Have you ever told someone that they need a hobby? Or have you heard someone say ‘that person needs a hobby!’? More than likely they said that because they or the other person were down, depressed, or mentally exhausted or exhaustive.
The idea behind having a hobby is to relax and spend some quality time with themselves, or even as a group activity that you do with people you enjoy being around.
So what counts as a hobby? A hobby can be any activity done regularly during spare or leisure time for pleasure. Whether you do something creative, athletic, academic, or something more individualized, what really matters is that it is something you find meaningful and enjoyable. Hobbies can range from spending quiet time alone, visiting or eating with others, communing with nature, playing sports, and even vacationing. When we dedicate time to voluntarily engage in pleasurable activities, research shows our mental health can flourish.
But I don’t have time!
That is something I hear a lot and I’ve even said a few times. In a world that glorifies work and/or studying so many people think they have no time for a hobby. There are however a few things you can change to find that ever-elusive time!
Rather than trying to find ‘hobby time’ every day, try thinking of time in weeks to discover extra time hidden in your schedule. Dedicate a few hours to something you enjoy each week. Still struggling to find time for fun? Take a step back and say ‘no’ (or delegate) to lighten your load and make space for hobbies.
There are many times during the day we may find ourselves in autopilot mode. It’s easy to lose track of time doing mindless things like checking social media or watching television. Tune in to how you’re spending downtime, whether it’s in the morning or evening, and consider how you might use that time to indulge in something you enjoy.
So, start a new hobby or get back to an old one. The extra benefits are great! Your mental and physical well-being will improve so much.
For instance, you will reduce stress. Just doing something you enjoy (you don’t have to be an expert at it) helps you relax. You will also enhance your overall feeling of well-being.
If you are more extroverted join group activities. Doing a hobby doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Find other people or groups that enjoy doing what you do. You just might find yourself with some new friends which is a bonus!
Maybe your hobby can be done out in nature. Talk walks, hikes, alone or in a group. Nature has always been known for its healing and stress-relieving abilities. As little as ten minutes out in nature can lead to improved mood, focus, and overall wellbeing.
A hobby doesn’t have to be expensive. Taking a walk in nature, or visiting a library to find a book that you enjoy, even museums are usually free to get in. Maybe meditate or do yoga, or something else physical. I bet if you really thought about it you could find a dozen things to do for little to no money.
The important thing is to find something that helps you lead a life that is less stressful. You’ll thank yourself later.