Five Hobbies To Give You Focus and Reduce Stress

Woman knitting up close; photo courtesy of Pexels

In our previous ClearClub blogs, we've outlined a number of different ways to help combat daily stresses that contribute to the urge to grind and clench your teeth – everything from physical and mental calming techniques to dietary choices that can improve your moods. In addition to these... have you tried a good hobby lately?

Finding hobbies that occupy one's focus and deliver a sense of accomplishment and positive reinforcement can be so helpful during stressful times. With many activities still off limits as we practice social distancing, having a hobby that you enjoy can not only provide a way for folks with awake bruxism to divert their exacerbating mental stresses into a practical activity, but some can also provide opportunities to bring family and loved ones together. Here are five to consider... 

Woman painting at a canvas; photo courtesy of Pexels

Painting: It doesn't particularly matter if artistic endeavors weren't your strong point in school, and no one expects you to go from painting novice to modern artist in a few months - or even a few years! But sitting down at a canvas to create can feel both tremendously freeing and deeply calming, if you allow yourself to paint without judging your work too harshly and allowing whatever flows out of you to come into its own. Impressionistic watercolors are a great place to start, if you want to try something with lots of room to improvise.

Knitting or Crocheting: We're coming up on winter soon, so chances are good that yourself and your loved ones could use some warm clothing or blankets to bundle up in. Why not take up knitting as a means of focusing your energy and creativity?  It can take some folks a little while to get the hang of using the needles, but knitting is a precise and stress-free activity that can allow both your mind to relax and your hands to keep busy. If you want something easier to start, try crocheting; it's basically a system of tying loops over and over and only uses one tool (a crochet hook) instead of two.

Family cooking together; photo courtesy of Pexels

Cooking: As we've noted in the past, practicing one's skills in the kitchen help with a variety of stress-mitigating factors, most importantly in the way it can improve your diet. Though some folks don't care for cooking or find it hard to master, even putting together simple recipes that don't require much if any cooking time (salads and pasta are great places to start) can start you on your way. If you do find that you genuinely enjoy it and find it stress-relieving, you can also spend time with your family in the kitchen as a great group activity with teachable skills for all!

Gardening: There is something particularly soothing about tending to plants that provides a host of calming elements, most notably being outdoors. It is great for a change of scenery especially for those working remotely from home, but the gradual rewards of tending to plants – flowers are awesome, but if you have space to grow fruits and vegetables then even better! – are terrific for a sense of achievement. If you don't have a yard or space to grow plants in a windowsill, try finding out if there are neighborhood co-op gardens in your area where you could volunteer.

Close up of a jigsaw puzzle piece; photo courtesy of Pexels

Puzzles: For those who really want a way to occupy their brain and keep outside stressors at bay, then not much beats a good old fashioned puzzle to solve. This is another one that can be a great group activity with the family; if you're all building a large jigsaw puzzle together, it's something that everyone work on at once or each in their own time until completed. To really abandon the daily stressors we recommend jigsaws and other physical puzzles that get you away from screens, but there are definitely digital alternatives you can try during your breaks for a respite; an excellent crossword or word search app is a good start.

We hope that some of you might be inspired to try taking up one of these hobbies, both for the potential relief they can bring as well as the additional joy you can get by practicing and mastering them. And in the meantime, keep wearing your dental guards for the most sure-fire way of protecting your teeth if you have bruxism. ClearClub's custom-fit, low-cost night guards will help protect your teeth from grinding and clenching, and start as low as $95 for your first guard. Plus, they are shipped directly to your door! Your teeth will thank you. 

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