Self Care

11 Creative Hobbies to Try When You are Totally Stressed

Pursuing a beloved past time is one of the best ways you can invest in yourself. Relax with one of these creative hobbies and discover the secret to a rich, well-balanced life!

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I haven't painted or journaled in SO long and then I realized that pursuing a beloved past time is one of the best ways I can invest in myself and recharge--so that I have more energy to give to my work and my family. Giving myself permission to relax with some of these fun creative hobbies ideas helped me discover the secret to a rich, well-balanced life! #creativehobbies #creativeactivities #selfcare #relaxation

Last year, the creative half of me desperately wanted to go to our church’s bi-annual 3-day crafting event. But the logical half kept reminding me that I didn’t really have time to take a break…especially not for a craft project.

At the last minute, I decided to go.

And since I used to scrapbook, I already owned a few ALL of the supplies to make a few cards! To my surprise, I quickly lost myself in pretty paper, stickers, stamps, and markers and barely glanced up from my workspace until it was time to go home.

On top of all the fun I had, I also had made six cards to later use that I didn’t have to buy ($4.99 a card at Target is pretty steep in my opinion!), but more importantly, as I packed up my supplies and closed the trunk on my car, I could feel the difference in my heart…and mind.

Turns out, that much-needed break was just the thing to give me long-lasting energy for everything else I needed to do that week. I could think more clearly simply because I gave my brain a few hours off.

So now I’m here to encourage you to take a break—and take up a hobby.

The Reason Why Hobbies are Vitally Important

When the busyness of life takes over, it’s only natural to allow our passions to fall by the wayside.

Hobbies are one of the first things to go when our calendars fill up because they don’t seem all that necessary. No one needs to crochet a blanket or sew a tote bag, unless they are selling those items as part of a business, right?

Except…I would argue hobbies are absolutely essential to a well-balanced life. Here’s why:

1. Hobbies help you relax without added screen time. Instead of being entertained by a TV show or smartphone {which actually drains your energy!} a creative hobby engages a totally different part of your brain. In other words? It doesn’t turn your mind into a puddle. 🙂

2. Hobbies refuel the creative part of your soul. The opportunity to physically and mentally recharge your mind sparks new ways of thinking when you do resume normal, everyday activities. I can’t tell you how many brilliant ideas I have after an hour of card-making or cross-stitching!

3. Hobbies provide a short escape from your responsibilities. A life that is jam-packed with tasks and to-do lists isn’t the way I want to live…what about you? A creative hobby gives you something to look forward to outside your normal, everyday routine so you can “switch off” your mind and let go of added stress. Plus, it keeps life fun!

Most importantly, the accomplishments you achieve through your hobby will help you gain confidence in yourself, and you might even decide to turn your hobby into a full-fledged business.

But you should always prioritize time for your passions and creativity. To sum it all up, it’s just plain good for you!

Check out this post if you’re wondering how to find time for creative hobbies!

11 Creative Hobbies to Bring More Balance into Your Life

Obviously, a hobby can be anything you enjoy doing, but the following list specifically nurtures your creativity in a therapeutic, stress-relieving way.

1. Hand Lettering

Love fancy lettering? You can easily learn how to embellish a favorite quote or add creative flair to your bullet journal with this artistic hobby. I love the easy-to-use tutorials found in the book, Hand Lettering for Relaxation, which promises the exact soothing effect found in it’s title.

Besides, I’m a big fan of any excuse to invest in colorful office supplies!

2. Adult Coloring

If you’re hesitant to doodle or hand-letter on a blank page {here’s looking at you, my fellow perfectionists!}, you can still get the full benefits of creative expression with an adult coloring book, which gives you the perfect starting point.

Grab a pack of my favorite Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils for coloring tools that don’t ever need to be sharpened!

3. Cake or Cookie Decorating

Do you swoon over the smallest details on pretty cookies and cakes? Then you should totally try making them yourself! You can enroll in classes at Michael’s like I did or start with my simple celebration cake, cookie icing, or cupcake frosting tutorials to see if this is something you want to pursue further.

Fun fact: I had my own cake business at one time, which was definitely caused by watching too many episodes of Cake Boss. 🙂

4. Photography

Dig out your fancy camera that you never quite figured out, or learn how to take your smartphone’s abilities to the next level. I highly recommend Click. Love. Grow. photography classes for easy-to-understand tutorials. 

