Take up a hobby

Recreational hobbies can reduce stress.

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Recreational hobbies can reduce stress.

Joe Perry, Sports Writer

Sports practices, games, homework, club meetings, school, community service events, work, and so on. As we get older, it seems that our schedules just continuously become more compacted. While our packed schedules may help us add to our resumes and have fun, it can be easy to let these events eat up our free time and become stressors. So, while you are configuring your schedule for this coming week, let me propose this: pick a new activity and find time to do it.

Life can be stressful. From impending academic deadlines to intense extracurriculars, it is easy to become consumed by our activities and lose time for ourselves. This chain of events can cause unnecessary stress, which is where hobbies come into play. Whether you’re procrastinating on a project or need something to do on a Sunday afternoon, having something to mindlessly escape to is a great way to create peace within yourself. However, whether it’s as simple as binge watching Netflix or as skillful as baking, make sure that it remains a hobby; if it becomes something that you feel obligated to complete, then it has become yet another chore rather than an outlet for stress.

A great example of this is running. Running releases endorphins, which is like a “happy” chemical for your brain. However, this activity also provides you an opportunity to plug in your headphones and quite literally run away from your problems. It provides a means of escaping your stressors and clearing your head whenever you choose to run. These two latter effects are the key to a good hobby: it allows you to feel good and clear the negativity from your mind.

Obviously, running isn’t for everyone. However, it holds the fundamental needs for a beneficial hobby, as it is available 24/7 and permits you an outlet through which to relieve stress. So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, I urge you to find something new and exciting and try it out. Don’t let it take up so much time that your obligations go uncompleted, but also don’t shy away from getting involved in something new.