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6 Productive Hobbies That Will Help You Release Stress and Relax

6 Productive Hobbies That Will Help You Release Stress and Relax

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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