Hobbies that Keep You Mentally Healthy

A man wearing an apron and holding a palette uses oil paint to paint on canvas

It’s no secret that a healthy mind is the key to a happy life. But what many people don’t realize is that keeping your mind healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. In fact, there are plenty of hobbies you can pick up that will do wonders for your mental health. Here are just a few examples:

1. Painting

Painting is a great hobby to keep your mind busy, and it can also offer fantastic mental health benefits. It provides a creative outlet for your thoughts and emotions and can be a very therapeutic experience. If you’re looking for a way to relax after a long day, painting could be the perfect activity for you.

If you’re a beginner painter, you’ll need some things to get started. This all depends on what type of painting you want to do. For beginners, the most popular are watercolor painting, acrylic painting, and oil painting. These are all easy to learn, but they’re also difficult to master. For watercolor, you’ll need watercolor pigments, watercolor paper, and brushes. For acrylic and oil painting, you’ll need canvas fabric, a frame to stretch it out on, and an easel to hold up the frame. You’ll also need primer, acrylic or oil paint, brushes, and varnish.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Start with learning easy methods like mixing colors and trying various strokes.
  2. Try different color schemes until you find one that you really love.
  3. Instead of looking at images in a magazine or painting the same thing over and over, try going outside and observing different objects or landscapes.
  4. There’s no need to hurry — you can take your time and learn as you go.
  5. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, so don’t be afraid to make them! If you feel bad when you make mistakes, do a study of a subject during which you are meant to make mistakes.
  6. Take on new challenges instead of just painting the same thing over and over.

2. Cooking and Baking

Cooking and baking are great for a person’s mental health because they provide an outlet for creativity and stress relief. Cooking and baking provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that can be therapeutic. They are both creative pursuits that can help you relieve stress. Baking in particular is a great way to release negative emotions, as the act of measuring and mixing ingredients can be calming. It also feels great to see the people you love enjoying the food you make.

Cooking and baking also have physical benefits, such as improving heart health, preventing cancer, and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. Some recipes you should try out are brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin bread — these are all easy but delicious!

3. DIY Projects

Making your own DIY projects is a great way to improve your mental health. It’s a fun and creative way to express yourself, and it can be very therapeutic. It also provides a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

To get started on your own DIY projects, you’ll need some basic skills. This includes measuring and marking. You’ll also need basic carpentry skills like drilling, cutting, screwing, nailing, sanding, and painting. You’ll also need some knowledge about which materials to use for different projects.

One easy DIY project for a beginner is to make a chopping or cutting board. These are very versatile because they can also be used as serving trays, bread boards, or charcuterie boards.

First, cut a 2-inch thick plank into a rectangular shape, roughly around 12 by 18 inches. Make sure that the edges are straight; remember the adage “measure twice, cut once.” Then, sand the surface down to smoothen it, and sand the edges down to make them a bit curved and smooth. Use a low-grit sandpaper first (around 80-100 grit), then use 400 grit, then 800 grit. This will make the wood smooth to the touch. Wipe the dust off with a moist towel, then let the wood dry. Finally, apply a food-safe finish such as linseed oil. You’re done!

A man plays guitar while taking a break in front of his workstation at home

4. Music

Learning how to play an instrument is a fantastic hobby. With only a few chords under your belt on either the guitar or piano, you can jam along to 100 different songs. If you’re wanting to purchase an electronic keyboard, the Roland FP-10 and Yamaha P-45 are excellent options for beginners since they cost between $500-$550. Even if you do eventually want to pursue music production further down the line, these keyboards will still come in handy then as well!

You could always choose a guitar, which is more portable and offers you way more flexibility. Plus, since guitars are used in most popular songs today, it’s definitely the wiser choice. If you’re looking for something good but cheap, go for the Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany acoustic guitar at around $230. Or if you want an electric guitar that will play well even when your skills have progressed beyond beginner level, get the Yamaha Pacifica electric guitar at $310. Choose the electric option if envision yourself playing heavier rock music though because with effects pedals you can create versatile soundscapes from acoustics to metal distortion.

If you want to take your guitar playing up a notch, invest in some sound pedals. This way, you can make tons of different sounds — all with just one guitar. If you’re serious about playing music or want to get better equipment, look into investing in top-quality gear like the best pedal board, effects pedals, and pickups.

Final Thoughts

There are many different hobbies to choose from, and each has its own benefits. Whether you’re into DIY projects, baking, playing music, or something else entirely, there’s a hobby out there that’s perfect for you. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring and find the one that’s right for you!

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