family thinking how to destress

How do Americans spend their free time? Completely differently than they used to a few decades ago. Technology has definitely carved in our leisure time, and for many, watching a screen is the preferred way to wind down. But when you watch TV, you’re watching someone else’s accomplishments, not yours. The joy you may feel is short-lived and not at all as intense as when you get excited about your personal achievements. 

According to the 2018 American Time Use Survey, men and women spent about the same amount of time in front of the TV screen – on average, 1 hour and 49 minutes every day. In the meantime, TVs have become flat, while belly fat is growing toward morbid obesity. So, if you allot almost two hours of your time to TV and phone screens, you can change your daily habits to include more rewarding activities like baking, painting, and gardening, for sure. Make better use of your time! 

If you feel like you’re not living your life to the fullest, you should embrace a new hobby. Learning new things has never hurt anyone. Besides, it doesn’t have to be a life-long regular activity. A temporary hobby is fine, too! Stick to it as long as it makes you feel less tense, stressed, and anxious. 

So, below, you’ll find three affordable hobbies you should consider.


girl gardening

The lack of space is not a valid excuse. Whether you live in a studio or in a detached single-family home with a huge backyard, you can put your green thumb at work. Most of the time, beauty comes out of a big mess. 

Undoubtedly, plants can enhance a living space and lower the level of stress. Start off with bulbs and other perennials, or buy a few pot plants and place them around the house according to their light needs. Here’s what to expect from them:

  • Plants increase your well being by reducing stress. Moreover, when used in a business environment, they increase productivity, too.
  • Plants provide oxygen, thus improving the air quality in your home. 
  • Plants speed up recovery – studies undergone at Kansas State University and Texas A&M University have emphasized the importance of horticultural therapy for patients. A room with flowers and plants was perceived as more relaxing and bright and provided more satisfaction. 
  • Watering, fertilizing, and repotting are also de-stressing activities that distract you from your everyday problems. Moreover, the soil itself is a natural stress medicine. 

Besides decorative plants, why not include a few edible plants, too? You may easily set up an urban garden for vegetables. Container gardening and rooftop gardening are quite a phenomenon these days. Beyond that, the sky is the limit! Starting off your seedlings and waiting for them to mature and harvest some fresh strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants will definitely teach you a lot about patience. Taking care of a few plants makes you feel good and capable. Their flowers and fruits sing in unison, “You are successful!” So, gardening could be a way of improving your self-esteem, too. 


girl holding cupcakes

What better way to de-stress than by returning to your favorite flavors of your childhood memories? Sugar acts for sure like a serotonin pump. We all love sweets, candies, and cakes, so you’re no different! Preparing a good dessert takes time, though. However, in the same amount of time you’d have spent in front of the TV you can bake a few cupcakes or cookies. Most deserts can be ready to serve in less than two hours, and you can involve the whole family. You can’t put a price on the satisfaction you’ll get from seeing your loved ones licking their fingers and asking for more! So, instead of watching others cooking and baking, why don’t you mix a few ingredients and make something spectacular! And if you’re really talented, you can even turn this hobby into a YouTube channel or a small family business.  

From a different perspective, though, there’s no secret anymore that many people rely on sugar as the first go-to remedy for stress. Though we don’t like to admit it, in our offices at sweets are everywhere! Make sure you don’t fall in that trap, too. Always keep an eye on your weight as well as on the weight of your spouse and children. Your daily priority is to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. 


woman painting on a canvas

Not all children are good at painting and drawing. However, they all express themselves freely without even caring what you think about their erratic lines on a piece of paper. Parents usually lie gracefully whenever their child asks for a confirmation of their talent. If you were to draw a painting, would you really care what others think about it? Probably not. So, why not spend your free time painting carelessly, letting the colors flow to depict your most profound emotions? 

What about graffiti and murals? Do you like big projects or would you rather express yourself on a piece of paper? Social Media is full of creative ideas! Whether you want to be completely original or imitate a great artist, as soon as you finish a work of art, you will feel a lot better. And if you really don’t feel any trace of inspiration within you, buy a drawing book for adults and start coloring! After all, appetite comes with eating!