Stress is a common feature of modern life. From time to time, we all experience stress. It was just the other day I felt like ripping my hair from being overwhelmed with what I have to do and how far I still need to go. Fighting with anxiety can sometimes make it difficult to cope, let alone de clutter your mind. I’ve lived with anxiety for most of my adult life that I know what can easily trigger a breakdown so I’ve learned to tackle some stress fairly easily. In other cases, it can build up until it takes over our lives. With stress, it’s always beneficial to give yourself a breather if you think things are getting too much. The longer you leave stressful situations to brew and bubble, the higher the risk of significant implications.
If you’re feeling stressed, or you’re looking for new ways of coping, sometimes new hobby may be the answer. Here are some ideas you might want to consider if you’re looking to beat stress for good.
Use your mind and get creative. Painting is a form of activity, which offers you the chance to express yourself. You can use it as a means to showcase your creativity or as a method of getting your emotions across. When you’re doing something creative, your mind is focused on that activity. This means that you’re not thinking about work, bills or relationship worries. Even if it’s only for an hour or so, it provides an escape, which can help you to rationalize your thoughts. You can also use painting as an outlet if you struggle to talk about your feelings. Even if you’re not stressed, doing something creative can be hugely enjoyable, and it can enable you to relax and unwind after a hectic day.
If you don’t want to go to a arts and crafts store to buy supplies you can easily attend Paint Nite. I’ve planned night outs with my girls to go to Paint Nite which can be really fun and you can allow your inner Picasso to come out with some wine of course. But if painting isn’t your cup of tea, you can even buy a great coloring book and some Crayola coloring pencils (or markers) and let your creative side- it works about the same way as painting but a little more intimate. You can read my previous post about the benefits of coloring and what books I recommend!
Exercise is usually linked to physical health benefits. But it’s also one of the best therapies for mental health conditions. Doing something like a dance class enables you to work up a sweat, and have fun. You’ll learn new skills, and there’s a good chance that you’ll meet new people too. When your body is active, your mind also reaps the rewards. Your serotonin levels increase and your body releases happy hormones known as endorphins. At the time, you may worry about having two left feet or getting out of breath.
However, if you suffer from being shy or dancing infront of an audience with a wall of mirrors, you can easily pick up a dancing exercise video game and work up a sweat in the comfort of your own home. I’ve done this myself several times with my Wii and let me tell you – I’m not the greatest but afterwards, I felt energized.
Sewing or Crochet
Another activity that uses your hands is Sewing. Sewing is one of those hobbies that is really useful as well as being beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Sewing can help you to feel calm and relaxed. It’s also a good skill to have. If you master the art of sewing, you can start making all kinds of things. If you haven’t picked up a needle and thread since school, don’t panic. You can research lessons, use youtube to your advantage or investigate websites like Sewing Made Simple.
Pinterest also has a huge collection of crochet patterns that anyone – such as a beginner like myself – can easily follow. I’ve learned how to crochet in 2014 when I was really anxious and stressed out one night and my best friend gave me her yarn ball and a needle. I ended up making a blanket – not by the end of the night – but within months and I could easily say it has helped me ease any tension I may have. Besides, whether you sew or crochet, you might end up finding yourself making something nice and cute in the end.
Even though it’s not for me, Yoga is a popular form of exercise that helps to strengthen your body and promote relaxation. When you do yoga, you focus on your breathing as well as moving your body into certain positions. Instead, I do try to do some breathing exercises and meditate which can be hard for me as my mind is constantly on a roll. Whether it is thinking of the next new project or stressing out about what needs to be done, just being able to focus on your breathing helps release some tension in your mind.
Stress can either make or break you. Taking up a new hobby will enable you to enjoy some time out from things you find stressful, and gain new skills. There’s so many options out there for you when you’re feeling like your mind is about to explode such as rearranging & de-cluttering your room or soaking in a hot bath but if you’ve tried other coping strategies without success, give these hobbies a whirl. You may be surprised at how much they help you.