We cannot deny that the world is a stressful place to live in. Be it education, career, or personal life, things have a way of overwhelming us and causing a lot of tension. This takes a toll on our mental health.
Whether you want to take a breather or want to make a conscious effort to safeguard your wellbeing, you need to do something that makes you happy. That’s where hobbies come into the picture. They may start as something small, but they slowly become a valuable part of your life.
Creativity has been known to keep stress at bay. Of course, that works only when you don’t end up taking extra stress to prove your creativity. The main point here is to do something that brings positive vibes and makes you smile.
Looking at the memes on the internet might make you smile, but you will also come across posts that make you want to punch someone in the face. Surfing through social media isn’t definitely a hobby to improve your mental health.
So what else can you do? We’ve got not 5 or 10, but 51 creative hobbies you can try to improve your mental health and keep anxiety at bay. It’s time to be happy, to smile, and make others smile. Shall we go ahead and check out the list?
Let’s Start with Art
1. Take up Coloring
Colors are wonderful, aren’t they? When was the last time you picked up a color pencil? Coloring is great for your mental health. Whether you want to pick up crayons or color pencils, the choice is yours. Mandalas, animals, fruits, humans, abstract designs, and whatnot; there is no limit to what you can color. If you are worried about using paper and harming the environment, go digital! Download coloring apps and have fun.
2. Start Drawing
I can’t draw! That’s what a lot of people say. So what, we ask. You aren’t competing in an international competition immediately, right? Simply put the pencil on paper and draw what you see. Join drawing classes to improve your skills. Do you know that a lot of people have done the same to get rid of stress? Art classes are popular because people feel light and carefree by the time the session ends. Give it a try.
3. Doodling is Fun
Some of you are still not sure, we understand. There’s doodling for you. Doodling is a form of art where you scribble something on paper. It doesn’t have to have any shape or structure. What’s in your mind comes out as squiggly lines on the paper. As you doodle regularly, you’ll come up with new ways to express your thoughts. That’s how cartoons and comic strips became famous.
4. Painting and Graffiti
We suppose they can be mentioned as two different hobbies as well. Anyway, painting essentially deals with liquid colors. Whether you splash them on a canvas, on a wall, or the roof, let colors add spark and happiness to your place. You can join painting classes to dabble with watercolors and acrylics. You can form a team to paint graffiti on the walls (make sure you take permission, though). If you want to do something even crazier, go for finger painting. Just keep tissues handy.
5. Have You Tried Mosaic
A mosaic is an art form that is created by arranging tiny pieces of glass, tiles, or stones. The final result will resemble an image or a pattern. Mosaic requires concentration as you have to place the right piece in the right place. If focusing on one thing is something you find hard, this will help you overcome the issue. Start with small designs that take less time and slowly increase the size.
Crafting is a broad term to create art using various new and leftover materials. You can craft absolutely anything, bet it a bookmark, a dreamcatcher, or flower vase. YouTube is full of videos that help in DIY crafting. From simple designs for beginners to elaborate models for pro-level hobbyists, you have a full range to choose from. Once you have a clear idea of things, you can create your own designs. Maybe you can even start a new YouTube channel to teach others. Wouldn’t that be great
7. Graphic Designing
What if you don’t want to use too many materials? What if you want something simpler? Go for graphic design. Remember that it involves staring at the computer screen. If your job doesn’t involve using the computer for long hours, you can take time to learn graphic design. While there’s no rule otherwise, giving your eyes some time away from the bright screen is good for your mental health.
8. Pottery is Love
Some call it messy. Some say it’s scary. But pottery is beautiful. The feeling of soft earth running between your fingers and taking a shape as you mold it is just priceless. So what if you end up making crooked pieces at first? That’s how we learn, right? The aim of trying new hobbies is to let yourself go free from pressure and competition, not add to it.
9. Become a Sculptor
Sculpting is another form of art that requires patience and skill. It’s better to learn from a professional, lest you end up hammering your thumb and hurting yourself. Rock, metal, glass, or even chocolate, take your pick and dive right in. Sculpting improves your focus, attention to detail, and gives you the freedom to create something no one did. Art in any form is liberating. Don’t confine it or yourself.
Make it at Home
10. Soap Making at Home
Didn’t we say DIYs are pretty famous? There are many advantages to making soaps at home. You get to use organic products and stay away from chemicals. You can mix up flavors and create the kind of soap you always wanted. You can gift your loved ones something you’ve made with your own hands. You can even set up an online store and sell them to make money.
11. Make Scented Candles
Don’t you love how a single candle can fill the room with the scent of autumn or summer? Scented candles are recommended for people with anxiety. Instead of buying, why not make them? Imagine lighting a candle you’ve made at home. Wouldn’t it fill you with loads of positivity? Will that not boost your confidence and relieve stress? You can find free tutorials aplenty on the internet.
