Reduce Stress with Vacation Hobbies
If vacations are your only answer to manage stress, read this blog. Find out what counts as a vacation hobby, what are the benefits, and how stress is reduced. Gain lots of fun ideas!
What is a vacation hobby?
One of the most widespread stress reducers in our culture is the long-awaited vacation. A get-away is a valuable outlet for the fight or flight response to stress. After 3 months, 6 months, or a year of continuous stress, who wouldn’t want to escape?! The thing is, it’s far better for your well-being and way of being to take steps to reduce stress often, rather than letting it build up. Here’s the problem with chronic stress. It drains your energy leaving you on empty. But practicing effective stress management can make the difference between feeling exhausted and energized.
That’s where vacation hobbies come in. A vacation hobby develops skills that will deepen your future vacation experiences, whenever and wherever they may be.
WIFM: The benefits of vacation hobbies
You know how to vacation. But there’s more! Travel writer Shaker Abady says, “hobbies can help you get much more out of your globetrotting adventures.” Read on to see how to have fun and reduce stress! Taking part in a hobby related to your vacation helps to build anticipation and begins that soothing ‘away from it all’ feeling.
Several effects of hobbies on well-being are described in an Australian Department of Health publication about hobbies. “Spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed. Group activities like team sports can improve your communication skills and relationships with others.”
Hobbies that reduce rather than raise stress
Choosing a hobby that reduces rather than creates stress is a bit of an art form. If you are learning something new, take the time to choose an effective program or instructor ideal for your learning style. If you are a beginner, take beginner courses. Self-consciousness fades if the course is set up with no worry of failure, as on-demand courses sometimes are. For instance, I take dance classes online. If I’m not at peak performance, off goes my video so I can pause to rest or stretch without peer pressure, real or imagined. If you enjoy competition, choose a class with clear goals and immediate feedback. Perhaps most importantly, choose a hobby that realistically fits your schedule. Consider commute time, hours of availability, and how much time you are willing to commit.
Fun hobby ideas for stress reduction
If your vacation includes any physical activity, consider starting now, so you can move beyond a beginners’ level on vacation. Want to try rock climbing, diving, or overnight hiking? Start a workout that will help you meet your goal comfortably.
Perhaps you travel to the same place every year. Consider learning something new, to deepen your travel experience. Learning doesn’t have to be overly serious. Consider reading novels, blogs, and travel writers. Watch movies filmed in the general area. Learn which film stars, authors, or artists live in the area, and follow their blogs.
You might try hobbies that will help you view your destination in a fresh way. Toward the goal of creating something while on vacation, hone your skills. Learn to creatively write. Take classes in drawing, photography, or painting. Your vacation will be enriched by seeing your surroundings and experiencing your activities with a writer’s consciousness or an artist’s eye.
When vacationing, do you enjoy attending performances, visiting museums, or shopping? As a hobby, cultivate an appreciation of the arts. You could attend beginner classes in art, music, or performing arts. Or get online to learn more about museums, local crafts shopping, and performances you might enjoy on vacation. Many will have blogs or videos you can enjoy from home.
Here’s a few more ways to experience your future vacation destination. Take language classes or cooking lessons to get to know the local culture. Start yoga classes now, to better enjoy those offered at your resort. Volunteer near home, for better service opportunities on vacation. Learn the flora and fauna you can expect to see, to better enjoy trail walks and public gardens.
You know your hobby is reducing your stress when…
Are you creatively absorbed? Have you lost all sense of time? Awesome! The work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi provides a few more indicators to gage if your hobby is reducing stress:
- Action and awareness are merged.
- Distractions are excluded from consciousness.
- There is no worry of failure.
- Self-consciousness disappears.
- The sense of time becomes distorted.
- The activity becomes an end in itself.
Most of us experience chronic daily stress. The thing is, continuous stress is cumulative, and the negative health effects begin immediately. The answer is to manage our stress every day, and vacation hobbies provide a fun way to do so. So, choose a hobby, and get started! Your vacation will be enriched, and your well-being increased. And have fun!
In peace, Gale