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Blog: finding activities you enjoy

27 Oct 2018
Looking for stuff to do? Doing things you enjoy can improve your wellbeing. Check out these great activity and hobby ideas.

What hobbies can be good for your headspace? Pretty much any of them!

A lot of us don’t think of having fun as ‘productive’. But doing stuff we enjoy is great for our mental health. When you’re feeling down, interesting activities can boost your mood, get your mind off whatever’s distressing you and help you build up some momentum.

Here are some tips on how to bring more enjoyment into your life.


Get started and persist

If you’ve been down, you might not be inspired to do very much right now. That’s totally OK – there’s no need to beat yourself up for feeling flat. But even though it can be hard at first, doing things can help you build a better headspace.

It’s helpful to give things a try even when you don’t feel like it. It might sound weird, but our motivation often comes after we’ve started something. Your mood isn’t in charge, you are ­– don’t wait for your feelings to give you permission to do something you’ll enjoy.

Once you get going, you might be surprised at how quickly your wellbeing starts to shift. If you haven’t done a particular activity for a while, there’s a chance it might take a little while to get into. Just persist ­– it will build up over time.

Try some of these ideas

Not sure what to do? Thinking of the sorts of things you used to enjoy is a good place to start. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some activities and hobbies you might like to try.

Make stuff

Everyone can be creative. Doing things with your mind and your hands can be satisfying and fun.

  • Draw or paint

  • Sew or knit

  • Fix something

  • Play an instrument

  • Sing to yourself

  • Work in a garden

  • Find ways to recycle stuff

  • Write a poem or short story

  • Write a letter to someone


Hang out

Doing stuff with other people is a great way to break out of a rut. When you’re trying to do more activities, company really helps. Plus, connecting to others is a great for our mental health.

  • Invite friends over

  • Play board games

  • Visit a family member

  • Go on a date (you could try a dating app)

  • Go dancing

  • Go for a walk around your city or town

  • Have a political discussion


Chill out

It might feel weird at first, but it’s really useful to dedicate time to looking after yourself. Think of ways to relax and look after yourself, and do them consciously.

  • Have a bath

  • Listen to music

  • Just let yourself chill out for a day

  • Look at the stars

  • Cook a new recipe


Connect to nature

Feeling cooped up? Getting in touch with the beauty of the world can help refresh your mind.

  • Go on a picnic in a park

  • Hang out with a pet (yours or someone else’s)

  • Go for a hike in a forest or mountain

  • Head down to the beach

  • Visit the zoo or aquarium

Get moving

Activities that involving moving your body are awesome for your headspace.

  • Go for a walk (short or long)

  • Swim

  • Dance

  • Jog

  • Do a class

  • Chuck a Frisbee or ball with mate or dog

  • Join a sports team

  • Ride a bike or skateboard


Learn stuff

We learn all the ways through our lives. Exploring topics we’re interested in can build up our knowledge and help us see things from different perspectives.

  • Read a book

  • Watch a documentary

  • Learn a language (apps like duolingo help)

  • Take a class. Community centres run heaps of low-priced classes

  • Find out more about a subject you’re interested in on Wikipedia or Youtube (e.g. history, fashion, sport art, politics, sport or music


Take pause

Give yourself a moment to reflect on who you are and how far you’ve come.

  • Remind yourself of what you’ve achieved

  • Plan your week

  • Think about what you’re looking forward to in the future

  • Remember happy moments

  • Tell yourself ten things you’ve got going for you

  • Start a journal

Check out even more activity ideas.

If you’ve been feeling flat and unmotivated for more than a couple of weeks, it might be time to get some support. Get in touch with your local headspace centre to find out more.