12. Make Furniture
Now, don’t get tensed. We aren’t talking about making couches and 12-seater dining tables. You can, of course. The concept of making furniture as a hobby is to use old stuff that’s of no use and create something new without having to spend thousands in the process. Start by fixing the hands or legs of old stools, chairs, tables, etc. Repaint them, upcycle them, and give them a new lease of life.
13. Create Showpieces
How do you make your home and office beautiful with limited resources? Let your DIY hobby come to the rescue. Whether you look up designs on the internet or imagine them, it’s time to let the creativity flow. Old cutlery, leftover wooden blocks, plastic and glass bottles, metal boxes, etc. anything can be used to create a showpiece for your place. Come up with a theme and start making them one after another.
14. Make Jewelry
Designing jewelry is exciting. From earrings to bracelets to neckpieces and anklets, there are so many things you can make. Go for the antique look, make them trendy and stylish, chunky or lightweight, there’s no limit to the kind of jewelry you can make. Use metals, glass, wood, paper, or recycled plastic. If you wish to sell them, make sure you don’t imitate copyright designs without permission.
15. Try Fashion Designing
If jewelry isn’t your taste, try fabrics. Start by creating new dresses from old ones. If you have a sewing machine, take it out. You can also buy a secondhand machine. Go for a crash course to understand the basics of using the machine (if you don’t know). Still, if it is too much effort, stick to designing. Design a dress, choose a color scheme, and select the fabrics. Sit with a tailor and get the dress stitched. That’s cool, right?
16. You Can Quilt
Quilting is the process of creating a blanket using layers of cloth and arranging them in innovative and creative ways. A quilt can have embroidery, checkered boxes cut from the old cloth, prints, patches, and many more such designs. Quilting is a famous art in many countries. A quick search on the internet will show just how extensive this art form is. Moreover, it is calming and relaxing. Using a quilt you made is priceless.
17. Crocheting is Cool
Crocheting is lovely, and so is knitting. You can choose either as a hobby. Inspite of many differences between the two, the main one is that crocheting requires one needle with a hook, and the pattern is created directly on the material. Knitting needs two needles, and the design is held on one of the needles. Scarves, shawls, caps, tops, table cloth, gloves, socks, and even lockets, earrings, etc. can be crafted through this art form.
18. Indulge in Embroidery
Another intricate form of stitching using needles is embroidery. It’s super fine and requires a lot of patience and skill. In the olden days, embroidery and knitting were something almost every woman knew how to do. But that doesn’t mean the skill is limited to women. In countries like India, professional embroidery services are offered by both men and women. Since the hobby demands attention, it is said to increase concentration levels.
Form of Expression
19. Photography- Freeze a Frame
Let’s move on to another set of hobbies. The first is none other than photography. Be it your latest mobile phone with a world-class camera or the good old Nikon/ Sony with an attachable lens, a camera shows the world in a new light. What you see is different from what the lens sees. Bringing them into one frame and merging the visions is where the trick lies. You don’t have to run into the wild to become a photographer. Shooting daily life, portraits, weddings, etc. are equally rewarding. Do we have to mention that it’s a potential career choice as well?
20. Writing- Tell Stories to the World
Writing is tricky. The writing part of it can be easy. But making it presentable is not. Let’s not worry about it at this stage. If you love telling stories, writing poems or quotes, start putting them on paper or in the Word document. Get the draft out. Then read about editing, rewriting, proofreading, and work on your draft. It’s rewarding to see your piece of work come out better as you fine-tune it. You also get to sharpen your grammar and language in the process.
21. Journaling- Share Your Thoughts
This is slightly easier than writing. While the idea is the same, journaling is more about you, your ideas, opinions, thoughts, and your life. It’s something you do every day. Write down your life experiences. You can bring them to the world by starting a blog. Or you can keep them to yourself. Writing about what made you happy or sad is good for your mental health. It gives you peace.
20. Videography- Shoot Only with the Camera
If you are not sure about photography, try making videos. Capture a scene or a moment in action and not just in a frozen frame. Editing videos is also considered under videography. Record tiny moments and share them on social media. Create videos about things/ topics you love. Make informative videos and share your knowledge. Make funny videos to spread smiles. There is so much you can do.
21. Dancing- From Waltzing to Street Dancing
Forget about your two left feet for a while. Dancing is one of the best ways to reduce stress and also get some exercise. Aerobics is the term for it. Even otherwise, dancing is known to improve concentration, body balance, coordination between limbs, and boost positivity. Pick a dance form you love and join the classes. This helps you come across new people and make friends.
