Growing up I filled my days with sports, piano lessons, Barbie’s, Beanie Babies, and so much more! And I often long for those days of playing in my basement…
Not all hope is lost though! January is National Hobby Month—fitting for the first month of a new year. No matter what you have on your plate, it’s very important to make your needs a priority as well. Since the balance between business and pleasure is often blurred, it’s essential to set aside time each week for activities you truly enjoy.
So, let’s chat and chew about why you need a hobby for your every day, and long-term, health!
A Necessary Break
Personally, I love planning. I use my time much more efficiently when I know what my schedule is for the day (or week). It’s difficult to disrupt a workflow and walk away from the computer, but allowing yourself to be responsibility-free for a period of time will prevent overwhelming feelings caused by work. A new hobby will create space for you to do something you enjoy.
It’s not uncommon to network less as you age; we naturally reach a point of happiness and comfort with our circle of friends. Trying a new hobby like joining a book club or an intramural sports team allows you the opportunity to meet new people. Group hobbies have the added benefit of social support, which provides stress relief and a sense of purpose. With all hobbies, you can ease into the conversation and take the experience at your own pace.
We all need a little distraction sometimes! Betsan Corkhill, a knitting therapist, says, “The more capacity you’re using up being totally absorbed in a task, the less capacity there is left to focus any attention on any problems.” Hobbies are a great way to relax and forget about everything else going on around you. Life will always continue forward, so make sure you’re enjoying the ride!
Mental & Physical Benefits
Aging Home Health Care reports, “Physical activity can help prevent or maintain control in some chronic illnesses such as: heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even some types of cancer.” Whether it’s activities like golfing, biking, swimming, or tennis, exercising can significantly improve your overall quality of life as your age. You can also improve your flexibility through hobbies like yoga, painting, and dancing, or improve memory by playing card games or doing Crossword Puzzles. The possibilities are endless—it’s up to you to make the first move!
If you decide on a hobby that’s unfamiliar or challenging, there’s an opportunity to boost morale and self-worth. By solving a problem you were stumped on, or accomplishing a project you had difficulty with, you become aware of skills you didn’t know you were capable of performing! Overcoming both small and big tasks gives you a heightened sense of pride, so keep pushing yourself a little bit with each new hobby!
Everyone remembers his or her favorite hobbies growing up—it simply can’t be forgotten! Fuel that same excitement you remember feeling as a kid and apply it towards finding a new hobby in 2015, or revisit an old one you can’t live without! Already have a favorite hobby of your own? Comment below and inspire others to try what keeps you happy and healthy!