Have you found yourself with some extra time on your hands lately? The COVID-19 pandemic and the need to stay socially distanced from friends and family is the culprit for many of us. You might be chomping at the bit to fire up a new interest, or learn something new to help fill in some of that time. If this sounds like you, there’s some good news. Did you know that having a hobby is really good for you?
There are more benefits of hobbies than you may think!
Finding an activity that brings you joy can enrich your life, and even provide you with some health benefits. Here are a few advantages of taking up something you love:
- Having a hobby reduces your stress. Engaging in something you like provides a distraction from your everyday life, helping you relax and giving your mind a break. One of the major benefits of hobbies is they let you escape from work and other day-to-day responsibilities, which can be refreshing. And when you’re able to relax, you just may see your stress levels go down—leaving you calmer, happier and more peaceful.
- Learning something new helps develop your patience. Picking up a new pastime can sometimes bring along a steep learning curve, meaning it could take a bit to build your skills. But taking time to slow down while you learn can improve your patience. And having some extra patience will come in handy as you continue to get better, challenge yourself and hone your craft.
- Excelling at activities can build your confidence. The more time you spend on things you enjoy, the better you’ll be at them. And as your skills improve, your confidence and self-esteem will likely get a boost, as well. Your successes, however big or small, can lead to a sense of accomplishment—with added benefits for your mental health and overall well-being.
- Finding others with similar interests helps you feel connected. As you get more involved in your hobby, you may find yourself wanting to meet others with similar interests. Doing so can be a great way to feel connected and increase your feelings of belonging. You can look for clubs, leagues, or online forums like Facebook groups, giving you chances to join in and chat with people who like the same things you do. And you may come away with some tips on getting better at your craft, invites to social events, or even some new friends.
Need some ideas for a new hobby?
Try thinking about things you’ve always had an interest in, like art, cooking, baking, gardening, or wood working. Or consider a sport or game you’ve always wanted to learn—you can brush up on the rules of softball, chess, tennis or croquet, or start running and training for a virtual 5K race.
Whichever activity you decide to dabble in, this is a great time to begin. Taking steps to learn new things can help you make the most of your free time, broaden your horizons and lead you to a happier, healthier life.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice.