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Start creating some room in your schedule for these slow living hobbies! They’re a great way to help you unwind and enjoy the simple things in life.
If you’re stuck in the hustle-bustle cycle of modern life, you probably have a hard time really enjoying your free time. Many of us actually feel uncomfortable when we set aside time for ourselves and end up using it to scroll through social media or do something productive.
My friend, rest is productive. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and it’s vital to have activities in your lives that refill yours.
How to cultivate a slow living lifestyle
Slow living is just about being present. It is a mindful approach to life that asks us to slow down and feel deeply rooted in our bodies.
In this fast-paced world, it’s the opposite of rushing from place to place. Instead, slow living asks us to feel comfortable and safe in our bodies and tap into the quiet moments. It’s about being intentional and present with our thoughts and the people around us instead of aimlessly scrolling.
In general, slow living invites us to rethink our values and priorities. Instead of thoughtlessly checking things off our to-do list, slow living asks us to understand why we are doing things the way we are and to shift our daily habits to live in alignment with what matters most.
How to find the right slow living hobby
Hobbies are a fantastic way to enrich your life and learn about yourself. Because they can be so all-encompassing, they can also be a way to keep hopping from task to task instead of actually resting.
It’s okay to distract yourself from all the stressful things on your plate but be careful not to distract yourself from yourself.
It can be uncomfortable to sit with negative feelings and much easier to get sucked into a new hobby or activity. Keep an eye out to ensure you are present and intentional, not running away from your own life.
As you read this list, notice your breathing. Which activities make you feel calm and relaxed when you think about them? Try those.
The 36 Best Slow Living Hobbies to Help You Unwind
Ready to get connected with yourself? Find some new hobbies on the list below to support your growth and inner peace.
Don’t underestimate this simple activity. Walking is a great way to release stress from your body, improve your physical health, connect with nature, get some fresh air, and change your perspective. Walking daily will help you be more reflective and identify what you want in life.
Hiking is such a powerful experience. From overcoming physical discomfort to enjoying the sights, hikes can be profoundly transformative. Go solo or bring along a friend to enjoy some quality time together.
Books have been a friend to me since childhood. There’s something so beautiful about falling into a story so captivating you forget the world around you. Pick a good book and ease into your new habit by reading just a chapter a day and noticing how it relaxes your body and mind.
These simple living books will help you relax while supporting your commitment to living an intentional life.
This is one of the best slow-living practices because it can truly change your life. Journaling slows you down so you can process your stress, fears, and excitement. It’s a phenomenal way of increasing your self-awareness and helping you craft a life you truly believe in.
5. Junk Journaling
One of my readers recommended junk journaling as a way to unwind and relax. Unlike regular journaling, you create your own physical journal using found or made items. Then, you decorate each page in creative ways.
Many people are reluctant to meditate because they think it will take a long time. Well, it doesn’t have to (also, isn’t that the point?). Just take a moment to focus on the present moment. Notice your breath and root yourself to the ground. Listen to a guided meditation if your mind likes to drift.
This is one of my favorite hobbies, bringing me back to my childhood. Baking allows you to get creative, knead or mix dough, and enjoy the flavors of your creation. It’s also a gift you can share with your friends or family, which feels heartwarming.
Here are some recipes to inspire you:
Find a new hobby one project at a time!
Join The Handmade Year club for an interactive monthly make-a-long! You’ll learn new skills each month through a digital magazine to help you unlock your creativity, slow down, and become more self-sufficient.
8. Brewing fancy coffee
If you don’t have time for a hobby, take a little extra time to create slow moments in your everyday routine. One easy way is to have a particular way of brewing a cup of coffee or making tea. These activities slow you down, give you a chance to be creative, and result in a delicious beverage.
My husband and I have used a Chemex for years, and we love the daily process of grinding the beans, changing the filter, and slowly pouring in hot water.
Gardening should probably be at the top of the list because it can be healing and transformative for many people. Whether you love growing flowers or vegetables, growing your own plants will get you outside, connecting with nature, and enjoying healthy produce.
It doesn’t take much – keep a succulent in your house, a container on your patio, or dig up the backyard for a huge kitchen garden (like we did).
If you’re new to gardening, these are my favorite vegetables for beginner gardeners.
Whether you’re weaving macrame, tapestries, or baskets, this is a great way to focus on your hands and create. I learned how to weave baskets during an incredibly stressful part of my life, and they were so therapeutic for me that it eventually turned into a business. Come join me at a virtual basket class!
11. Crocheting & knitting
Crocheting and knitting are wonderful slow living hobbies that occupy your hands and mind. There are so many opportunities to be creative, and it feels so good to crochet a scarf or knit a hat for a loved one. Look into amigurumi to learn how to make the cutest little animals and objects.
I grew up with my grandma constantly crocheting or embroidering (counted cross-stitch), and I eventually took up both of those hobbies myself. It’s lovely to chip away at a picture one X at a time.
In a similar fashion, felting is a fun way to turn felt into dolls or creatures. Using colored handfuls of felt and felting tools, you can create your own custom designs in no time.
You might even have nostalgic memories of doing puzzles with your family as a kid. This old-fashioned, tech-free hobby requires you to slow down and focus on your every move.
15. Playing board games
There’s a reason board games are still incredibly popular, even with the rise of hyper-realistic video games. It’s fun to get lost in a new world and enjoy laughing with friends. Try hosting a game night or whip out a deck of cards for a round of solitaire. It sucks you in once you get started.
