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Crafts Holidays Inspiration Mindfulness Wellness

The Best Hobbies for Stress Relief (And They Make Perfect Gifts)

During the last few years and in the midst of a pandemic, I found myself so wrapped up in work and stressing about what was happening in the world that I somehow lost my “play”. At the end of the workday, without any social activities, or the regular routine, I found myself burnt out. But I couldn’t figure out why or even how? In my head, it didn’t make sense. I’m not commuting any longer, I’m not socially drained or going out late at night (lol as if I did before the pandemic, but you get what I mean), so what gives? Short answer? I didn’t have a way of effectively managing my stress. Sure, I love yoga and meditation, but those also seemed like tasks that I needed to complete. 

Enter: crafting. Some of my fondest memories were summers spent at my grandparents house knitting, painting, woodworking, sewing, making cards – you name it. We kept busy by being creative and taking time to learn new skills – for fun. With no purpose other than to create. I wanted to pick back up the hobbies that brought me so much joy and as a way to remember my grandparents to stay connected to the memories that I hold so dear. What I didn’t anticipate was the stress relief it would provide. After doing more research, I found that having leisurely hobbies is actually linked to lower levels of depression.

So, my question to you: when was the last time you tried something new for the first time, just for fun? Get on YouTube, watch some video tutorials (there are so many helpful channels with exactly what you’re looking for) and get started! 

Here are some of the best hobbies to try for stress relief, especially as the weather gets colder here in Canada! Plus, they make the perfect gift for those in your life who love to get creative. P.P.S. All of the shopping links are from Canadian Small Businesses on Etsy

1. Embroidery

There are so many helpful tutorials online, plus many of the beginners kits have detailed instructions, plus all of the materials and tools you’ll need! This is on my list for my next crafting project.

2. Knitting

My grandmother taught all of my sisters and cousins how to knit when we spent time at her house up north during the winter and summer breaks. I only hope to be as great at knitting as she was one day!

3. Puzzles

How beautiful to be able to frame a puzzle that you’ve spent so long working on!? Whether for yourself or a gift – this is a great leisurely hobby. This one is my favourite from Fits Puzzles.

4. Watercolour

Okay, this has been by far the most rewarding hobby I’ve started the past few months. And I’m currently making my own Christmas cards with watercolour! It started off rocky, but I kept practicing and started following tutorials (like the one below) and slowly started to get it. There’s something so satisfying about mixing colours together and creating something that I’ve never been able to do before.

5. Colouring

A classic! There’s so many fun adult colouring books now and a pretty inexpensive hobby to pick-up.

6. Bullet Journaling

Take a regular journal to a whole new level. There are so many page variations you can do, from themes to favourite books to mood trackers. The choice is all yours! Pinterest and YouTube are great sources for inspiration.

7. Paint by numbers

This is one I haven’t tried yet, but have given paint by numbers as a gift and the response was positive! Painting made straight forward, and kits (like the one above) gives you everything you need!


Happy crafting! 🧵 What hobby are you most excited to try? What else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!