Hobbies relieve stress, but many take time and money investments. These cheap hobbies for men and women are easy to start quickly.
With only a few purchases and a little time for learning how to do things, you can be enjoying these low cost hobbies quickly.
- Baking and Cooking – We all have to eat, and cooking and baking from scratch is less expensive than buying ready-made prepared foods or eating out. Making your own food does require that you read the directions carefully and follow them. Baking and cooking is fun, and it is a way to spend quality time with your kids or significant other.
- Gardening – If you love being outdoors, you will probably love gardening. To get into this hobby, all you need are a few hand tools and a couple of packets of seeds. Or you can simply purchase little plants at your nearby garden nursery. Gardening is more than just growing food or flowers. You will love the smells, sounds, breezes and the warming sunlight while you are in your garden. It’s healthy for you, too. Vitamin D from the sunlight strengthens your immune system. And scientists now believe that bacteria in the soil may activate serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a natural antidepressant, lifting your mood naturally. Additionally, don’t be fooled by how easy it looks. When you are out there digging, bending over, weeding and harvesting, you are using lots of muscles and strengthening your bones. If you haven’t used them for awhile, after being in the garden for a few hours, you will definitely feel them. I am an organic gardener, and it gives me great satisfaction to know that the food that I grow is safe and healthy!
- Painting – While we all can’t be famous artists, many of us enjoy sketching or drawing. All you need to get started painting is a small collection of artist brushes, canvas or paper, paints and the desire to have fun. You can paint indoors or outdoors. And your subjects can be anything from still life to landscapes or even people you know (or don’t know). With this inexpensive hobby, it’s important to focus on your creativity and fun. It really doesn’t matter how professional your work looks.
- Knitting – Here’s another cheap hobby that takes very little to get started. While this used to be a hobby for women, more and more men are finding it to be an enjoyable and relaxing hobby. Knitting activates your parasympathetic system, which counteracts your “fight or flight” response, making you calm down. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy reported on a study completed in 2014. The participants in the study had all been diagnosed with depression. After knitting, 81.5% of its participants reported feeling “happy”. To get started, you’ll need a few knitting needles, some yarn, and instructions. I often find free patterns for knitting online. The only variable for expenses is the yarn. You can start knitting, using inexpensive acrylic yarn. As you progress, you may want to try your hand with a variegated yarn or with wool yarn. These can be significantly more expensive.
- Music – Whether you play a musical instrument or love listening to music, music can have a calming effect on you. Listening to music can be very inexpensive. And, combined with a nice warm bath, can be quite relaxing. Music is mind calming, lowers anxiety levels, lowers pain levels, improves your ability to think and problem solve and it actually lowers your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress induced hormone that wreaks havoc on your body, including causing you to gain weight.
- Fishing – Whether you catch fish or not, fishing is a wonderful way to get outdoors to enjoy nature. Equipment is relatively inexpensive, and you will need to purchase a license to be legal.
- Church Activities – If you’re a social person, you might enjoy helping out at your local church. It’s a good way to meet people and help others. The only caveat here is that you need to know your limits. While it is fun to get involved, you need to be able to say “no” when you won’t have the time to do something.
- Hiking – Hiking is another cheap hobby that is lots of fun. You can hike alone, with a partner or in a group. It gets you outside and into shape. Hiking is a great way to enjoy natural beauty. All you need to get started is a good pair of hiking shoes or boots, a pair of hiking poles (nice but not absolutely necessary), a water bottle and a simple knapsack (to carry water, snacks, bug spray, etc.). There are lots of great places to hike in every part of the country, from state and national parks, to local nature trails.
- Camping – Camping can be inexpensive or expensive, depending on how you do it. To keep it cheap, you can go tenting, with a blow-up mattress for sleeping on the ground. You can purchase inexpensive camp stoves and lanterns. Sitting around the campfire can be fun and relaxing, and after a weekend of camping, you’ll return to work, refreshed and relaxed.
- Bird Watching – Bird watching is the second fastest growing hobby in America, topped only by gardening. A whole new language has emerged along with it. Those in the know refer to bird watching simply as “birding” and the people who do it as “birders”. Just watching birds and listening to their songs can have a soothing effect on the mind and body. Many people make special trips or vacations to a forest or rain forest to go bird watching. Take your binoculars and a book to identify the different birds.
- Photography – While photography used to take special equipment, all you need today is your phone. You can enjoy capturing special scenic views, events and people, while learning to see the world differently. Photography can tap into your creative juices, and it can take you to lots of fun places.
- Archery – Archery is a fairly inexpensive hobby. If you stick to the more primitive bow and arrow, the only other equipment you’ll need is a target. Archery is quiet and you can even shoot bow in your backyard if you have some space.
- Whittling – Whittling used to be a hobby just for men. But women are now enjoying it too. In fact, one of my lady friends is an amateur whittler. All you need to get started with this inexpensive hobby are some whittling hand tools.
- Chess – You can purchase cheap or expensive chess sets, and then you are set to play. Playing chess can be quite challenging. It requires lots of concentration and it helps you with critical thinking skills, problem-solving, learning to think ahead, abstract thinking, and it’s a great way to socialize with other intelligent people. Becoming absorbed in a chess game can be a great escape and tension chaser.
- Yoga – Feel the stress melt away as you practice the ancient arts of yoga and meditation to help bring your emotional well-being into balance and keep your body fit at the same time! Many think of yoga as a new-age phenomenon that has nothing to offer the average person. Nothing could be further from the truth! Yoga has natural healing properties that can alleviate stress symptoms and the most common ailments from colds to back aches. It helps to calm both the body and the mind, leading to a sense of wellness that cannot be achieved through conventional exercise programs. All you need to do to get started is learn basic yoga directions and you are on your way to a healthier body and happier spirit.
- Scrapbooking – Did you know that, during a natural disaster, when asked to evacuate–the first things people grab to take with them are their scrapbooks and their photograph albums. That’s because those two items can never be replaced! A completed scrapbook is one of the most cherished items anyone can have. Scrap booking relieves stress because it forces you to organize your memories and thoughts, brings back memories and emotions, and acts as a journal of sorts, tapping into your right brain activity.