22. Cooking and Baking- Cook up a Storm
Is boiling water the best thing you can do in the kitchen? It’s time to change that. Cooking is actually fun. Look at the celebrity chefs who sing, laugh, and dance as they whip up mouthwatering delicacies. Well, we may not become as famous, but we can surely cook equally good dishes. Cooking and baking are lifesaving skills. You don’t have to depend on a diner or a restaurant anymore, right?
23. Learn Animation- Who Doesn’t Love Cartoons
Let’s try something a little different, shall we? You have grown up watching cartoons (and are still watching them), don’t you want to create something similar? The animation is super cool not only as a hobby but also as a profession. Thinking about Walt Disney, aren’t you? Sign up for online animation courses and learn it in your free time.
24. Learn Music- What’s Your Favorite Instrument
What was the first musical instrument (toy) you owned? Was it a xylophone by any chance? Do you remember banging the hell out of it until your parents couldn’t bear the noise anymore? Maybe you like something on the lines of a piano? A guitar is trendy, and so is a saxophone. A violin is classy, a flute is mesmerizing. You get the drift, right? Learn the musical instrument you’ve always loved. You will have music flowing through your veins and push away the negative vibes.
Boost Your Confidence
25. Go on the Stage- Join a Theatre
Another great way to work on your mental health is by becoming confident that you can do anything. And if you can’t, it’s okay. You don’t have to prove your worth to anybody. But learning ways to express yourself and opening up removes the stress of having to compete with high-energy people. Also, if you are an extrovert, you get another opportunity to expand your skills. We are talking about joining the theatre group and going on stage. Become a part of the play. Take up a role and enact it. Give it your own twist. Most importantly, have fun.
26. Try Standup Comedy
Do you have a funny bone? Is your wit dry and sarcastic? Do you like to make people laugh? Standup comedy is for you. It’s liberating in more ways than one to joke about things and even yourself. Just know where to draw the line.
27. Improv is So Much Fun
There is nothing like improv to get the creative juices flowing. Improv is a form of acting in which the performer improvises the script and adds new elements while performing. Unlike plays, improv doesn’t stick to the script. It’s mostly seen in satire and comedy where jokes are cracked based on others’ reactions rather than what has been previously planned.
28. Will You Try Mime
Did the word mime take you to the crowded streets of Rome and Paris? Mime is an ancient art form where a person emotes without using any words. Mime uses gestures, emotions, and movements. We’d have all watched mime. Why not try learning it?
29. Become a DJ
Okay, creative hobbies don’t have to be tough. Not that DJing is super easy, but boy, it’s exciting. DJ is the Disc Jockey, a person who plays and mixes music, parties, etc. You must have a knowledge of music and technology to use the equipment to mix the tunes. DJing is lucrative and entertaining as a hobby that actually pays.
30. Simply Sing Your Heart Out
Do you want something that doesn’t need too much technology? Well, there’s singing. Have you been a part of the church choir as a kid? Do you still sing for your loved one or limit it to the bathroom? Either way, singing is an exercise for your vocal cords and a way to connect with music, nature, and your inner self. You don’t have to become the next American Idol if you don’t want to, though nothing is stopping you from achieving your dreams.
Get a Glimpse of Nature
31. Grow a Garden
Nature can get rid of all your tensions and stress with ease. You just have to let it happen. One way is by starting a garden. Be it your yard or the window sill, grow plants, nourish them, and cherish them. Flowers, vegetables, herbs, or plain succulents, take your pick. Don’t worry about the green thumb. It’ll come with practice and research.
32. Let’s Hike through the Trail
Hiking helps keep you fit (because you have to prepare for it in advance), it takes you close to nature, it boosts confidence that you can achieve success, and improves your health (fresh air does wonders). Go with friends or join a professional club. Conquer your fears.
33. Set up a Tent- Go Camping
If hiking feels like too much effort, detour into the woods. Set up a campsite, light a campfire, and sleep in the tent. Camping is safer when you in groups, so it’s a great way to connect with your loved ones and talk about things that matter. Who knows, the trip might inspire you to take up another hobby.
34. Ikebana is Highly Creative
Ikebana, a Japanese term, is used for flower arrangement. If you love flowers, their intoxicating fragrances, the bursts of color, the delicate petals, the tender stems, and just about everything about them, flower arrangement could be your calling. You don’t have to join any classes either. Just start arranging flowers at home.
35. Did You See that Bird
Birding or birdwatching is a form of observing wildlife, especially birds, and studying their habits. It’s one of the popular hobbies across the globe. If you have an interest in birds, grab a book about them, and start your research. It’s a consuming hobby, that we can say for sure.
