Outside of our busy everyday schedules, it’s important that we also take part in purposeful activities that add joy to our lives. Hobbies are ways for us to pursue things that interest us and have a creative outlet, separate from work.
The Benefits of Having a Hobby
Having a hobby can be really beneficial for our mental health. Hobbies have shown to give us lower stress, better physical health, more sleep, more social connections, improved work performance, and increased happiness. Perhaps you know that you want to take up a new hobby, but you’re not quite sure what it should be. These three tips should help you with getting started.
How to Get Started
1- Find Something You’re Genuinely Interested In
Take a moment to brainstorm what you’re genuinely interested in. This could be a whole range of things, like doing art, trying a new type of exercise, playing an instrument, baking, writing, learning a new language or skill, or anything in between. What piques your interest the most? Maybe it’s revisiting something you enjoyed in childhood or pursuing something that you’ve always wanted to try.
We can take classes or lessons to help us get started with hobbies. Or we can also consider everyday activities as potential hobbies, like cooking, training pets, home decorating, reading, or organizing. These ideas are low budget and easy to pick up since they are easy to incorporate into our everyday lives.
2- Rethink How You Structure Your Time
One of the main reasons people don’t pursue hobbies is that they feel like they don’t have time for them. While we may be really busy with our work, it’s likely that we can still find some spare hours each week to structure in our hobbies. Be mindful of what you already do in your free time. You may be surprised how much of it you could substitute for a hobby, instead of being on your screen. Once we can designate time to pursue our hobbies, we’re much more likely to stick with them.
3- Focus on Purpose Over Productivity
Lastly, it’s important that we separate our hobbies from our need to be productive. We live in an achievement-oriented culture, which can make it hard for us switch off when it comes to our jobs/money/deadlines. Think of habits separate from something that needs to involve productivity. Habits should be low pressure, relaxing outlets for our downtime and, above all, bring us genuine fulfillment.
Having a hobby can be incredibly beneficial to our mental health and wellbeing. It’s great to have an outlet for us to express ourselves and challenge ourselves in a healthy way. The hardest part is always getting started, but hopefully these tips help you make that first step!