I enrolled in the Business course to improve the photos on my blog, and not only did it help me get rid of icky lighting, I also learned how to rock manual mode.

5. Cross-stitch or Embroidery

These lost arts are like a soothing picture puzzle that you get to create. I find them extremely therapeutic! Grab a cute kit on Amazon {like this bicycle one} with all the materials included so you can get started right away.

6. Soap Making

If you prefer soap made with natural ingredients, you’ll love experimenting with your own creations! A quick search on Pinterest results in hundreds of tutorials—from invigorating lemon soap to deliciously smelling vanilla lotion bars.

Don’t forget to grab a cute soap mold to give your handiwork a custom look.

7. Crocheting or Knitting

When my grandma taught me how to knit, I bought this how-to book and went crazy making all sorts of dish cloths. In fact, I still prefer the knitted kind over store-bought because they work so much better at getting the ick off my countertops!

But if you don’t have a knitting relative or friend at your disposal, the next best thing is to enroll in one or two classes from Skillshare.

8. Baking

When was the last time you baked something just for fun?

Pick a tantalizing recipe from the hundreds you’ve saved on Pinterest, shop for the ingredients, and let yourself get lost in the kitchen with your favorite playlist on repeat. My all-time favorite baking cookbook is Passion for Baking, which is where I got the recipe for these scrumptious Blueberries-and-Cream Mall Muffins!

9. Writing

Wait…don’t skip over this one! Writing doesn’t have to be something you dread because of boring high school research papers. It can be really fun…I promise! Says the writer in the room. 🙂

But whether you have an imaginative story you’d love to put on paper or want to share your thoughts through a personal blog, you’ll enjoy having a copy of Everybody Writes and a cute journal to practice with by your side.

Related: The Absolute Cheapest Way to Start a Blog

10. Sewing

Instead of living vicariously through other’s sewing projects (like I do!), take on a new hobby and learn how to sew yourself. There are so many creative patterns online—Make It & Love It is one of my favorite crafting blogs—but you can also take a class through Skillshare too.

11. Craft/DIY Projects

Do you have hundreds of ideas saved on Pinterest? **Raises hand**

My challenge to you (and me!) is to gather the materials now for the project on your Pinterest account that excites you the most, so when you have a rainy Saturday afternoon at home, you don’t have an excuse to put it off.

Ever since that crafting event at church, I’ve realized just how much hobbies need to be a non-negotiable in my life.  

I’m still tempted to pass them off as an “extra” I don’t have time for {old habits are hard to break!} so this is probably a struggle for you too.

Here’s an idea:

Pick a beloved past time you’ve not done in a while or start something completely new AND (here’s the important part!) find a friend to join in on the fun and serve as a creative accountability partner.

One of my friends and I now get together for “crafternoons” because that’s the only way we can force ourselves to take a break from the crazy. We’ll spend an afternoon creating, chatting, and filling up our souls with a little self-care, which always turns an exhausting week into a much more doable one!

If you’ve ever thought, “I wish I could ____” {fill in the blank with the creative hobby you’ve always wanted to learn!}, you won’t regret trying something new! And I promise you’ll find more balance in the middle of your jam-packed schedule when you make time for the things you really love.

Let’s chat about creative hobbies:

Do you have a favorite hobby you wish you had more time for? Or is there an activity you are dying to learn but haven’t tried yet? Chat with me in the comments below!

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Rest assured, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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9 Comments

  1. Reading! The more I have to do, the more I long to lose myself in a good book. Thanks to Overdrive from the library and the Kindle app on my phone, I’m sneaking in more and more pockets of reading. And lately? I’ve spent a couple nights, crossing nothing off my list and just reading. I’ve been a much happier me for it. The to do list can wait! 🙂

  2. I love reading but would like more time for art journaling, and scrapbooking. I am much nicer if I do all three during the weekend if I bake something even better😍

    1. It’s crazy how much stress relief can come from spending a little time doing something you enjoy!

  3. some creative things I learned to do because I just can and don’t have to be real creative but can be meticulous with intricate colors is beading; only the stringing type; to make a necklace. I also learned how to sew better by taking the time to take care of my machine and thread it appropriately. Slow down is a great way to make yourself feel accomplished.

  4. I took up knitting in the past year. Great relaxer for me and made some nice Christmas presents! 😁

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