The Importance of Hobbies for Stress Relief

There’s no denying that our modern lives can be hectic and stressful. It can be difficult to find time for relaxation between work, more work, and household chores. As far as stress relief goes, hobbies can help immensely. How?

Firstly, hobbies work as a great distractor. While you should confront your problems, excess stress can cause serious anxiety issues. Having something to focus on can be a healthy relief. If you’re struggling with a stressful job or relationships, finding a hobby may help you to shift your focus, energy, and mindset, rather than ruminate on it.

Hobbies also give us a sense of fulfilment. Instead of committing all your energy to your work life, an enjoyable pastime allows you to do something just for yourself, purely for. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer though your career took a different turn. Designing clothes in your spare time – even just for fun – will help you to feel a little more like yourself. You’ll then be more able to focus on work without feeling like it’s your whole life.

Creating something…

…It doesn’t really matter what! You can paint, draw, write, knit, sculpt, or anything in between. Having a creative outlet will help you to tackle difficult emotions. You don’t have to be an expert in your craft; it’s the process that’s important. It becomes a meditation. Besides, if you dedicate time to a creative hobby, you’re sure to improve. You might also like to take a class if you’d like the extra discipline and encouragement. 

The Importance of Hobbies for Stress Relief photo by robson-hatsukami-morgan


Relaxing on a boat or dock all day, with nothing but ocean or lake around you… sound good? It’s hard to feel too worked up about your problems when you’re out in nature.

Fishing boasts numerous health benefits. Most important of these are lowered stress levels and heightened social bonds. If you’re a newbie to the sport or want to meet new people, you could take part in a guided fishing experience. You’ll end your day with a serious sense of fulfilment. Just remember to obey local laws, which may include letting go of smaller fish!


Exercise is nature’s gift to us in times of stress. The endorphin rush and good mood that result from moving around make it an ideal hobby for anyone with a busy life. There’s the obvious choice of yoga, but any kind of movement will do. Try cycling, swimming, or even just walking a few times a week. Why not volunteer at your local animal rescue as a dogwalker? You’ll soon find that you’re looking forward to your outings. As a bonus, you’ll be doing your body a favour, too.


Often unfairly stereotyped as a hobby for older people, gardening really has something to offer everyone. The whole process, from planting seeds to watering and harvesting, is extremely relaxing. Something about watching things grow seems to appeal to us innately. You can still get involved, even if you don’t have much space – try creating a herb garden in your kitchen or a community garden.

The Importance of Hobbies for Stress Relief photo by gilber-franco words by Harper Reid

Visiting art galleries or museums

Viewing art or museum exhibits is ideal for relaxing and reducing anxiety. Gazing at paintings will help you to de-stress, as will spending time in a quiet museum. The time to reflect is what makes this activity so useful. This hobby provides social benefits, too – you’ll have plenty to talk about, the next time you meet with your friends. If your town doesn’t have many art exhibits, time for a little road trip! Why not plan day trips to nearby cities or even weekend breaks.


There are numerous benefits to having hobbies in your life, and it’s especially clear that hobbies are an excellent antidote to stress! Try some of the ideas on our list, or use them for inspiration to find the perfect hobby for you. From learning a new instrument to archery target practice and becoming a museum docent, the possibilities are endless!


Harper Reid What Therapy Guest Writer

Harper Reid is a creative writer from New Zealand. Her hobbies include wine tasting, hiking, impromptu road trips, and trying new healthy recipes each week. To read more about Harper, visit her personal blog, Harper Reid.

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