10 calming hobbies to take up now – BreakingNews.ie

Posted: June 8, 2020 at 4:43 pm

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Keeping yourself busy is easier said than done at the moment. After the umpteenth week staring slack-jawed at Netflix, taking part in repetitive Zoom quizzes and idly tapping through everyone elses Instagram Stories, things can start to feel a bit Groundhog Day.

What you really need is a hobby and a calming one at that. While theres a time and place for playing adrenaline-soaked video games, throwing yourself into high-intensity exercise and putting yourself on a deadline to write your first book, all of these high-pressure pursuits can add to the current stress and anxiety, which isnt what you need right now.

Here, weve found 10 super-calming hobbies that wont test your patience. Try one of these ideas for soothing your nervous system, relieving tension and improving your mental health.

1. Knitting

As well as helping you to save money on your wardrobe, knitting is a fantastic craft hobby for chilling out after a stressful day of working from home.

A 2007 study by Harvard Medical Schools Mind and Body Institute found that taking part in a knitting session can lower your heart rate by an average of 11 beats per minute. In fact, knitting is so relaxing that the study authors compared the enhanced state of calm it produces to that of taking a yoga class.

2. Adult colouring

With restaurants, pubs and gyms closed, your screen time is likely to have increased, which isnt great for your mental health.

Give yourself a break and try some adult colouring instead. A study published in the journal Art Therapy found that the intense attention to detail needed can reduce anxiety and improve mindfulness.

3. Painting

Its no surprise that splashing paint onto a canvas is good for your stress levels. Studies have suggested that art therapy can be helpful for treating both anxiety and depression, as well as PTSD, trauma and phobias.

If youre not sure where to get started, there are lots of online tutorials to follow on YouTube. Makings and Musings are also streaming live classes with demonstrations on how to master new painting techniques during lockdown.

4. Caligraphy

If youre feeling stressed and overloaded with a constant barrage of emails, news articles, WhatsApp messages and catch-up calls, calligraphy is a fantastic escape.

You can put your phone on mute, stick on some relaxing music and start creating at your own pace. There are lots of printable worksheets online which you can make your way through, tracing the letters and creating a beautiful page of handwritten art.

5. Needlework

Thanks to Instagram, needlework has had a resurgence in recent years, as the hot item to have hanging on your wall. If you want to lower your stress levels and save some money in the process, you can have a go at creating your own at home.

There are lots of beginner kits you can buy online, YouTube tutorials to follow and The Royal School of Needlework offers introductory classes with video instructions on how to get started.

6. Baking

If youre one of the thousands of people baking banana bread in lockdown, then youll know just how comforting all that weighing, mixing, sieving and eating can be.

Whether youre a fan of cakes or you prefer a loaf of sourdough, baking can form part of a mindful practice called grounding, where you use a hands-on activity to help you be present and connected in the moment.

7. Cocktail making

Theres a reason why everyone from children to parents are finding solace in learning TikTok dance routines at the moment.

Research dating back to the 1980s has suggested that dance can have a significant effect on our anxiety levels, helping to boost our mood, express our feelings creatively and release those feel-good exercise hormones.

10. Gardening

Spending time in the garden feels good for so many reasons. As well as being outside in the fresh air, using your hands to plant and pot after a day of typing can feel therapeutic, and there are pleasant sights and smells to take in, too.

A study from the Journal of Health Psychology found that gardening can help to improve your mood and even reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Even if you dont have a big patch of land to play with, you can still enjoy the mental health benefits by planting a few pots and planters on your doorstep.

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10 calming hobbies to take up now - BreakingNews.ie

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June 8th, 2020 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Relaxing Music