Nine hobbies to soothe the mind

By VIVIAN DINH

By providing an alternative way to spend time and mental energy, hobbies offers a person physical and mental health benefits and overall improve day to day life. (Thought Catalog / Pexels)

With students settling into classes and new work loads, it’s harder than ever to find time to relax and take care of ourselves. But when we do find time, it is often spent fulfilling daily necessities or perusing on our phones, leaving us feeling unproductive. To combat this prevailing issue, picking up one of the following hobbies can allow you to have fun whilst destressing and calming the mind.

Listening to Music

Whether it’s an upbeat pop song or a slow ballad from an unknown indie band, music is the quickest and most efficient way to relax. It can be played while you’re whittling away at your work or simply enjoyed as it is. Countless studies have shown that music can improve your mood and reduce anxiety

Painting

Break out the paint brushes and pop on a Bob Ross tutorial as this hobby flexes your creative muscles. Painting for fun shifts your energy toward finishing a project that doesn’t have a strict deadline to worry about.

Meditation

Although this may seem obvious, many people don’t attempt to meditate in their free time. Meditation can clear your mind of stress and calm your nerves, improving your general physical and mental health. WebMD explains that by meditating we enter a “state of deep relaxation in which our breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure, and metabolism are decreased,” which, in turn, helps “control stress, reduce anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation.” All you need for meditation is yourself and some quiet, so it’s completely free!

Reading

Despite copious amounts of required reading in classes, books are actually interesting!

With loads of authors and genres, novels can transport you to a different world and stimulate your mind. When you find a book you like, it will be hard to stop and set it down.

Journaling

Many may immediately think of the new bullet journal trend, but journaling can just be writing down your thoughts. It can be a form of catharsis by alleviating any bottled up emotions or feelings. Additionally, it’s a nice keepsake to look back upon later.

Making Friendship Bracelets

Even if you don’t have friends to make bracelets with, it’s a peaceful past time to indulge in. With enough embroidery thread, you can make a variety of bracelet styles as infinite design patterns and tutorials are available online. The diligent work that goes into a friendship bracelet makes the end result just as rewarding as the relaxation of making it.

Going for a Walk

After spending the majority of your school day inside classrooms, going for a walk can clear your mind of unwarranted thoughts and stress. Sometimes it’s gratifying to simply appreciate Mother Nature, so stop and smell the roses!

Organize

There is at least one thing in our lives we need to organize, so why not do it now? Organization can declutter your mind and reduce anxiety caused by misplaced items while being productive simultaneously. So next time you sense rising tension within yourself, try and channel your inner Marie Kondo.

Hanging Out with Friends

Surrounding yourself with people whose company you enjoy can help you forget your worries. Friends can be a support system when you need to talk, and it’s proven they can boost your mood. The Mayo Clinic reports that those who have strong friendships minimize the likehood of “depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI).” Just pick an activity, date and some friends to create a recipe for a carefree day.

Bonus Hobby

And if all else fails, Netflix will always be there when you’re bored.

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