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5 hobbies to help get you out of a rut

Updated: May 22

It can be hard to pull yourself out of a rut once you’re in one. Daily tasks can seem daunting, you’re always tired, and nothing really brings you joy. If you’re looking for a way to start taking baby steps out of that feeling, taking up a new hobby can be a great way to distract your mind, make new connections, and keep you busy.

There are so many different hobbies to choose from that it can be overwhelming to decide what to try first. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five hobbies to try - Check them out below!

Try crocheting 

Difficulty Level: ☆☆☆☆★

Crochet animals

Crochet is the perfect activity to keep your mind and hands busy after a long day.

Crochet takes just enough brain power to keep you occupied, without being too draining. It can be beneficial for people who struggle with distraction, have been diagnosed with ADHD or a similar neurodevelopmental disorder, or are looking for a creative outlet that can reduce stress, improve problem solving, and keep their mind focused.

This is a hobby that’s pretty easy to get into; a quick trip to your local craft store, download free crochet patterns, and watch a couple of YouTube videos is all you need to get started. Plus, at the end of each project, you’ll have a keepsake to help track your progress!

Try crochet if you’re looking for something…

  • Low cost 

  • Short term

  • Easy to master

Plant a garden

Difficulty Level: ☆☆☆★★

A collection of herbs and a pot of dirt

With spring right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to try your hand (or thumb) at gardening.

Gardening can have many benefits for your mental health. Caring for and nurturing something else will start building habits and subconscious patterns that can lead you to apply those same routines to yourself. You may find that while you’re watching your plant bloom, you’ll start to as well. 

There’s a plant out there for every interest and skill level, whether you’re looking to grow something to eat or admire each morning! Grow something to eat, like a herb or vegetable, or plant something pretty you can admire each morning. Some great plants for beginners include spider plants, herbs, English ivy, and succulents. You can also choose how you want to grow your plant - buy one that’s already potted or plant the seeds yourself and watch it bloom over time!

Try gardening if you’re looking for something…

  • Routine based

  • Long term

  • At home

Join a new workout class

Difficulty Level: ☆☆★★★

Workout class with step boxes

We all know exercise is good for your body, but it has some really amazing effects on your mind too. 

Exercising releases endorphins, which are brain chemicals that naturally target depression by promoting feelings of wellness, and gives your brain something to focus on, distracting from negative thoughts and anxiety. It can also raise confidence and create social connections through consistent routines. 

It doesn’t take a lot to get your brain to start pumping out those feel-good chemicals,  so don’t feel limited to traditional workouts - unless that’s what you enjoy most! You can do a home workout, exercise with a friend, or a workout class, and there are so many options to choose from. If weight lifting or spin class isn’t for you, try something like indoor rock climbing, a zumba dance class, or pickleball! 

Try a new workout if you’re looking for something…

  • Low commitment 

  • Physical 

  • Customizable

Volunteer for a cause you care about 

Difficulty Level: ☆☆★★★

Group of volunteers at food bank

When it’s too hard to do things for yourself, sometimes it’s easier to do things for others. When it’s too hard to do things for yourself, sometimes it’s easier to do things for others. Whether it is looking for volunteer opportunities in your community, or searching for volunteer work abroad, the important thing is to find a cause you feel passionate about.

There’s no shortage of organizations that need volunteers, but here are some ideas if you’re looking for inspiration:

  • Animal shelters 

  • Public libraries

  • Community centres 

  • Food banks

  • Museums 

Volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about is a great way to join a new community. Having a community around you of people who share your interests and passions has been shown to increase happiness and alleviate mental health symptoms. By volunteering, not only will you be contributing to a cause you care about, but you’ll also be opening the door to lasting connections and a supportive community that can improve your overall well-being.

Try volunteering if you’re looking for something…

  • Community centric 

  • Out of the house

  • Purpose driven

Experiment with a new instrument

Difficulty Level: ☆★★★★

Woman playing violin

Learning a new instrument can be tough, but also so rewarding.

It’s something that takes a lot of practice and work, but it has also been shown to have many benefits for mental health. Creating music releases those same feel-good endorphins as working out, and it can support emotional regulation through self-expression. Challenge yourself to learn your favourite song, and surprise yourself with the progress you can make! 

Listening and connecting to music is also amazing for the brain. Specifically, music that incorporates binaural beats can reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and lower stress. Try listening to audio with binaural beats after a long day to relax and feel the benefits!

Try learning a new instrument if you’re looking for something…

  • Challenging 

  • Long term

  • Creative

We know there’s a lot more that goes into pulling yourself out of a rut than trying a new hobby, but they can provide so many benefits to your mental health. 

If you’re looking for a sign to take the leap and try something new - this is it. Just know that you’re not alone, and so many of the people around you are going through something similar. We’re all just taking it one day at a time and doing whatever we can to stay afloat - and maybe for you, that’s learning how to crochet or watching your home garden flourish.


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