Scout your local area and see if anyone needs any help with anything. I’m sure there will be people glad of the help.

Become a collector – Collecting isn’t really my cup of tea (US translation: not an idea of fun :)) but to you, that might be different! If you love picking up wares that are collectible, you never know you might enjoy this hobby. Plus, you could make a bit of money out of it and have a really worthwhile hobby.

Get a pen friend – Did you ever have one when you were younger? I did. it was a lovely girl from Holland. Unfortunately, we lost touch now and this is one of my regrets in life! But it is still possible due to all of the technology we have nowadays. So if you fancy having a pen friend in another country, do a bit of research. I bet you’ll have no trouble finding a friend you can write to.

Take up baking – If you love food (I LOVE FOOD), then baking could be a really great hobby to pick up. I know I get a sense of achievement when making a nice meal. Baking, not so much! But hey, this might work for you. Your family and friends will love you forever!

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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post! There’re lots of hobbies that work great for mental health. The best hobbies are the ones that distract you away from your thoughts for a while.

Not only will it help you deal with them, but your physical symptoms will reduce too. Have fun!

What do you do for a hobby? Do you exercise for stress relief and your mental health?