16. Playing instruments
Whether you’re picking up an old skill or learning something new, playing instruments is the perfect way to tap into your creative side and enjoy a little productive struggle. It feels so good when you finally start playing smoothly.
17. Crafting & tinkering
It doesn’t really matter what you do to occupy your hands. It’s more about having a good time and getting creative. Fix up an old gadget or make your own.
18. Drying flowers or herbs
This old-fashioned activity gives off cottagecore vibes for sure. I love tying up homegrown herbs to dry them out, and this activity immediately makes me want to live a slow life.
19. Making tinctures
Herbalism is a lovely way to connect with the power of nature. I love having little jars of this or that fermenting or resting around the kitchen. One of my favorite things to do is to make homemade extracts or this delicious lavender liqueur. Projects like these make it fun to get creative in the kitchen and play with flavors.
20. Making skincare products
Although it takes much less time to pick up a lip balm at the store than to make it yourself, making skincare products feels good and is one of my favorite ways to unwind. It’s fun, and you end up with lotion or lip scrub, which feels like a special treat. Plus, you can share them with your friends, which is nice.
21. Making soap
I love making soap because it requires you to pay attention. When you add lye to water, the water immediately begins to boil. You have to follow specific safety procedures, which feels scary and intimidating. Except it’s not. Your ancestors made soap forever, and you can, too. It feels lovely to make new creations and test the lather on each bar.
22. Candle making
This is another one of those old-fashioned hobbies we don’t need to do but that bring us joy. I love candles, but I am sensitive to fragrance and decided to make my own beeswax candles two years ago.
They give off a warm, inviting glow, and I’ve been making them ever since! It’s a fun hobby, and your candles can help you build a daily ritual around making your morning coffee or journaling.
23. Dying fabrics with natural dyes
Growing and gathering natural dyes like drying herbs and flowers harkens back to yesteryear. There are so many resources to get you started.
Distract your brain from overthinking with crosswords! They’ll absorb your complete focus, and getting the correct answers is so satisfying.
25. Hand lettering
If you loved handwriting as a kid, you’d love calligraphy or hand lettering. This slow living hobby requires practice and precision to get the up and downstrokes just right. There are plenty of hand-lettering books to get you started.
Adult coloring books are still trendy because many people find them relaxing. The rhythmic motion of sliding your colored pencil or gel pen across the page draws you in and lowers your blood pressure.
Break out the charcoal pencils to sketch images of the world around you. The sound of the charcoal rubbing the page can be soothing, and you’ll enjoy getting to improve your craft over time.
There’s a reason people have painted for centuries. It’s a fantastic way to express your emotions or replicate the world around you. Try taking a watercolor class for a beautiful, romantic medium.
Although you can specialize in different types of photography, I appreciate that this activity requires you to engage with the world around you physically. The proper lighting and angle can be incredibly evocative and beautiful. It’s okay to just take pictures of your dog or cakes, too.
Although most of us aren’t likely to chisel away at a block of stone, it still feels good to make something out of your two hands. Get some air dry clay to sculpt pint-sized creations of your own imaginings.
I’ve always been drawn to pottery because it’s a physical craft. The process of running the wheel is so complicated and requires a lot of time and practice.
For millennia, people have used dance to connect to their bodies and have religious experiences. It can be a transcendent and beautiful part of a slow lifestyle.
Yoga makes me think of water. It seems simple, but is incredibly powerful and creates a significant change in your mind and body. It can strengthen you physically but also help you feel attentive and calm. Try building a daily practice.
34. Tai Chi or Qi Gong
These activities help you move at a slower pace. Every moment requires intention, presence, and focus. Qi Gong and Tai Chi also help you keep your muscles strong and raise your energy.
It feels good to use your body and get your heart rate up. Opt for slow fitness by weight training occasionally to remember how an unhurried approach can build incredible strength.
Being in water always feels so freeing. Set the scene by turning off the lights and lighting some candles. Practice slow movement by noticing how your arms feel when you move them through the water. Add some magnesium flakes for a truly restorative bath.
What are some slow living hobbies?
Here’s a quick overview of my favorite slow living hobbies from this list.
- Junk Journaling
- Brewing fancy coffee
- Crocheting & Knitting
- Playing board games
- Playing instruments
- Crafting & Tinkering
- Drying flowers or herbs
- Making tinctures
- Making skincare products
- Making soap
- Candle Making
- Dying fabrics with natural dyes
- Hand Lettering
- Tai Chi or Qi Gong
How can I live a slow living lifestyle?
The slow living movement is all about living an intentional life. It’s about doing less so we can do more. When our plates only have what we can eat, we can avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed all the time.
Some helpful slow living practices are:
- setting boundaries at work and coming home at the same time every night
- supporting local businesses to vote with your dollars
- decluttering your home to reduce stress and improve your mental health
- growing your own food or getting to know your farmer
- committing to personal growth and honesty
- connecting with your local community
- prioritizing a slow pace of life
- ignoring the latest trends
What are slow hobbies?
Choose meaningful hobbies to add to your daily schedule. The best slow living hobbies make you feel connected to nature and present in your mind. They may involve working with your hands or feeling how your body moves through space (proprioception). Try walking, hiking, crafting, exercising, journaling, meditating, or these other activities.
Try to pair these hobbies with slow breathing to feel calm and present. Allow yourself to fall into a flow state but also relax your stomach and try to breathe slowly. Otherwise, these hobbies can become even more ways to avoid reckoning with yourself.