Best Stress-Relieving Hobbies
Take Time for Your Mental Health in an Industry that Thrives on Stress.
To those in the industry, it is no surprise that event planning is the fifth most stressful job according to a recent report by Career Cast. The time leading up to an event, with all the administrative processes, vendor communications, venue limitations, and client expectations to manage, can prove to be a perfect storm of anxiety. In an industry that appears to be fueled by stress, it can seem impossible to achieve a comfortable work/life balance, but developing stress management techniques can be vital to your mental and physical health.
May is Mental Health Month, dedicated to spreading awareness of whole-body health and managing the everyday factors like work stress. Just like the rest of your body, your brain requires maintenance and attention to maintain optimum function. Stress can manifest in physical ways, such as headaches, chest pains, muscle pain, and even raised blood pressure. This means that everyone in the events industry can benefit from seeking out resources such as the Mental Health America Toolkit. Events businesses can make moves toward recognizing the importance of mental health by taking the Stress Matters pledge, which is committed to reducing stress in the events industry.
Taking up a relaxing hobby outside of work can do wonders to focus your mind and help you achieve a better work/life balance. The Omnience crew of experts knows how important unwinding can be, and has shared some of their favorite ways to destress.
Cooking is therapy and, fattening or not, it’s effective. It is a great destresser because it serves as a creative outlet, and while stress can numb your senses, cooking activates them. If you think of cooking as a chore, it’s time to give it a fresh look.
Baking and cooking can be therapeutic activities and have the extra benefit of resulting in something delicious at the end!
Abuna enjoys cooking and taking part in Atlanta’s Good Food Movement, which focuses on the connections between how our food is grown and how it affects the health of our communities.
For one thing, mental health experts credit cooking with helping to relieve depression, anxiety, and its manifestations, like eating disorders. Mental health clinics have started using cooking as a type of behavioral therapy, much like music or art therapy.
Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they’re getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind.
Jenn enjoys unwinding with yoga, which is a perfect activity for someone in the hectic event industry. One of the most popular hobbies that combines mental focus with physical movement, yoga can improve your flexibility and stress levels.
Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.
It’s time to become the best version of yourself. Om yeah!
Taking a trip might not be a hobby you can indulge in often, but it can be a great way to leave the stresses of work behind you—literally.
Alpa loves to travel to try new and interesting cuisine and states, “[The] best vacation would be to go to India and do a cross-country tour of all the famous street food!”
Erin loves to travel too, saying, “I try to travel as much as I can because I would rather fill my life with experiences and stories…”
Anyone who’s traveled will tell you that compared to everyday life, there’s definitely something about travel that makes you feel better. Even when you’re waiting for a train on a dreary day or sitting cramped between two strangers on a plane, the fact that you are going somewhere new, beautiful, and interesting, can leave even the grumpiest of people with a smile on their face.
Fresh air and sunshine are good for our health. Fresh air increases oxygen in our blood and in turn, gives us more energy. Play and relaxation are perfect ways to decrease tension. Sunshine is a mood elevator and can help people ward off depression. Whether you spend your time mountain climbing, or just sitting on the beach, doing the things you enjoy most will relieve stress.
Consider booking your next vacation now, put those cell phones and laptops away … it’s time to relax!
Playing a Musical Instrument
Playing an instrument and listening to music can improve mental focus and lower feelings of anxiety, so not only will you pick up a new skill but you will be helping your mind decompress.
Darryl plays piano as a hobby, which is a great way to switch away from work stress. Learning how to play a musical instrument requires focus and patience, both of which can alleviate stress by giving your mind something else to do than dwell on work.
For most people, music and stress relief go hand in hand. Music has a way of soothing our souls and helping us feel good. There are quite a few ways to use music as a stress management activity in your life. Here are some ideas that will help you think about how you’d like to incorporate music into your day. Play an instrument, sing, dance, listen to your favorites, or relax to soothing tunes.
Musical activity throughout life may serve as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain fitter and more capable of accommodating the challenges of aging.
Taking Up a Sport
Whether you enjoy baseball or water skiing, any sport that gets you moving can help you work off those stressful feelings. Physical activity can trigger endorphins, helpful chemicals that act as natural painkillers and improve your overall feelings of wellbeing.
Casey enjoys challenging himself with sports: “Whether it is skiing, wakeboarding or mountain biking, I love the thrill of speed and pushing the limits.”
Megan says, “When I am not working you can often find me trying to learn a new move up in my aerial silks (think cirque du soleil-ish, but not yet that skilled!).”
What many of them may not realize is that participating in sports can be an incredible way of reducing stress. Here’s how:
- Sports stimulate the body’s production of endorphins
- Sports can relieve mental stress by promoting better sleep
- Sports engagement increases self-esteem
- Sports participation promotes socialization
- Sports improve your mood
- Sports improve your concentration
- Sports help you maintain a healthy weight
- Sports have been linked to leadership traits
There is no shortage of reasons to find a sport to get involved in. Pick one and get moving!
Spending Time in Nature
Breathing in some fresh air and reconnecting with nature can do wonders to help the stress melt away. Research shows that spending time in nature reduces stress and eases mental fatigue.
Go for a hike, take a bike ride with your friends, or go apple picking with your family. Or try taking a walk during your lunch hour – it will clear your mind and give you an energy boost. One thing that can help get your mind back into gear is exposing it to restorative environments, which, research has found, generally means the great outdoors.
Vickie enjoys camping and stargazing to revitalize her focus and perspective, and you could also go hiking, biking, or bird watching.
Nature relieves attention fatigue and increases creativity. Today, we live with ubiquitous technology designed to constantly pull for our attention. Being outdoors gives us energy, makes us happier, helps us to relieve the everyday stresses of our overscheduled lives, opens the door to creativity, and helps us to be kind to others.
So immerse yourself in the forest for better health.
Caring for Pets
Having a pet is definitely more than just a hobby, but there is no doubt that having some furry friends in your life will help you shed stress.
Jaime loves her dog Archie and states, “Life is definitely better with a dog, or two.”
They inspire us to exercise more frequently: Studies have shown that pet owners, on average, get more exercise, and that helps reduce both stress and depression. This is more the case with dog owners, who walk their dogs and play with them outside, but cat owners also get additional exercise from daily play with their pets. Laughter relieves our stress response and reduces tension. If you own a dog or a cat, chances are you spend a good deal of time laughing, and that’s good for your health.
It is important to understand the tolls stress can take on your mind and body, especially when you are working under the events industry’s demanding expectations. Respect your mental health by taking up a hobby and encouraging your employees to do the same. Understand your limitations by taking advantage of our services and letting OmnienceTM assist you in planning your next event.