Wellness & Education

Managing Stress- Hobbies We Love 

Hobbies are the perfect antidote to stress. They help bring balance into our lives. They take our minds off of work and worries. They allow us to be creative, spend time outdoors, get exercise, relax, etc.

When we have a hobby we love, it gives us pleasure even when we aren’t actually doing it. We brag about the fish we caught to our friends. We make friends with other people who raise bees. We spend time planning for our next camping trip. We get to remember all the fun we had square dancing.

If you’re looking for a hobby to bring some joy and relaxation into your life, here are a few suggestions:


Whether holding a pole or tossing an elegant cast into a trout stream, fishing is truly a “zen” hobby. Water is a calming element, relaxing to sit beside and calming to touch (as long as it’s not too cold). Instead of causing stress, the very uncertainty of fishing gives us an excuse, if we need one, to relax. As long as we have our line in the water, we can do absolutely nothing while pretending to be doing something. 


Hobbies like knitting and crochet involve working with material that is pleasing to the eye and soft to the touch. The motions of working with needles or hooks takes just the right amount of concentration: enough to keep our mind off our worriesnot enough tturn our hobby into work. When we’re done, we can wear our art or give it as gifts. We have proof that we were productive, even when we were just sitting around playing with yarn. 


The golf course is a prime example of “outdoors lite”.  It’s a place to spend time outdoors in a soothing, manicured landscape. We can ride in the cart if we get tired or stop by the clubhouse if we get hungry. We can spend time with friends on the course when we feel like it or play alone when we don’t. If we’re really stressed, the best part of playing golf majust be getting to hit something in the name of playing a game.   


At a time when more and more “activities” are virtual, there’s something very satisfying about growing food we can eat, flowers we can pick and herbs we can taste and smell. The fruits of gardening help put us back in touch with the simplicity and authenticity of the natural world. The physical activities of digging, planting, weeding, and cultivating help take the edge off of too many hours spent sitting in a chair attending remote meetings 

Jigsaw Puzzles 

Doing a jigsaw puzzle gives the illusion of creating art to people who have no talent. It lets us spend time looking for something, the next piece, without needing to actually find it. It is a hobby that we can drop at any moment and pick back up the next day or in a month. There is no pressure to finish it, as long as we have a table to leave our puzzle on. We can work on it alone or with friends, and we don’t even have to have any particular skill to be good at putting it together. If one puzzle turns out to be too hard, we can throw it away and buy a new one.