36. Swim in the Sea
Swimming is a great exercise and a healthy hobby to adopt. You don’t have to dive into the sea right away. But learning how to swim will come handy. You can also save lives when if the situation demands. Even otherwise, taking a swim every night is so relaxing, isn’t it
37. Outdoor Yoga
No, this isn’t a new form of yoga. You will be moving the yoga mat from indoors to outdoors to breathe in the fresh breeze and soak up sunlight at the same time. Let your body and mind calm down and remove the weight of stress from your shoulders.
There’s More to Try
Origami is the art of folder a paper into intricate patterns to create shapes of birds, animals, etc. Many therapists suggest origami to improve motor skills, concentration, and mindfulness. It might take a while it get the hang of the process, but once you do, you’ll find yourself using every spare paper for origami. It is said to relax your mind and drive away tension.
39. Paper Mache
Paper mache is yet another hobby that’s suggested for people with bipolar and PTSD symptoms. Paper pulp and glue are used to create toys, decorative showpieces, or even sculptures. It requires you to focus on the job at hand, thereby pushing away any unpleasant thoughts that will affect your mental health.
40. Typography Talent
The art of arranging fonts and typeface is known as typography. It’s usually a part of the printing process where the text is arranged in the required format to take printouts. Typography helps in venting out feelings by changing the fonts and settings. It’s a way to expressing your emotions without taking it out on anyone else.
41. Calligraphy to Flaunt Your Hand
Calligraphy is not just for those who have good handwriting. It’s the other way round. If you want good handwriting, learn calligraphy. It is generally associated with the pleasure of creating an attractive script by hand. Imagine sending handwritten notes to loves ones using your newly acquired skills. Wouldn’t it feel amazing?
42. Bundle up Beads
Beads are versatile, aren’t they? You can use them to make jewelry, stick them on greeting cards, make toys, and use them in embroidery as well. They come in numerous colors, sizes, and shapes. Pick an array of beads and make whatever catches your fancy. If you don’t want to do anything, you can even sit and count the beads.
43. Say Yes to Nail Art
Nail art is trending for a while now. No doubt, it is here to stay for a considerable time. Whether you want to flaunt your perfect nails or want to treat your friends to a little surprise, nail art is interesting, challenging, and creative. Moreover, having the best nails will boost your confidence as well.
44. Greeting Cards Never Go Out of Fashion
Yep. Even when the world is using technology, greeting cards still continue to play an important role. Now, if you make them at home, won’t they be even more precious? The process isn’t just creative. It also brings forth happy memories and will get rid of the blues that cloud your sunshine.
45. Scrapbooking is Therapeutic
All of us have had a scrapbook we cherished, right? Some of us have it even now. Why did we discontinue a lovely hobby? Well, whatever the reason, it’s time to start again. Collect your happy memories in one place and use them to uplift your mood each time you feel low. It’ll show how much you are loved and cherished by your dear ones.
A Few More Hobbies
46. Become a Collector
What you collect is entirely up to you. From stamps to scarabs to coins to scarves, books, pins, anything (as long as it is legal) can be collected. Make sure you also care for them. Keep a record of what you collect and how you came by them. Write tiny notes, clean the collection, take pictures, and share on social media.
47. Books are Best Friends
Not everyone likes to read, sad, but true. We feel they just haven’t found the book for them. The day they find it, it’ll be a life-changing event. Reading is the best hobby anyone can have. We mean it. A book is a friend, teacher, confidant, and a relative. Pick a book based on your interests and your mood. You will always feel better after reading a book.
48. Do You Like Puzzles
Aha, puzzles are exciting, aren’t they? Be it legos or cardboard pieces or online puzzle games, they are intriguing and bring alive the competitive spirit in a person. They boost confidence, increase concentration, and give you a sense of euphoria when you solve a really complex puzzle. Solving at least one puzzle a day keeps your spirits high.
49. Give Animals Some Love
Furry friends are the best ever. Adopt a pet and shower it with love. You’ll never feel alone again. But if having a pet is not possible, visit the animal shelter and spend time with the rescued furry animals. They require love, maybe even more than you. It’ll be mutually beneficial and keep all of you happy.
50. Just Walk Everyday
If most of the hobbies don’t appeal to you, do the easiest. Take a walk. You don’t even need to walk to the same place every day. Go to a park one day. Walk on the busy streets on another day. Choose another area next. Walk for 30-60 minutes, observe your surroundings, smile at strangers, and go home feeling relaxed.
51. Helpful is Wonderful- Become a Volunteer
If you want to contribute to society, sign up as a volunteer. Where and which cause is your choice. Do what gives you peace. When you make someone smile, it’ll increase your happiness as well. When you give good vibes to others, you get it tenfold in return. Try it. Volunteering has helped many people appreciate their lives.
This is no way the only list of hobbies you can take up to improve your mental health. There are many more hobbies you can take up to get rid of stress and increase positivity in your life. Do what makes you happy, and don’t let others’ judgments affect your love for life.