15 Stress-Reducing Leisure Activities

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Stress is a normal part of our lives, but plenty of things can help us manage it, like leisure activities. On that note, below are some stress-reducing leisure activities you can try out for yourself.
RELATED: Overcoming Anxiety In 11 Ways

List of Leisure Activities to Help You Reduce Stress

1. Walking

Getting your body going can help you reduce stress. If you find yourself overwhelmed, consider upping the amount of physical activity you do.
Although no one is considered an athlete for walking often, it doesn’t mean that it is devoid of benefits. Walking offers a simple way of getting your body going without being too taxing.
If you’re intimidated by other physical activities, start by getting into the habit of walking for 30 minutes every once in a while.

2. Yoga

Yoga is shown to help reduce stress in people. By making time to center yourself, you give yourself the time to process and decompress from everything you’re dealing with.
When you’re stressed, it affects your body and your mind. With yoga, you engage both at the same time.
Also, yoga helps you work on your deep breathing.

3. Hiking

If you find yourself getting sick from all the stress in your life, you need to get yourself into nature. Hiking can get you to beautiful places, which may help boost your mood.
A study has shown that immersing yourself in nature, even for 20 minutes, can help reduce your stress hormone levels.

4. Strength Training

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Strength training helps in reducing the stress you’re feeling.

Although strength training sounds intimidating, as long as you’re careful, you should be able to get into it soon enough. Given the mental health benefits associated with leisure activities like strength training, it’s a new hobby that you’ll be glad to pick up.
Two popular strength training activities to pick up are total body circuit training and powerlifting:

  • Total body circuit training is a form of strength training that exercises the whole body with minimal weights involved.
  • Powerlifting is also a type of strength training that mainly involves squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.

5. Taking Breaks

Leisure activities don’t have to be hobbies or physical activities. Taking breaks may be a leisure activity, as well.
Whether it be coffee breaks at work or full-on vacations, you should make sure that you get enough breaks. That way, you give yourself the much-needed time to get your body and mind to function in tip-top shape.

6. Making Art

The simple act of creating something from scratch can be relaxing. At the same time, it’s something within your control.
You might want to consider leisure activities like painting, sketching, and the like to help reduce your stress. Not only is art a great way of calming yourself, but it is also a great form of self-expression.

7. Knitting

Speaking of creating something from scratch, you might want to start getting into knitting.
Not only is knitting a great hobby that allows you to create something, but it is also quite meditative. There is such a thing called mindful knitting, which makes people focus less on what’s going on in the outside world and more into their knitting.

8. Dancing

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Dancing is one fun way to reduce stress in your life.

Moving your body, in whatever way you can, helps you be more focused on what your body is doing. You’re letting loose.
You don’t even have to dance well to benefit from the freeing feeling of dancing. Simply dancing alone in your room and letting yourself drown in the movement of your body is already releasing stress.
RELATED: Can Stress Make You Sick? Know These 11 Signs

9. Playing Video Games

Although video games get a bad rep, video games may do more good than harm. It’s shown to help reduce stress in a lot of people.
Aside from taking a Chill Pill to help reduce stress and anxiety, perhaps you might want to play some video games for stress reduction. At the same time, video games also stimulate your mind.

10. Listening to Your Playlist

Leisure activities don’t have to be complex to provide stress-reducing benefits. Listening to music you love can already help reduce stress levels.
There’s even a study on how music can reduce stress and anxiety in people with coronary heart disease.

11. Meditation

It can be hard to calm yourself down when you’re in a stressful situation. Sometimes, you need to step away and take an active step toward stress management.
One thing people have been doing to be proactive against stress is meditation. There are several types of meditation you can try at home.
One of which is the guided meditation.  You simply listen to a recording that dictates steps so you can picture a relaxing image or focus on your breathing.
Another option is simple self-meditation, which doesn’t have to be physical and can be done anywhere. You can do it on your work desk, at home, or when you’re out in nature.

12. Watching a Movie

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Watching a movie helps you unwind.

Even if you’re watching a sad movie, it can still help boost your endorphin levels.

Endorphins Definition: These are hormones that relieve pain and boost feelings of pleasure.

Do you have a list of movies on your to-watch list that you haven’t gotten around to yet? Then, maybe it’s time that you get back to it and start knocking them out one-by-one.

13. Reading a Book

Leisure activities like reading a book are great for relaxation. The great thing about books is you can carry them anywhere so you can always whip them out when you want.
You can read while on your commute, laying on your couch, or even when you’re soaking in the tub. If you’ve been hoarding books and feeling stressed, then crack one open.
If you haven’t been into reading, then perhaps now is the time to start. It’s a great hobby to develop that helps you live a stress-free life.

14. Watching Aquariums

Watching fish may sound like watching paint dry, but studies have shown that there are wellness benefits to looking at current events in the aquarium.
It goes to show that even the most mundane activities can help you develop a more stable mental well-being. So, if you’re looking for a destination to unwind in, then why not go to your nearest aquarium that practice safe animal care?
After all, there must be a reason a lot of dentist offices have aquariums, right?

15. Playing with Your Pet

The reason why cat videos are popular on the Internet may be because of their stress-reducing effect. There are many studies that associate stress relief with owning pets so if you’ve got a furry (or not-furry) friend with you, then consider spending more time with them.
Why not hit two birds with one stone by going on a walk with them?
There are many leisure activities that have a stress-relieving effect on people. From physical activities to simply taking a break, stress management doesn’t have to be a complicated affair.
As long as you take the time to disconnect from your stresses, then you should be able to deal with whatever’s on your plate.

Which of these stress-relieving leisure activities has worked for you before? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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