JFF: "Brain Getaway" Hobbies/activities--what Are Yours?

Updated on March 27, 2013
H.W. asks from Portland, OR
18 answers

Last year my girlfriend gave me Bananagrams for my birthday. A few months later, I told her that I needed a tee shirt which reads:
"F*** This! I'm going to play Bananagrams!"

It's one of my favorite brain-clearing things to escape to. I play (solo) and I don't even think about anything else. The same for a good jigsaw puzzle or crossword puzzle. They engage me in a way that I find so soothing, so instantly decompressing, that I sometimes set these activities up on the floor or a puzzle board upstairs in our room so I can escape for 20 minutes during the day or work on them in the evenings. It always clears my head and helps me hit that 'reset' button when I'm grumpy or stressed.

So, what are your favorite things to do which allow you to let go of the cares and worries of the day and just sink your teeth into it? (okay, now it sounds like I'm talking about chocolate...:)

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So What Happened?

Oh, Ephie... Downton Abbey? Droool...... I think I suffer greatly from teacup envy when I watch that show. And wish that those fashions came back!

TF/Plano: I'm afraid of Words with Friends. I don't have a mobile device, so if I got *that* going, I'd never leave the house!

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answers from Seattle on

Trashy TV. The last series I wanted was Downton Abbey, and it did the trick perfectly.

Right now I'm having a tough time sleeping.

Sometimes, I just need to escape. And then it's time for a trashy TV show with enough plot to whisk me away from all of my pulling thoughts.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Playing the piano. It engages the eyes, ears, hands and brain. Not possible to worry or be stressed when I'm playing.

Dana T reminded me that I have a stash of cool coloring books in my art cabinet. I got them for me. One has line drawings of famous paintings. Now I want to go color Mona Lisa with rainbow hair. Where's my stash of new crayons?

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Muncie on

I love to read, my husband teases me that we're going to go broke keeping me in books. Maybe I can get him to get me a kindle or something similar. Clear up some shelf space. :)

I also like to color in coloring books. Yes, I'm 32 and I love to lay on the floor with MY big box of 96 and coloring in one of MY coloring books. That's right, I have my own crayons and my own books that are off limits to my daughter, I do share of course, but she has to ask first.

I also paint miniature figurines. My husband is a D&D player, he has a mat that he uses when he runs games. I paint the miniatures for his games.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Mine is reading. It is the only thing I have found that really, truly allows and makes it so my brain only focuses on reading and the story, it has to be a good book, of course...otherwise my brain is back to wondering.

TV and movies don't do it for me. If I have a million things on my mind it doesn't matter what is on...even if it's my favorite, my brain will still keep buzzing.

Reading a good book is the only thing I have found that works for me. Nothing is worse than finishing a good book!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I love the daily crosswords and the People magazine crosswords. I routinely do them at night or during a daily break.

I have about 16 games of Words with Friends going on with my mom and SIL.

Another teacher at school got me hooked on the Family Fued game for my IPhone.

I know these are pretty much meaningless but they do exercise the brain and give me a peaceful break here and there during the day!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I work from home right now. I am an artist/activist. I fell into the activism when the Occupy Wall Street movement was born. And really have not stopped since.

I have used my art to help fight and bring awareness to things like our soldiers, PTSD and Combat disorder. The military needs to beef up their out processing of soldiers. They take 3 months to break them down to the very core. Turn them into killing machines. Put them in a war zone, where they have seen friends, innocents and guilty's killed in some of the most brutal ways possible. They have murdered all walks of life. Yet the military tries to defend their actions when those same soldiers come back and seek help for and denied for things like PTSD Combat disorder and an array of other mental illness as well as many suffering from physical injuries , losing treatment options and medications. Not to mention those that are discharged anyway other then ''honorably'' losing ALL benefit rights from there on out. We need our men and women treated like heroes for fighting a Corporate battle merely for the profit of very few in this country. Out processing from the military no matter the discharge status(if they have been in a war zone THEY MUST out process in the lengthy fashion to acclimate the soldier back into civilian life)should be at least a 3 month process. Where they are reprogrammed to handle things day to day. Like going to the Grocery store. Mow the Lawn. Hold a desk/day job. Link with a support group to keep accountability for where they are at mentally once out. We need to approach this as a social issue, that everyone is effected by. Mental illness is by far the deadliest issue we face today. That and the easy access to guns and crowded places. We can make a huge difference fighting to help these people. Most are to embarrassed to admit they are suffering.

I use my hobby(my art) to help bring awareness to a very heavy issue. I love it though.

I also am a Netflix junkie:( It is not so much an obsession as it is a lifestyle.

