Healing Through Hobbies: Enjoyable Recreational Activities For Veterans

For many people, hobby is simply an activity pursued during free time when there’s nothing else better to do. However, the same term has quite a different meaning for the veterans. They viewed hobbies as a healing activity. These activities soothe their bodies, both physically and spiritually. They assist their transition to civilian life after serving the country for a long time.

Why Getting a Hobby is Important For Veterans

Beginning a new life, coping up with post-traumatic stress, and trying to get back to ordinary life may take a toll on the veterans’ bodies. Hence, taking up new hobbies help alleviate anxiety. Fishing in a beautiful nearby river or reading top veteran news articles daily would help reduce the stress that they may have felt during this adjustment period.

A Vietnam veteran admits that he experiences post-trauma stress disorders (PTSC) and feels that he reached the deepest and darkest well where the darkness leads him to think of suicide. But this scary experience does not affect only a single person. The National Center for PTSD reported that about 30% of veterans from the Vietnam War had experienced this condition during their lifetime. Around 11% to 20% of veterans from the OIF and OEF operations were diagnosed with PTSD.

Psychologist Dr. Niebauer stated that hobbies are vital for veterans as they serve as a distraction for them from things that can upset them. Aside from getting psychological therapy, hobbies can benefit veterans in the physical aspect as well as help in self-esteem foundation.

Below are recommended hobbies veterans can partake to relax their minds.


Fishing is a popular hobby taken up by veterans right after their return from service, as reported by Army Times. Regardless of whether they go fishing alone or with their family, fishing in a peaceful riverside can give them the stress-reliever they need during the time of high-anxiety. Aside from engaging in a tranquil activity, veterans can obtain the rewards of having fresh and delicious fish for a meal.


Getting immersed in the alternate world is a great way to temporarily takes one’s mind away from stressful things, and this can be done healthily by reading. Veterans can try picking up a few top-seller fiction novels or read true-life story documentaries. They can also stay up-to-date with the current affairs of veterans by reading top veteran news articles. In this way, veterans can stay connected with their previous life while getting inspiration from other fellow veterans that lead a successful civilian life.

Craftworks or Model Building

This is a fun and artistically challenging past-time that has been gaining popularity amongst the veteran’s community. Not only does this activity offer a pleasurable way to expand their creativity, but it is also extremely beneficial for disabled veterans.

This hobby promotes flexibility of the fingers, wrists, and hands. Also, this creative outlet is a great way to manage stress.

Hiking and Camping

Set off on an adventure that is centered on nature and the wilderness can give veterans a reason to enjoy the beauty of life. Hiking can also be an excellent hobby that serves as both past-time recreation and exercise.

Veterans that are transitioning to civilian life face a lot of challenges and stressful life endeavors. Looking for hobbies that are relevant to them and can help them unwind can contribute to a successful life transition.