While adequate sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, social support, spiritual focus and the right attitude are all basic self-care strategies, hobbies are potent stress relievers.

A 2017 “Stress in America” study, conducted by the American Psychological Association, indicates stress is a factor in all adult demographic groups, from millennials to the elderly. Individuals experience an average stress level of 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 10.

While adequate sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, social support, spiritual focus and the right attitude are all basic self-care strategies, hobbies are potent stress relievers.

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Verywellmind.com in July recommended 10 top choices:


1. Gardening. This hobby brings about multiple benefits: sunshine, Vitamin D, fresh air and the pleasant sounds of birds, for example. Plus, the fruits of labor are conveyed in flower or vegetable gardens and attractive landscaping. Maintaining a small greenhouse can also ease tension.

2. Photography. Capture people, places, architecture and nature digitally, or with a film camera. Consider creating a darkroom and learning the soothing and rewarding process of developing and printing black-and-white film.

3. Scrapbooking. Combine artistry with journaling. Don’t know how? Take a class at an area hobby store or community center.  

4. Maintain an aquarium. Large or small; fresh or salt water.

5. Do a puzzle. Keep one going on a special table in the home; invite a friend or family member over to help.

6. Draw. Doodle, sketch, illustrate, copy.

7. Paint. Look into classes instructing in different mediums.

8. Knit. Learn the basics from an older relative or a knitting club or circle. “The repetitive motion can get you into an experience or ‘flow,’ or can at least provide an outlet for nervous energy,” says verywellmind.com.

9. Play piano — or any instrument. Concentrating on notes and particulars of the instrument is absorbing and leaves no time for anxious thoughts about life and work.

10. Write. Keep a journal, pen a memoir or tell a story.
Sometimes work and hobby coincide. The goal is for a hobby to not feel like work. A stress-relieving hobby is one that brings joy, distracts from worries, and results in feelings of peace and contentment.