When I need to super duper turn off my brain and life.....I go online and play Taipei.........it is one of my favorite mindless activities,

I also have to add.......I take being a mom and Aunt very serious. I have ''extended children'' that are blood related(nephew) OR bond related(my kids have by far the biggest base of ''aunties and uncles that are not blood...family for me is not about a bloodline) . So I make sure I get over to see all my ''kids'' when I can.........about once a week:)

I laugh at this list:P a normal person probably scrap books, reads or knits in her spare time. I write congressmen/Women asking for a better process to our military. Wow:)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I LOVE Puzzles! I also scrapbook, build dollhouses, make jewelry and read.

Dana T. Haha I thought I was the only one. I color all the time and I get excited when I get a new box of crayons :P

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I like to read, watch tv and watch movies. I got an ereader for Xmas and I am loving it. It is backlit, so I can read in the dark, and I love that I can download library books and not have to worry about returning them on time! I PVR all the tv shows I enjoy so I can watch them when I want to. I recently got Netflix and I am enjoying that as well. Coming to Mamapedia and answering questions works too. I do not like playing any kinds of games, video or otherwise. I feel depressed afterwards, sort of a feeling that I have wasted time that I can never get back.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Love, love, love my crossword puzzle. As soon as DD goes down for the night I attack the crossword and my glass of wine!

I also run. It clears my head and grounds me to take on the day's challenges (and tantrums.)

And don't even get me started on Tetris!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Oh gawd, I like to play on my Nook HD when I just want to veg and relax. And I play "Dabble" on it. It is a FUN word game! Ya gotta try it.
Its a game app that you can probably get for other tablets too. I got it for free.
LOVE this game.

And then I like to read on my Nook. But just for fun. Not research or anything. Just pure fun, fiction, reading. Which for me, is my daughter's books. She has tons of GOOD books.
Author Grace Lin, The Sister's Grimm series, The Mysterious Benedict Society series, etc.
When I wanna relax I don't want to read drama or women problems/romance books or parenting stuff.

I don't watch much TV, but I like watching the "Nikita" TV series. I like spy/agent stuff... and the star of the show is a local girl from Hawaii. So that's another reason why I watch it. But its a good show. There's been many variations of this show, which is based on Luc Besson's movie "La Femme Nikita" years ago.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

When I have time, I like to make ribbon hair bows, clips, and headbands for DD. I love to do 500+ piece puzzles, as well! I have a 1000 piece puzzle on my table with name on it, as we speak :-). I also like to bake and sometimes when I get a wild hair, cleaning relaxes me (it's rare, believe me!).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I know a lot of Soduku obsessed people.

Me? Online Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit

I like Words with Friends, but sometimes I have a hard time finding people to play it with, and I don't like to play with random people.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I do research. There are a few things in life I'm very passionate about and due to being me I am always looking into the latest 'fads' on how to 'fix' oneself due to mental/physical (dis)abilities. I also cook. Cooking doesn't require me to think, or in the very least requires very little thinking, so when I'm seriously stressed that's an easy go-to for me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I eat popsicles. usually 4 a day. but my major stress-relief is reading. i always make sure my nook, kindle, and bookcase has new books.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Reading, really good TV series (Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead), art projects I find on Pinterest.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I love to draw and paint. Anything that channels my creativity like that, always clears my head. I get lost in it and relax completely. I also make shirts for kids with a combo of paint and embroidery, it just relaxes me so. I guess the use of my hands and the repetative strokes of drawing, painting or embroidery really justs soothes me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

KoI am so with you on the puzzles. I do crosswords every night before bed for the exact same reason. Clears my head and I fall right asleep, no trouble. I also loooove jigsaw puzzles! Growing up we often had a big one going on the dining room table. I'll have to bust one out over spring break I think. Its hard with smaller kids though, they'll inadvertantly swipe the pieces.

Reading has a similar effect for me but a good book will keep me up turning pages all night so I have to avoid that during the work week.

I also like to watch cheesy stock romantic comedies, like the ones with Ashton Kutcher or Josh Duhamel. Total brain break for an hour or 2 but doesn't stay in your head like an actually good movie does. I appreciate a good movie too, but something like Silver Linings Playbook stuck with me for a few days and I wanted to discuss it with people and think it through. No Strings Attached on the other hand... 2 hours I'll never get back, but in a good way :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Love my ZUMBA classes

Love my weekly walks with gal pals.

Sinking my teeth in a good book while sipping a warm cup of herbal tea or munching on a big bowl of popcorn. It is like a movie in my head!

Gardening in my veggie garden

Cleaning house

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