With 2022 right around the corner and the busy holiday season coming, it's a good idea to start planning ways to manage your stress level. A quick Google search for tips on managing stress will result in many resources suggesting picking up a hobby.
To me, a hobby usually implies doing a craft or DIY project. I love the idea of creating holiday décor or an item that would look fabulous in an apartment home. There are so many ways to find a DIY hobby - like decorating your patio, sprucing up thrifted furniture, or making handmade gifts for friends.
But, as someone whose attempts at crafting could easily be considered "Pinterest fails," the idea of that kind of hobby does not bring me stress relief. So, what does a non-crafty person living in an apartment do to pick up a new hobby? I'm here to share some options that don't require you to stress your DIY muscles. As an added benefit, these apartment-friendly ideas don't take up a lot of space, or make great use of the space you have.
Read a Book... or Two... or Three – Hear me out. You don't need to read the classics or anything you genuinely aren't interested in reading. There are books (and audiobooks) on every topic and genre under the sun. Get caught up in the book version of binge-watching a series. Or read the book one of your favorite movies is based on. Books, even thrillers, are a great way to reduce stress and get out of your head. If you pick up this hobby on an eReader, you don't even need to add a bookshelf to your apartment home.
Build the Perfect Playlist for Every Occasion – This hobby is surprisingly time-consuming, but time flies because who doesn't have fun listening to their favorite songs?! Playlists are fitting for almost every situation. Need motivation during a workout in the fitness center? Need to focus on your studies or while working from home? Throwing a dinner party or planning to spend a day by the pool with your neighbors? A great playlist can set the right tone and keep the vibes going. To be respectful of your apartment neighbors, make sure to wear headphones while you make your selections.
Improve Your Cooking Skills – We have a whole blog post on the benefits of learning to cook for yourself in your Camden kitchen. But in this context, I'm talking about making the entire process a fun hobby. There's so much to enjoy; choosing recipes, shopping for ingredients, taking advantage of your sleek kitchen space and stainless steel appliances, and of course, the reward of tasting a dish you made from scratch. Start off easy with meal kits, or take a couple's cooking class as a date night idea – cooking as a hobby has many angles to explore.
Chef-inspired kitchens at Camden Highland Village in Houston, TX
Photography, Anyone? – We're all familiar with a well-crafted, find-your-best-angle selfie. But, do you know what it takes to produce an image worthy of the word photograph? To keep it simple and budget-friendly, start by learning how to take professional, grid-worthy photographs with your smartphone. Bonus: finding interesting places to photograph is a great way to get to know your apartment community, neighbors, and the area where you live!
The Zen Center at Camden Central in St. Petersburg, FL
One MOHMment, I'm Meditating – Meditation may not strike you as a hobby, per se. But an activity like meditation can take time and practice to learn. Get started by setting up a small corner of zen-space in your apartment with some floor cushions, a low table, and an oil diffuser to set the mood. Or, if your apartment community has a Yoga Room or Zen Garden, make a date with yourself to take advantage of that amenity! Get in touch with your inner peace and make time for yourself, and meditate.
Write a Letter (aka snail mail) – Writing a letter takes a bit more time than writing an email but can feel much more rewarding. If you don't have anyone specific to write to, try writing short greeting cards or postcards to local seniors, look up programs that send letters to deployed military troops, or write to a special child in your life. Everyone loves getting handwritten mail, especially kids.
Try out one of the hobbies listed here and see what sticks. You might immediately find a hidden passion, or maybe you need to test out a few before you find your groove. Either way, finding a hobby you enjoy can reduce stress and increase your well-being.