In today’s hectic world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find time for yourself and do things that can relax or calm you. Now, it’s all about hustling and dedicating most of your days to your job, studies, and other responsibilities. Unfortunately, too much hustling may also lead to a decline in your mental health. You might find yourself constantly stressed, anxious, and frustrated whenever things don’t go your way. 

Thus, it’s vital that you give yourself a break and look after your mental health. When you’re mental well-being is at its best state, you can ensure that you’ll feel better, more fulfilled, and more motivated to tackle any challenges you’ll face throughout the day. One way you can boost your mental health is by doing recreational hobbies. The thing about hobbies is that there will always be an activity fit for everyone.

9 Recreational Hobbies That Can Boost Mental Health

Hobbies can be both relaxing and enjoyable. These are activities that fully immerse you and eventually improve your mindfulness. Ultimately, engaging in recreational hobbies can help you develop a more positive outlook on life. Moreover, some hobbies are also known to help you unwind, give your mind enough time to rejuvenate itself, lower your heart rate, and reduce your stress levels. Overall, setting aside time to do your favorite activities can bring numerous benefits to your mental health. 

And so, the question is, which hobbies can you do that are best in boosting your mental health? If you’re searching for the best activity for your mental health, here are nine recreational hobbies you may want to try and explore:

  1. Any Activity Related To Music

Activities related to music such as singing, listening to your favorite songs, or playing an instrument are all excellent hobbies that can improve your mental health. Engaging yourself in musical activities can make you feel relaxed and at ease. Moreover, there are certain music genres that promote calming sensations and balance your mood. This often happens when the song you’re listening to or singing portrays your feelings.

Best of all, engaging in music-related hobbies can also be done with your family and friends. For instance, you and your friends can start a band and play music during your free time. On the other hand, you and your friends can also agree on watching a live instrumental concert and share your passion for music. Not only are you doing something relaxing for yourself, but you’re also socializing and meeting new people, which is good for your mental health.

  1. Meditation Or Yoga Classes

Another recreational hobby that focuses on promoting mental health is doing meditation or yoga. These mind-body exercises can do wonders for your overall well-being, especially your mental wellness. Both meditation and yoga work on slowing down your rapid thoughts and calming down your emotions. 

For starters, you can sign yourself up for online or actual meditation or yoga classes for proper movement training. You may also opt to attend mental health group discussions at Alvarado Parkway Institute mental health clinic and other mental health facilities. These communities also work on promoting mind-body exercises and guiding you on how to incorporate these into your lifestyle. Doing meditation or yoga for at least 5 – 15 minutes is already enough to positively affect your mental health. So, don’t forget to include this in your list of recreational hobbies to consider.

  1. Cooking With Your Heart

While it’s true that people need to prepare food daily for regular consumption, cooking can also be a good hobby for your mental health. When you’re cooking or experimenting with a new dish, you tend to direct all your attention to what you’re doing. This will serve as a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life as you practice mindfulness while cooking.

Moreover, cooking can also give you a sense of fulfillment. It allows you to share the food you prepared with others, especially if you recently learned a new recipe or successfully invented a new dish for the family. Meanwhile, if you’re not an excellent cook, you can always sign up for cooking classes or watch cooking tutorials online to improve your skills. For an extra mood boost, play your favorite music in the background while you’re busy in the kitchen.

  1. Creative Baking

Similar to cooking, baking can also bring benefits to your mental health. When you’re baking, you’re creating something that will surely make you feel happy and excited in the end. For instance, when baking cupcakes or cookies, you tend to look forward to the end products, knowing that you or your family will enjoy these sweet treats. Moreover, baking is one of the most engaging and artistic hobbies out there as it encourages you to be more creative with the taste, flavors, and decorations of the baked goods.

Lastly, baking will also give you a sense of accomplishment. The end results will be something that will make you proud of yourself, which will boost your self-esteem. In addition, sharing or giving away your baked goods can also bring mental health benefits as it makes you and the people you’re sharing it with happier.

  1. Growing Your Own Garden

It’s no secret that immersing yourself in nature can bring wondrous effects to your mental health. Interacting with nature can lift your spirits, boost your mood, and help you calm down. One way to immerse yourself in nature is by growing your garden at home. With this hobby, you get to surround yourself with the plants or flowers you chose to grow in your home. Just seeing the beauty of the plants you’ve put a lot of effort into planting will automatically put you in a good mood.

Moreover, the activities that come with gardening are also beneficial for your overall health. For instance, watering or cultivating your garden means you get to spend some time outdoors and be exposed to the sun briefly, which is good for your body. Tending your garden is also a good form of physical exercise as it encourages your body to move and be active.

Additionally, growing your own garden can fill you with a sense of purpose. Harvesting fruits or vegetables will make you realize and appreciate the efforts you made for your garden and eventually make you feel better about yourself. 

  1. Dancing To Your Favorite Beat

Doing a hobby that encourages you to move your body can benefit your physical and mental well-being. Dancing can be the perfect exercise for your body and mind; plus, it’s suitable for people of all ages. As you dance, your brain tends to increase its production of feel-good hormones, which are responsible for boosting your mood and alleviating stress and anxiety. 

Dancing can also be a group activity. You can take up dancing classes or join dance clubs in your school or community and socialize with other people who also love to dance. Whatever type of dancing you choose to do, it will surely put a smile on your face and on the people with who you share this experience. 

  1. Writing Down On Paper

Another recreational hobby that you can do alone is writing or keeping a journal. Writing down all your feelings and thoughts on paper will significantly benefit your mental health. The thing about writing or journaling is that you get to express everything you’ve kept to yourself without the fear of being judged or misunderstood by anyone. Writing is somewhat like talking to yourself, wherein everything you put down on paper will be read and understood by nobody else other than yourself.

The more you write down your feelings into words, it’ll be easier for you to keep your mental health in check and process your internal experiences. And don’t worry, writing doesn’t mean filling up an entire page. Even jotting down a few phrases or words that describe your feelings is already enough.

  1. Channeling Your Artistic Side

Exploring your artistic side is another hobby that you can try out in numerous ways. Artistic expression can be in the form of sculpting, painting, drawing, sketching, sewing, calligraphy, or coloring something. As you engross yourself in art, you gain a platform to express your emotions freely. Moreover, engaging in creative activities allows you to practice mindfulness, boost your spirits, and relieve your stress. If you’re not sure how you can display your artistic side through visual arts, you can always try enrolling in arts courses and programs.

  1. Feeding Your Mind With Books

Finally, one hobby that doesn’t require you to do anything physical is reading. Despite the stillness of this activity, it’s known to provide beneficial effects on your mental health. Immersing yourself in a good book lets you explore different lives and stories, which can take your mind away from things that stress you. However, make sure to choose books that interest you and encourage you to widen your imagination. Avoid books that will only make you upset and trigger your stress levels. 

Final Thoughts

Setting aside a few minutes to engage in recreational hobbies can go a long way toward boosting your mental health. Having at least one or two hobbies from this list will keep your stress levels in check, elevate your mood, and give your mind the peace and relaxation it needs to function well. So, as part of your self-care routine, don’t hesitate to take up any of the activities above and see for yourself the positive difference they can make in your mental health.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].