With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s hard to find time to fit things you want to do into your day. But hobbies are an important way to help you de-stress and gather yourself. There are lots of ways you can add a little relaxation — and some productivity — into your daily life. Here are six hobbies that will help you release stress.

1. Read Good Books

Reading is a great way not only to escape your daily stresses, but also to explore your interests. Nonfiction is just as much an escape as fiction if you use it to explore your passions. Pick a topic or two you want to know more about. Find out who the experts are, then hunt down their books and dig in. You’ll be de-stressing and broadening your mind at the same time. If traditional books don’t fit into your lifestyle or schedule, try audiobooks for added convenience. You can turn your daily commute into a chance to learn.

2. Walk the Dogs

If you like animals and have a little spare time during your day, look into becoming a dog-walker. Even if you don’t have a pet, try finding a friend or neighbor who will let you take theirs out and reap the benefits. Dog-walking is a good cardiovascular exercise, allows you to connect with other pet-lovers, and lowers stress levels. You can turn all these benefits into money by finding people willing to pay for your services. Get a little exercise, hang out with some adorable dogs, and make some extra cash — it’s great all the way around!

3. Blog Your Way to a Paycheck

Blogs are like online journals; spaces where you can share your thoughts, interests, and experiences with other people all around the globe. These 21st century diaries allow you to vent your stresses, get advice on your problems, and connect with people who share your passions. Make this work for you by using your blog to spread the word about your skills and talents. You could even find a new job, and some companies may pay you to write reviews of their products on your blog. If you’re reading this article right now, that means you have internet of some sort. It takes little effort and time to blog, making it an easy way to make some extra dough. The more time you spend, naturally, the more money you will make. If you’re going to turn it into a full time job be sure to have a good internet connection so you don’t get slowed down. Many companies, like verizon internet, have bundle packages to make cable and internet as cheap as possible for you.

4. Craft a Gift

Crafting has taken the world by storm in the last few years, with more than half of U.S families using their hands and imaginations to create. It’s easy to see why it’s become such a popular pastime. Creating is a great way to slow down a little, and getting lost in the details of a project can calm your mind after the stress of the day. Your handmade goods make great gifts for friends and family; you can even turn them into extra cash by selling them at craft fairs, flea markets, and websites.

5. Restore Cars

If you’re the type who finds peace under the hood of a car and you’re handy with tools, restoring cars is a hobby to look into. Classic cars are a specialty that requires hours of careful work and patience — perfect if you’re the type who enjoys working out the details of a project. This is a pricey hobby; cars and new parts don’t come cheap. But it can also be a very lucrative venture; many people will pay a pretty penny for a classic restored to mint condition.

6. Bake Goodies

Baking, like crafting, requires attention to detail and careful preparation — perfect for those looking to take their minds off their stresses. Learning to make delicious cakes, breads, and cookies takes time and dedication, but the rewards are well worth it. You get to do something fun and relaxing, and you have the tasty results to enjoy afterwards. You can give your baked goods away as gifts, or even sell them at local farmers’ markets for extra cash. If you’re passionate enough, why not turn your hobby into a career and open your own bakery?

It’s important to take time out of every day to do things you enjoy, and many of your favorite hobbies can actually make you money or improve your quality of life.

Everyone should have a hobby, but sometimes the costs really outweigh the benefits of discovering one that’s best for you. Not anymore! 10 Inexpensive Hobbies You Can Start This Year

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