Ditch the Bright Lights: 11 Hobbies That Don’t Strain Eyes


If you regularly suffer from eye-strain or migraines then you’ll more than likely want to avoid too much screen time.

This also goes for activities that require intense observation where you don’t move the eyes around enough or where you may be exposed to bright lights all day.

Thankfully, we’ve got a decent selection of hobbies that are perfect to avoid eye strain and can even provide some other benefits like relaxing you too.

In fact, you don’t need to over complicate the process of finding something to do and we’re sure you’ll be familiar with some of the activities on our list so that you can get started straight away.

Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Eyes: 11 Soothing Hobbies to Help Avoid Eye Strain

1. Audiobooks

The great thing about audiobooks is that you don’t even need to open your eyes to enjoy the wealth of content they offer.

You’ll literally have the perfect excuse to sit back in bed all day without moving so much as a muscle, well, except for doing your eye strain exercises of course.

There are tons of audiobook services out there but the most popular is Audible as it offers thousands of hours of content within the subscription cost; better yet, you can get started with a free trial to see if it takes your fancy.

You’ll be able to navigate through hundreds of different genres, similar to physical books such as fantasy, action, thriller, and even factual books that talk about our historical past.

Audiobooks can be just as exciting as getting a fresh book and that’s because you don’t have to wait around to get started — You can literally have it loaded within a matter of seconds.

2. Music Listening

Listening to music is just as good as listening to anything in that it doesn’t cause overuse of the eyes.

In fact, music can be really exciting when you think of all the possibilities of what you can listen to from classical music all the way to something more obscure such as chiptune.

Similar to audiobooks, there are many excellent options for listening to music such as Spotify, Amazon Music, and even YouTube Premium.

You can also cultivate your own playlists but we recommend doing this when your eye symptoms have passed as you’ll need to interface with the screen.

3. Meditation

Meditation is a hobby that is often performed with your eyes closed meaning you can give them some well-needed rest from your symptoms.

Not only is it great for your existing eye problems but it’s also proven to help relax and reduce stress meaning you’ll feel super calm at the end of it.

Better yet, you can perform your meditation routines for as little or as much time as you want meaning it can be easily woven between other eye-friendly hobbies.

If you’ve never meditated before then it can be hard to understand what you need to do, however, the main goal is to declutter your mind from swirling thoughts by trying to focus on just one thing or even nothing at all.

We recommend trying to focus on your breathing as you’ll be able to listen to the sound and you’ll feel your lungs expanding and contracting meaning there’s physical feedback too.

4. Music (Instrumental)

Playing or learning an instrument is a great way to avoid your eye woes as you don’t need to focus on anything particular meaning they can get some well-needed rest.

There’s tons of instruments to play but we recommend ones that provide some kind of physical feedback (such as drums) as you won’t need to observe what you’re doing too much.

With that said, most instrument playing ends up being a muscle memory exercise rather than you needing to watch what you’re doing, however, it might take some practice at first if you haven’t played before.

If you’re looking for something cheap then the harmonica is another great option as you won’t need to observe anything as it’s in your mouth meaning you can avoid using your eyes altogether.

5. Stretching

Having a stretching routine is something we recommend to basically anyone, but it’s particularly good if you can’t use your eyes much at the moment.

All you need is 15 minutes or so in your day and you’ll be able to stretch all of your important muscles making you feel totally fresh afterward.

If you’re not sure what to do then it might take a bit of light reading or watching a video, however, you can also get descriptive audiobooks that take you through the movements meaning you won’t have to further strain your eyes.

Not only that but stretching raises your heart rate meaning you’ll be burning a few extra calories in your day so it’s a win-win.

6. Calisthenics

Calisthenics is an excellent choice to stay fit when you’re suffering from eye strain purely because you won’t need to keep watch for other gym-goers or the threat of being crushed by your weights.

You can literally close your eyes and do press-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups, and basically, anything else that uses your body weight.

Better yet, you can do it at home with basically zero equipment meaning you don’t have to spend a cent.

7. Sunbathing

If you live in a relatively warm climate then you might want to enjoy taking the day to do some sunbathing as you’ll be able to rest your eyes and get your daily dose of vitamin d making it twice as effective.

Not only that, but you can also get your partner involved meaning you can both chat or enjoy the day together as a date especially since you won’t be able to do much else at the moment.

With that said, the sun can exacerbate eye strain so we recommend wearing some UV filtering sunglasses or even an eye mask so you can relax pain-free.

8. Quizzes

Doing quizzes is a fun option that can help to make your day more enjoyable without having to use your eyes; the only caveat being you’ll need a partner or friend to navigate the screen while you answer the questions.

In case you didn’t know, there are thousands of quizzes through YouTube that question you on your general knowledge, musical knowledge, and even technical knowledge meaning you can pick something that fits your style.

We recommend starting with a soundtrack quiz first as it’ll give you everything you need within the video itself.

And who knows, maybe the winner gets a special prize afterwards?

9. Eye Masks

Eye masks are a fantastic way to spend the day chilling all whilst giving your eyes some much-needed rest.

In fact, you can actually get eye masks that are designed to soothe and cool the eyes making them a perfect option for your current predicament.

You can also get friends and family involved making it a great way to spend the day having fun with the people you love.

They’re also relatively cheap and you shouldn’t need to spend more than what you’d make in an hour for some effective eye masks that do the job.

10. Podcasts

If you need to get educated or get more invested in a certain topic then we recommend listening to a podcast.

There are tons of podcasts from all around the world including some really interesting ones that talk about cutting-edge science or how the brain works.

If that’s not your cup of tea then not to worry as you can peruse podcast options almost as well as you can find the music you like.

In fact, with services like Audible and Spotify, you’ll get unlimited access to thousands of podcasts meaning you’ll never be stuck for choice and can quickly swap to a different talk if you find you’re getting bored.

11. Napping

Honestly, if you’re eyes are hurting that bad then we recommend going to sleep as it will give your body some well-needed time to rest and repair.

In fact, napping is now recommended as one of the most productive hobbies you can do especially if you’re wanting to increase your work output.

In Japan, you can actually find that most workplaces have dedicated napping areas due to how impactful it is meaning you should give it a try at least once to see if you feel any different.

We recommend combining your napping session with some ambient sounds as it can make for a really relaxing experience even if you don’t manage to fall asleep.


Most of us know the pain of suffering from eye strain at some point in our lives but that doesn’t mean you have to put your life entirely on hold.

If you’re smart enough then you’ll be able to find a workaround including doing some of the hobbies we’ve mentioned on our list.

As always, if you enjoyed the article then don’t forget to save our homepage to your favorites as we regularly release new hobby topics and discussions.

Once your eyes start to mend then we also recommend checking out our full list of hobbies as it includes many of the things we’ve mentioned and more meaning you’ll never be bored again.