Stress-relieving outdoor hobbies

Stress can hit anyone at anytime, so give stress its walking papers by participating in one of these four activities.

Woman gardening

Sometimes life can be difficult. An enormous amount of pressure can be put on us as we shift ourselves between work and home, family and friends, often without finding a moment to relax and just be. Is it any wonder we get stressed out? When life’s stresses hit hard, fight back by taking up one of these stress-busting outdoor hobbies.

Gardening

Planting and tending to a garden can be a rewarding way to fight off the feelings of stress. The benefits are threefold:

  • It offers the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunlight.
  • It allows us to create then nurture something satisfyingly beautiful to fruition. This will in turn help stave off stress in the future.
  • The repetitive movements and slower pace resemble those sometimes used in a meditative art such as tai chi, which is known to reduce stress.

Outdoor photography

The beauty of nature is astonishing and inspiring. Take up photography to witness this firsthand and help manage stress at the same time.

  • It’s very calming to see the world through an artist’s eyes, as beauty can be found almost anywhere. Capturing it in a photo is a wonderful visual reminder of this.
  • Photography will take you outside to enjoy the world in all its abundance and away from the normal day-to-day stresses.
  • Searching for and taking photos will generally require a certain amount of walking, which helps your body produce endorphins, the feel-good chemical in your body.

Birdwatching

Many people are drawn to birds for their beauty and their place in nature.

  • Just as listening to music will help melt stress away, hearing a bird’s cheery singsong chirping will help soothe the soul.
  • Birding evokes a sense of freedom. Birds have the power of flight, the implied power to soar above their problems, and this can help banish stressful thinking.
  • Birdwatching requires patience. Calm your mind by relaxing and taking a break while waiting for the next bird to make its appearance.

Astronomy

Look to the stars for a gentle reminder that we are all part of the same universe, which will help foster the feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves.

  • It allows for the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in the still of the night and creates a relaxing end to the day.
  • Studying the stars helps take us out of our own realm and away from our problems.
  • It can be a satisfying experience to find stars and constellations that are eons old and still light up the night sky.

More on stress management

Natural ways to combat stress
Ideas for a mental health break
Why “me time” is important

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