Hobbies are beneficial to mental (and typically physical) health. Having a hobby ensures that you’ve got an outlet in a crazy world of juggling work, friends, family, drinking enough water, and a social commitments. 

Choosing a hobby, and turning it into something you love, will ensure that you’ve got time for you. Hobbies are a fantastic escape from the day to day hustle, which can get a bit monotonous if you let it! Any hobby on this list will challenge you mentally, and bring new people into your life that you’ll love being around. What could be better than that?

1. Martial Arts

woman martial arts

It might seem a bit on the nose, but yoga is so good for you mentally and physically, it had to be included here. Yoga comes in many forms, from Restorative to Ashtanga, so you can choose a class based on your level of fitness. The class choices available at your local gym or yoga studio will also allow you to decide what you want to get out of the class, whether it be stretches and relaxation or a vigorous workout. Yoga has it all. Also, the pants are super comfortable.

2. Writing

Writing can supply an insane mental release. You don’t have to be a professional to write. Pick up a journal, write short stories or poems, or even just random thoughts and good ideas you have throughout the day. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel on a daily basis, and might even feel the inspiration to take a creative writing class! 

3. Horseback Riding

Horseback riding

Any barn girl will tell you, once you start riding, you’ll fall in love with it. While horses can be a time consuming and expensive hobby, it’s not so bad if you don’t have your own. Taking lessons at a local riding center will give you all the ground and riding skills you’ll need, and you won’t have to take on the full responsibility that comes with horse ownership. In no time you’ll find that the barn is a sanctuary, and time there is never time wasted.

4. Painting

There is nothing quite as therapeutic as putting brush to paper. Taking up painting as a hobby will give you all the quiet time you need, while asking you to reach within for inspiration. Painting freehand will teach you quite a bit about yourself, but if it’s just not your thing, there are bound to be instructors and classes available locally for every level of experience. You never know…you might be the next big thing!

5. Meditating

woman meditating

In a world of chaos, find your peace. Seriously though, meditating can be really hard, and mastering it will make you feel incredibly accomplished. Learning to let go of thoughts without giving them attention is difficult, so start with a guided meditation, which you can find on YouTube or the Headspace App. This will help to set your focus, instead of listening to all the things that might be going on around you, such as passing cars or kids playing outside. 

6. Interior Design

If you enjoy design and decorating, and you love nothing more than a Love It or List It marathon, then you’re likely to excel at interior design. It’s likely that you’re constantly switching up your home decor as it is, so you might as well grab some clients and make some money off of it. Don’t get too ahead of yourself, though. Take a class, do a ton of research and apply ideas and techniques to your own space to find out what works, what doesn’t, and what style you’re best at pulling off. 

7. Baking

Baking doesn’t have to be boring. Hunting down existing recipes that sound delicious and making them your own is what baking is all about! It can be as simple as the addition of chocolate chips to peanut butter cookies, or taking a standard cake recipe and making it free of gluten or vegan friendly. Time in the kitchen is really what it’s all about. You can experiment with your own recipes as well, by building them from scratch, or taking your favorite parts of existing recipes and combining them. The options are endless!

8. Dog Walking

woman walking dog

Not only a hobby, but a side hustle as well, dog walking is a great weekend gig for any dog lover that needs a little extra cash…or exercise! You can establish yourself online, or sign up through a dog walking application like Rover or Wag. You’ll have a list of happy clients before you know it, and you’ll literally get paid to play with dogs. Not to mention, you can finally bring your pup to work with you!

9. Triathlon Training

f you’re looking for a challenge, try training for a triathlon! It’s an intense range of activities that put your fitness level to the ultimate test, including running, biking, and swimming! You can be physically fit to train, or just starting out on your fitness journey. The only difference will be how long you have to train for before you can compete. The goal is the same for everyone: finish the race!

10. Join a Book Club

book club

There are hundreds of good books out there that you think you don’t have time to read. You absolutely have the time, and a good group of new friends that get together once a week to discuss a riveting novel while drinking coffee is just what you need to convince you of that. Books in general are a wonderful escape, but the great ones are a ton of fun to talk about. You’ll love hearing different takes on the storylines, all while having your opinions heard, considered, and appreciated.

11. DIY Projects

From your Christmas wreath to a new shelving unit, there is nothing you can’t DIY if you Pinterest for long enough. DIY projects have the ability to make your home exactly how you want it, without waiting for a construction crew to come in and tear it all apart. Take the time to make sure your project comes out the way you want it. Never rush a DIY, no matter what it is. Also, don’t attempt electrical or plumbing DIY’s. They rarely go well.

12. Volunteering

Volunteering brings such an incredible sense of fulfillment, that you’ll forget almost immediately that you’re not getting paid. No matter where you decide to volunteer your free time, it will never go unappreciated. Animal rescues, senior centers, and homeless shelters (among others), are typically desperate for great volunteers. You’ll meet people from all walks of life, creating some of the most enriching and humbling experiences you’ll ever have.

13. Gardening

gardening

Sunshine? Check! Freshly raked soil? Check! Growing your own food without pesticides? Check! Food quality aside, gardening is an incredibly satisfying hobby. Watching the seeds that you’ve planted and cared for grow into something you can actually consume is a wonderful feeling. Of course, you’re not restricted to growing foods only. Flower and herb gardens will have the same result and effect on your psyche. Gardening is relatively easy to learn, and possibly the best way to spend a sunny Saturday morning. Grab some gloves and get to it.

14. Self-Defense Classes

Self-defense classes are not only a necessary part of life as a woman… but they’re fun! Learn how to kick literal butt with an assortment of defense and martial arts moves. You’ll grow stronger and more confident with each passing class. Self-defense classes are essentially a life-saving knowledge combined with a really cool party trick. Obviously, we hope you’ll never need them, but what an amazing skill set to have.

15. Local Tourism

How long have you lived in the city/town/state where you currently reside? How much of it have you seen? Chances are, you’ve mostly explored the grocery stores within a 10 mile radius, and Target. Learn about your hometown! Get out there and experience the festivals, concerts and farmers markets  in the area. Go to local cafes and coffee shops, instead of pouring all of your business into Starbucks (not that we don’t love Starbucks). You’ll find so many things that you love, all while taking a day trip in your very own town. Pick a place, and spend one day each weekend exploring it.