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Mental Health

Finding a Hobby that Restores Your Mental Health: 4 Things You Can Do Without Leaving Your Apartment

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Let’s face it: college life is draining. Between juggling deadlines, having a job, and trying to maintain a social life, burnout is nearly inevitable for the average student. And although it’s easy to collapse on your bed after a long night and scroll through TikTok for hours or stalk people’s Instagrams, those forms of downtime rarely help restore your mental health and relax your busy mind.

So here is a short list of 4 things you can do for some much needed mental health restoration without leaving your apartment, or maybe not even your bed!

1. YOGA

I know, you’ve probably heard yoga be recommended by every lifestyle influencer on every social media platform, but once you give it a try, it really can be the best part of your day.

To start exploring yoga as a hobby, the best thing to do is to find beginner YouTube videos for it. Once you become more familiar with yoga, implementing it into your routine as a peaceful start or end to the day feels fantastic, and gives you time for some much-needed self-reflection.

2. READING

It’s not uncommon to dread the idea of picking up a book during your free time—after years of being assigned readings for class, it’s easy to start viewing it as a chore. But finding a book that immerses you can be an incredible feeling, and just as great of an escape as rewatching your favorite TV show.

Start by thinking about what your favorite shows or movies are—if most of them are romances, try some Sally Rooney or Colleen Hoover! If you’re more of a horror junkie, start with a classic Stephen King or Susan Hill! Whatever your preference is, there are thousands of books out there that are sure to appeal to your tastes.

3. COOKING

When you’re feeling burnt out by work and school and whatever else you may have going on in your life, every college student knows the desire to order-in for dinner. We also all realize that this isn’t a financially sustainable or nutritionally-advised meal plan. 

The idea of cooking homemade meals can be daunting—maybe you don’t know a whole lot about it or maybe you just don’t think you have the time for it—but beyond the practical aspects of it, it can be a healing experience after a long day. Whether it’s making something that your parents always served back home, or trying out a recipe from TikTok, the time you spend making a meal for yourself can be rejuvenating and relaxing, and you can always put on a favorite podcast or TV show while you do it.

4. JOURNALING

This is another hobby that I’m sure we’ve all seen people rave about on social media, and there’s a reason why it’s so popular. It can be used to work through your thoughts and emotions like a therapy session (without the price tag), or to just recount what happened that day as if you were chatting with a friend.

You can use any old notebook, treat yourself to a nice journal, or use the popular “The 5 Minute Journal”, and all of them can help you work towards putting your mind at ease.

Ava Delariman

Illinois '25

I'm a sophomore at the University of Illinois majoring in Creative Writing, and I love all things fashion, pop culture, and wellness :)
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