When life gets hard (as it very much would be, it is pretty easy to lose focus on what is important -you, your mental and physical health. It so happens that when you do not focus on your wellbeing and state of mind, you end up with decreased productivity and yes, illness. Your body would literally break down under the stress and you would become very ill.

Not to worry. Fortunately, there are a number of activities and hobbies you can take up that would not only de-stress you but also make you feel better and thus, live and work better. Curious to know what they are?

1. Blogging

Blogging is more or else keeping an online journal or diary where you write what happens to you, what you love and what you don’t. If you want, you can allow others to read, comment and form a community of fans that love you and want to stay updated on your life. It also happens to be a great way to make money on the side too. So why not take it up?

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2. Take up online courses on topics you don’t know (but always wanted to)

Why a new topic? With a completely new topic, you are bound to give it more attention and take it more seriously. I mean, if you tried re-learning the English alphabets, how much concentration would you give the lessons compared to learning the alphabets in Greek or Deutsche? Exactly.

exercises to do to improve on yourself

Enrolling in online classes on courses you know nothing about (but interest you of course) are a great way to pass time while learning something new and adding to your body of knowledge. Study.com, Coursera and Udemy are some online learning apps you can get started with.

3. Start teaching an online course on a topic you love

Passionate about something? Why not start an online class and have people sign up to learn from you? Talking about stuff you love and are passionate about is a sure way to lift your mood and make you feel generally better.

exercises to do to improve on yourself teaching online clas

So why not start one now? If you want, you can monetize it and make people pay to attend your classes. A little extra cash ain’t gonna hurt nobody!

4. Take up some DIY projects

If you do not have the Pinterest app on your phone, you should probably get it now. It is packed to the brim with Do It Yourself projects (amongst other things of course).

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If your home or room is a bit drab, take up projects that would make it look way better. If you’re just looking for what to do with the stack of old boxes in your storeroom, then get busy with DIYs. They put you in a relaxed mood and bring out your creativity.

5. Take up yoga

Yoga is fun and so friggin’ relaxing. It is aimed for mind, soul and body after all. So why not look up some pretty easy and sustainable yoga to take up? Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California states that “The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body.”

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She also went on to add that, “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centres attention; and sharpens concentration.” (Retrieved from osteopathic.org).

6. Go on a diet

Always wanted a VS model body but never got around doing it? Now’s the time, girl! Create for yourself a diet plan and stick to it. It is bound to keep you occupied while keeping your body in shape and good health. And once you start working on getting the dream body you’ve always wanted, you start to more positive, confident and happy.

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7. Start a YouTube channel

Vlog. Just vlog it. Vlogging is just like blogging, but you substitute the writing for videos. If you have a good camera and some video-editing skills, then try vlogging. Make videos and document your life. It keeps you feeling upbeat and wanting to try new stuff.

exercises to do to improve on yourself - vlogging

With youtube, you can make videos on anything from spilling tea about events or people and talking about boys, university and parents to natural hair care, makeup and fashion. You can even use it to show the world your talents.

8. Dance

Of course! Dancing. According to the Better Health Channel, dancing improves the condition of your heart and lungs, increases muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness, increases aerobic fitness, muscle tone, strength and weight management.

Exercises to do to improve on yourself - dancing | The Fine Oyinbo

It also helps in better coordination, agility and flexibility, improves balance and spatial awareness and gives you way more physical confidence.

9. Hang out with friends

Being around with friends is a great way to cool the steam from the hecticness of your daily life. So whether it is meeting up for Netflix and popcorn in the evening or sharing stories and gisting while eating junk food, it’s highly recommended.

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10. Read books

When you read, you learn. It is as simple as that. Reading reduces stress, increases knowledge, expands vocabulary, and improves memory. The more you read, the stronger your analytical skills become.

This is my escape…

Reading all those mystery novels especially train your mind to focus on small details and analyse situations. Reading also improves your focus and concentration and improves your writing skills. And guess what, it’s a great source of entertainment!

11. Practice art, draw, paint

Art, drawing and painting are great forms of self-expression that help you get your emotions out there while being creative, occupied and relaxed. So paint! Art supplies are pretty inexpensive so you can get them and start tomorrow, or better yet, now.

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In addition to this, you should also consider repainting your room. Give it some fun colours. A different vibe would surely lift your spirits.

12. Discover new songs and build playlists

Step out of your comfort zone a little, would ya? Music is calming on its own and if you are like me with a pretty strong attachment to music, then you should definitely try to discover new songs outside of your normal genre and build playlists. Soundcloud remains my number 1 app for this.

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13. Skill acquisition

Learn some new skills like baking, styling hair, sewing, makeup, making shoes, making jewellery or even computer coding and programming. The list goes on. The great thing is that there are a number of skill acquisition programs out now that you can sign up for.

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You can attach yourself to those organised by churches (as they usually come free of charge) or you can do something more long-term. Learning new skills, as learning new topics, would definitely keep you occupied and focused. A plus is that you can always monetize it.

14. Photography

If you are a lover of aesthetics, then go for photography. It is a beautiful and fabulous way to express yourself and your creativity.

exercises to do to improve on yourself - photography

15. Sleep

Yes, honey. Take some time out for yourself and sleep. Try to do some cardio before you sleep though, as the exercise makes you sleep better and for longer.

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16. Shop

A little shopping won’t kill anyone, now would it? Plus, you need a new pair of shoes. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the smell and feel of new clothes are like an aphrodisiac. Whenever I need some cheering up, I usually grab my music, headphones and go to the mall to buy new stuff -or at least window shop.

17. Get a manicure/pedicure

What beats sitting down in a massaging chair or a soft comfortable chair while someone preps your hands and feet? Exactly, babe, almost nothing. And you could do with some spoiling anyway. So why not go for it?

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18. Visit museums or watch a play

If you are a lover of the arts, then you should totally visit a museum or watch a play at the theatre. Museums have a very serene ambience that relaxes you almost immediately you walk in. And looking at beautiful artsy stuff while you slowly stroll down the peaceful hallways would do your mind, soul and body some good.

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You can always go alone if you’re a loner like me, and of course, document it later or you can go with that special someone or your close friends. As long as it is anyone, you feel the most comfortable with.

19. Swim

I love to swim so you can trust me when I say that swimming is very calming. The Better Health Channel states that swimming keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body, builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.

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It also helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs, tones muscles and builds strength and provides an all-over body workout, as nearly all of your muscles are used during swimming.

20. Visiting the attractions in your city

I find it funny how almost everyone lives in a city but has not visited all the tourist attractions listed out in the travel slips shared in aeroplanes and hotels that are just around them.

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So why not find one of those slips or even Google the tourist attractions in your city and see what you can find? If you’re in Lagos, some of those places are the GET Arena in Lekki, Tarkwa Bay Island and Lekki Conservative Centre. Be sure to go with close friends though.

Yeah sure, things would get tough, but that doesn’t mean you should get depressed, sad or anxious. I hope this article helped. Comment on which of these activities you do or have done in the past and how it helped you now.

Till next time!

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