We all have our own ways of relaxing after a hard day at work. Most of us take up some hobby or the other which work as stress busters. Here is a list of the top ten hobbies to take up which will help you relax after a hectic day.
10- Watching TV
A lot of people will disagree with me about this and call the idiot box nothing but an invention of the Devil, made to reduce human minds to servility and dimwitted-ness. Well to those people I would like to say that excess of TV can be dangerous, yes, but watching a set number of sitcoms a day is a great way to take a break from hectic work schedules. Television today works as a great stress buster. The number of programmes on on TV offer a wide range to choose from. There is something to cater to everybody’s interest- music channels, comedy serials, soap operas, family dramas, spiritual programmes, movies and more. One can rewind after a hard day’s work by watching the news on TV or even an entertainment programme. Watching an hour or two of TV helps clear your mind and you can focus better after that. It offers a convenient and quick break from the tiring routine of daily life.
People who dance say that there is nothing like it to relieve stress. Dance is a fun form of physical exercise. Trained and regular dancers age better and are physically fitter (think of Hema Malini to know what I am talking about). These days, many clubs and recreation centers offer dancing lessons. Salsa is all the rage when it comes to choosing a dance form to learn. Indian classical dances like Kathak and Bharatnatyam are also popular options to take up right from childhood itself. Dancing is a great hobby to pick up, it offers a moderate amount of physical exercise and is fun to learn as well. So the next time you are feeling stressed out, take off your thinking caps, put on your dancing shoes and forget the world as you ‘sway’ to the tunes of Michael Buble.
Reading is my drug of choice. There is nothing I like better than to unwind after the end of a hectic day with a book and a glass of cold coffee. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – said Dr. Seuss. Reading a book transports you to another world altogether. You see places and meet people in the realms of your imagination, even as you sit snugly in the comfort of your bed at home. Many people read at the end of the day to relax and take their minds off their worries. Try reading a book of your favourite genre (fantasy and chicklit being mine) to begin with. If you are taking it up as a hobby, it is best not to start with Chaucer or Greek tragedies. Pick up a light, interesting book and read your blues away.
The greatest stress buster for me is to write all my worries down and tear them up. Try it sometime, it really works. There’s a kind of sadistic pleasure to be gained in tearing a helpless bit of paper to pieces. Okay. Back to the hobby. A lot of people write to change their mood. Writing is a great distraction from everyday worries. Even if you are not exactly Wordsworth or Dickens, and you can’t write poems and novels, try maintaining a journal. A record of the way you spent your day, if you will. If you are more ambitious, try writing short stories, poems and prose pieces for a hobby. Who knows? Maybe there’s a genius inside of you and two centuries from now, your scribbles will be taught in classrooms to bored students. Who knows?
Hercules Poirot swore by it, and who am I to disagree with such a great fictional character? At the end of a busy day, head down to your garden to relax. Gardening has proven to be one of the best hobbies to take up. It requires time and planning but the pleasure of watching some seed you planted into a beautiful green plant is reward enough. You might not have a whole garden to yourself (most people don’t) but that shouldn’t stop you. Get a few pots for your balcony or maintain a terrace garden. Try landscaping your backyard. Plant your favourite flowers or even vegetables you can use in the kitchen. See? The perks of taking up gardening. Gorgeous flower centerpieces for the dining table and you know exactly what is going into your plate of food, no harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
5- Do it yourself projects
The best way to unwind after a long day at work. A do it yourself project is productive as well as fun. It gives you something to look forward to after office or college or school. DIY projects could be anything. A collage made entirely of things you pick up on the street? A kurta you embroider yourself? Jewellery made out of feathers and stones? Painting the walls of your room into a wild new colour? Thank you cards for every member of your family? Creating new things from old items in the store room? The possibilities are endless. You just need to find a DIY project that you would love to come back home to. Besides, these projects provide a great creative outlet while allowing you to get rid of the waste lying around your house. The feeling after you accomplish your project is awesome, take it from someone who knows.
Take a walk after dinner, or before it, or whenever you feel like. Walking is a surprisingly relaxing activity. Try going to a park for your daily walk. The fresh air is refreshing. If you don’t have a park nearby, just walk around your neighbourhood for thirty to forty minutes. When it is too hot to walk outside, strap on your Nikes and head for the nearest mall. Window shop as you walk. It is really a win-win situation. If you get bored walking alone, try walking with a friend or a relative. If not that, strap on your mp3 player and listen to good music as you walk. The health benefits of walking are also amazing. Refer to my article on morning walks for more details.
You may think it is a drag to come back home after a long day and then cook for yourself before you get to eat anything. It is just easier to pick up pizza on the way back home, isn’t it? Stop. Pause. Think. Think of the extra calories you’re consuming and the irreversible damage you’re doing to your body. Cooking is actually a great hobby to take up. It is useful as well as fun, not to mention relaxing. Take it up as a hobby and begin with simple dishes. Pretty soon you will want to cook just for the joy of it. The happiness at watching people praise your food and gulp it down is an added advantage. But don’t do it for others (unless that gives you pleasure) Do it for yourself. Learn to cook your favourite dishes and give yourself treats. If nothing else, chopping up vegetables should act as catharsis.
A great way to relax. You could learn how to play a musical instrument, sing or simply listen to music. They are all great stress busters. Many people prefer music over any other hobby or recreational activities. It is soothing without being too hard, satisfying and pleasant. And everybody loves listening to music. It is never too late to pick up the violin or the guitar and start learning.
“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” Wise words. There are so many forms of art that one can take up for a hobby. Painting, sketching, sculpting, clay modeling. Simply messing around on a canvas with a couple of paintbrushes and colour palette can be strangely therapeutic. You don’t necessarily have to be an artist in order to paint. The important thing is that you have fun. Art is also a great form of self expression. Even the doodles you make at the back of your notebook can reveal a great deal about you. Use art as a means of self expression or simply learn how to draw because you want to. Art is definitely the best hobby to take up if you want to relax after a hectic day.