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6 Productive Hobbies That Will Help You Release Stress and Relax

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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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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