Boost your Health - Get a Hobby!
Posted by Kimber Harding
June 30, 2017
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Written by McKenna Morais, Health Educator
As children it was easy to be involved with activities that
brought us joy – swimming with friends, reading a sci-fi novel, exploring
outside, playing on a sports team, sketching, playing an instrument, or
building sandcastles. Developing hobbies were built into our daily lives. As
adults, however, we may find it nearly impossible to find any leisure time to
do what we love. It turns out though, that
making time for our hobbies has more health and wellness benefits than we once
7 Reasons to Discover your Hobby
Buster: Having a pastime we enjoy promotes eustress, or “good stress” that can
help us combat the negative
stress that can build up in our lives. We all need a timeout for self-care
and hobbies like playing music or learning a language can provide that much
needed break while also giving us a sense of purpose.
- Boosts Creativity:
A variety of activities such as watercoloring, improv, floriculture, and cake
making can enhance our creativity and allow us to explore. They stimulate our
mind which gives our brain some mental exercise.
your Social Circle: Where we live or what we do for a living can help build
relationships but only within a small circle of people. Rescuing homeless pets
or joining a chocolate club can be shared across a wide range of ages,
ethnicities and economic groups. Getting out of our regular social circle through
the connection of a hobby helps us to meet new people and fosters new
Work Performance: Research has been finding that employees who take time
for creative hobbies like writing short stories or origami not only improve
their wellbeing outside of the work hours but also during the work day.
Having a hobby helps us to be more creative at work, helps us avoid burnout,
and to be more satisfied with our job.
balance: Life is a balancing act, full of different obligations that all
require our attention. While it is important to have family time it is also
important to go roller blading with friends or take some solo time to build bonsais.
Hobbies help us to refocus so that we can practice finding balance in our
a Sense of Accomplishment: There is nothing quite like seeing a project
through or progressing a skill every week. When we see skilled improvements
over time such as perfecting a new song on the harmonica or completing a
woodworking project, we boost our self-esteem. This improved sense of
self-worth can help support us when we are faced with life’s challenges.
Overall Health: A good hobby can do more than just help us build skills or
make new friends. Memory improvements, reduced
risk for Alzheimer’s and Dementia, lowered blood pressure, reduced risk for
depression, and enhanced overall physical health are just a few of the benefits
So, hobbies are great for our well-being – how do we find
something that works for us? Here’s a few tips to get started:
Channel your Inner Child: Chances are the things
you did when you were young, wild and free still hold true today. Were you a
constant tree climber? Try rock climbing. Did you make friendship bracelets
nonstop? Try a jewelry-making class. Often our core interests that developed as
a child will still emerge throughout our lifespan.
Consider what you Value: A good hobby becomes
great when it’s aligned with our personal values. If you enjoy knitting,
consider making items to donate to a local
charity. If you like to work on jigsaw puzzles, why not work on one
together with residents at the Senior Centers of SLCo. Love animals? Consider volunteering for Animal Services or another animal shelter. There are
many ways to put your skills to use in a way that makes a positive impact on
you and those around you.
Trial and Error: The best way to uncover hidden
talents and discover what truly brings us joy is to try something new. Free
events, workshops, classes and more are always offered by the SLCo libraries, Clark Planetarium, Parks and Rec, and other local organizations. Online forums like Meetup provide an opportunity to
connect with other people that are trying new activities all the time. Still
not sure? Pick a random
activity and see what you can discover.
No matter what you choose, “A heart favors love, a head favors work, a
heart and head both favors hobby.” ― Amit Kalantri
Happy Hobby Hunting!
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