By Harriet Lowbridge | Head of Advice
Life often finds a way to interrupt the time that we get to spend enjoying ourselves. Whether that disruption is through work, studying, or family obligations. We often lose sight of the importance of appreciating time to ourselves.
Hobbies are an integral part of maintaining a happy and positive outlook on life. The NHS promotes the benefits of hobbies as essential to creating ‘a sense of purpose’ in your life, as well as helping to ‘improve your mental wellbeing’.
What then are the key factors for you to consider keeping your old hobbies?
To de-stress and take a break. The most commonly known benefit of hobbies is that they help you take a break from your tasks and to de-stress. Something which can be a big factor in reducing your risk of depression and dementia. Hobbies allow you to focus your mind on the task in front of you rather than the pressures in your life. De-stressing will have numerous physical benefits, such as lowering your blood pressure and allowing you to sleep better. It will also have many mental benefits, such as reducing your risk of depression, dementia, as well as improving your positivity and outlook on life.
They are a break from reality. The world has a lot going on right now. The climate crisis, global pandemics, the constantly increasing cost of living, to name a few. A lot of the time we need a break from our reality and that is okay. You are allowed to escape into a new book, or fun game, or maybe just the experience of getting lost in the woods for a few hours. Reality will be there for you to worry about when you get back. No one can fault you for wanting to escape for a little while.
Hobbies can build up useful career skills. Hobbies that use a physical action can improve skills such as your hand-eye co-ordination and patience. Such as crochet and juggling, both skills which require you to focus on what your hands are doing and will take a while to accomplish. While hobbies such as painting and writing will improve your attention to details, creativity, and self-discipline. Social hobbies such as board games and role-playing games can improve your teamwork skills and time management skills. Consider the factors you may want to improve on in your life and have a look to see what hobbies may help you make them stronger.
They create a space for active downtime. Oftentimes we lose ourselves in passive downtime such as watching television or endlessly scrolling through social media. Hobbies create space for you to take an active role in your time off. Often creating something for you to appreciate at the end or simply developing a deeper sense of accomplishment within yourself. This again can have a positive influence on your self-esteem and productivity in other areas of your life as you are less likely to feel like you have wasted your days and nights off.
Avoiding bad habits that breed out of boredom. Many people will find themselves turning to binge eating, alcohol, and recreational drugs to stave off boredom. Taking up hobbies help to take up the time you could spend doing those things and provide you with a distraction from them. Whilst also taking up a different portion of your disposable income. If you want to spend twenty pounds on new hobby supplies, you are not as likely to spend money on alcohol or junk food.
Why should you consider starting new hobbies?
Increasing your confidence. Give yourself something new to talk about. Hobbies inherently give you more to talk about, as well as creating skills that other people will find desirable. An example of this is learning to play an instrument or sing. You now have a talent to feel good about as well as impress your friends and loved ones.
Help to socialise. Many hobbies are inherently social activities. If you struggle with socialising or simply want to make new friends, taking up a new hobby will bring countless new people into your life. Whether they are people you meet weekly to work together or simply just new shop workers that can help you into your hobby.
They provide an extra income: Many hobbies that you could pick up produce a physical result with enough practise. Baking, knitting, painting, sculpting and numerous others create food, art, and crafts for you to sell once you have finished. You can sell your knowledge as a tutor of your hobby. Alternately you could perform and busk all as ways to bring in a little more money.
Getting out of your comfort zone. New hobbies will also force you to come out of your comfort zone. Pushing yourself into new experiences is a great way to build up your self-esteem and confidence. Soon you begin to understand that you can take on anything with enough time and practise.
Hobbies are a great way to keep your mind and body healthy while creating a new you to present to the world.