Hobbies – Not Just for Kids Anymore
Remember when you were a kid and spent your days riding your bike, playing soccer or board games, or reading every book from your favorite series? When was the last time you did something just because it was fun? If you can’t remember, it’s been too long. Far from being a waste of your precious time, hobbies are actually good for you.
What is a hobby?
At its root, a hobby is anything you do regularly during your leisure time for pleasure. It doesn’t matter whether what you’re doing is athletic, artistic, or something else, if it’s something outside of your usual duties that you do because you enjoy it, it’s a hobby.
I just don’t have the time!
It may feel like between work, family, household chores and any number of other tasks that fill our days there just isn’t any way to fit in another thing. Yes, time with your family is important, and you have to work to make a living. But there is probably a lot more time available than you think. Here are a few ideas for finding time when you think you can’t:
- Look ahead. Try looking at your calendar by the week instead of the day. Often, you’ll see places where you have or can make time.
- The power of no. Practice saying no to commitments that aren’t about the people or things that are important to you. Reduce the clutter on your calendar and find time to do the things you enjoy.
- Unplug. On average, Americans check their phones 46 times a day. Almost half of us spend 5 or more hours looking at a screen. It’s not something we do on purpose, but what could you do with that time?
What are the benefits of hobbies?
The most important thing when you’re choosing a hobby is to choose something you enjoy. That means that the benefits of taking on a hobby vary. Depending on the hobby, benefits could be:
- Physical. Hobbies that involve physical activity, like hiking, yoga, or martial arts, can improve your physical health. Exercise raises your heart rate, lowers blood pressure, builds muscle and strengthens bones. It might even help with weight loss.
- Mental. Hobbies like gardening, music, or art are relaxing at the end of a long day and reduce your stress level.
- Social. Hobbies are a great way to socialize and meet new friends. Finding a group that shares your love of your hobby, whether it’s cooking, a team sport, or movies, gives you a common thread to build a relationship on.
- Creative. Some hobbies, like photography, quilting, or woodworking, encourage creativity or artistic skills. When you open yourself up to creativity in one aspect of your life, it can make it easier to tap into it at work or elsewhere.
In short, hobbies allow you to recharge and refresh so you can bring the best of yourself to your family, friends, and career. Find the time to do the things you love – walk in nature, shoot some hoops with a friend, or read a good book – and you may find benefits you never expected.