If you’ve served and found yourself with free time in the military, you’ll understand how important it is to have a hobby. Letting your mind wander doesn’t always help with stress, and having hobbies or relaxing activities to work on is a great way to relieve stress and give yourself a goal to accomplish.
Relaxing activities can come from a variety of places. Some Veterans enjoy being active and reconnecting with the Great Outdoors. For others, a home project is the best way to devote their focus. Whatever your niche, we’ve got some great ideas to help get you started.
Here Are 11 Relaxing Activities Perfect for Veterans
All too common, Veterans suffer in silence from the stresses that come from serving in a military branch. Hobbies are the perfect way to unwind. Research has shown that purposeful activities and hobbies can help improve moods, lower stress, and reduce the chance of depression in those who partake. There are many different relaxing activities for adults, and we’ve got some of the best lined up for Veterans right here:
Crafting is more of a broad term because there are so many ways you can go with it. If you are into scrapbooking or creating home decor, that’s crafting. If you are wanting to make your own wallets out of leather or carve something from a block of wood, those are also types of crafting. You have plenty of options to choose from. Pick something that fits your interests and start creating!
2. Becoming a Vlogger
Writing a blog or recording a vlog is a great way to document your life, expertise, or process. You can even combine this hobby with any other hobby listed here and add to the experience. People find other people and their experiences interesting. Whether your expertise comes from your time in the service or from another activity, if you are involved, people want to know about it from your personal point of view.
Everyone has to eat, right? Well, cooking is a great way to blow off some steam and enjoy the fruits of your labor. There are plenty of avenues, such as learning to be a pitmaster, baking a cake worthy of a Netflix competition show, or even just honing your skills to make better home-cooked meals. However you approach it, cooking can be a relaxing activity. We’ve even got you covered for finding a Veteran-approved nutrition plan if you’re looking for healthier options that won’t bore your taste buds.
4. Finding a Local Rec League
Exercise, teamwork, and competition are just a few of the things familiar to many Veterans. Recreational leagues across communities provide fun ways to experience all of these things and more. Pick up a sport you loved to play in high school or discover a new one by checking out the local rec leagues in your area.
5. Video Games
Speaking of competition, video games provide plenty of it. There’s a wide range of games available with everything from sport-related titles to strategy games and many more. Video games can foster communities through streamers and making friends online, and they offer a healthy way to focus on something other than whatever stresses you.
Planning and taking trips can help you learn about new cultures and experiences. They’re a great way to let go of your everyday troubles for a time of reflection and relaxation. You don’t have to take a dramatic vacation halfway around the world to accomplish this feat, either. A simple local road trip can take you to an unfamiliar part of the country and gift you plenty of fun experiences to go home with.
Becoming one with nature is a great stress reliever. And with hiking, there are many avenues to take. You don’t have to scale Mt. Everest; a nice walk through the woods on some trails will do the trick. If you are looking for something more adventurous, you can also look into harder trails and rock climbing.
8. Creating Art
In many cases, art can tell the world what our words can’t. There’s a reason people can look at a giant painting of circles and get two completely different experiences. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to paint, draw, dance, or sculpt, artwork is a hobby with which anyone at any level can have fun and express themselves in endless ways.
9. Learning a New Language
Knowing more than one language is a great life skill to have for a multitude of reasons. The process doesn’t happen overnight, which means you’re going to have to study and practice often, making it the perfect hobby for many. Don’t limit yourself to just the basics, either. Though apps like Duolingo make learning Spanish and other languages fun, there are others out there: computer coding languages, fictional languages such as Klingon, etc. However you wish to communicate outside your native tongue is an opportunity to learn a unique skill.
10. Picking Up an Instrument
Music is an art form, and learning to play it yourself can lead to a fulfilling hobby for life. Everyone has their own favorite genre of music. Using this as a guide, you can find great starting points for your musical journey. If you’re ready for the mosh pit, a guitar might be the perfect starter instrument. If bass drops are your thing, grabbing a keyboard and some software can help you express yourself in ways you may have never thought possible.
11. Additional Forms of Active Relaxing
Active relaxing may sound like an oxymoron, but it is a great technique for reducing stress. Again, this is going to mean different things to different people, but the idea behind active relaxing is to use activities that take exercise to complete and to use them as a form of relaxation. This is a huge list when you think about it. You have running, surfing, yoga, weight lifting, martial arts, etc. No matter what gets you moving, if it makes you feel alive and takes away your stress, it’s a great way to refocus your mind, body, and spirit.
Find Relaxing Activities That Work for You
Hobbies can help you manage everyday stress, as well as help you cope with PTSD. Obviously, not all of these activities are right for everyone. There are plenty of different tastes, interests, and lifestyles that we all lead, and it only makes sense that our hobbies are a variety as well. Variety, after all, is the spice of life, and finding relaxing activities to help manage your stress may take trying a thing or two before you nail it, but the results will be worth it. If you’re still feeling a little less than inspired, check out these stress-relieving hobbies for more inspiration.
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