Hobbies are a wonderful way to spend your free time while allowing your mind to recharge. Engaging in a fun leisure activity can actually improve your mental health by staving off boredom and helping you avoid bad eating habits. This is why picking up a hobby is highly recommended for people suffering from depression, anxiety or recovering from food addictions.
Hobbies provide these various mental health benefits by challenging our brains as we learn new skills and giving us a valuable self-esteem boost as we create things we can be proud of. Plus, learning a hobby with a group of friends is an excellent way to combat loneliness by encouraging socialization. Try out one of these hobbies today!
1. Learn a New Instrument
Contrary to what most people think, you don’t have to start learning an instrument as a child to become good at it. Connolly Music claims that adults often pick up musical skills faster than children due to their improved self-discipline and focus. Plus, choosing to play music as an adult means you have more motivation for the task than a child who has been reluctantly placed in music lessons by their parents. Adults have plenty of options for training available online from private one-on-one lessons to flexible courses you can complete at your own pace.
2. Learn Basic Sewing Skills
Sewing is the skill that just keeps on giving. Not only can you mend your own clothes when they tear or tailor them to fit better, but you can even get creative and make your own pieces of clothing. Although the skills required to sew a pair of pants or an elegant dress may be a bit more advanced, it’s easy for almost anyone to learn how to work a sewing machine and make basic adjustments to clothing. When you first get started, look up sewing resources and tutorials online or take a sewing class. Your local fabric store might offer classes for beginners. You'll also find plenty of blogs offering tips and fun, new projects for you to tackle when you run out of ideas.
3. Become the Family Chef
Learning to cook is an easy hobby to start since nearly everyone has a kitchen and basic cooking supplies. Once you get past the basics and find yourself creating your own dishes, you may even consider a career in the art of food. To get started, learn the difference between various cooking techniques, such as sautéing, searing, blanching, broiling and deglazing. It's also helpful to know how to shop for and pick out the best ingredients at your local market.
4. Try Your Hand at Poetry
Writing poetry is a great form of creative expression particularly because poetry focuses on the art of showing the reader the scene to be pictured rather than simply telling them about it. Additionally, poetry can help you jot down your feelings and emotions in a more abstract manner. Poetry is a great coping mechanism if you suffer from anxiety or depression.
5. Hit the Open Water
Boating, kayaking or swimming are great ways to relax, but they also have other health benefits. Spending time on the water can burn calories, give us a healthy dose of vitamin D (make sure to apply sunscreen), and is an opportunity to bond with our friends and family.
Of course, you’ll want to take necessary precautions. Invest in life vests for the kids and teach them about boat safety. You should also purchase dock bumpers to protect your boat from scraping against the dock.
6. Get Creative with Drawing Classes
Many people think that they can’t draw when they fail to master the perfect circle or straight line which is often found at the beginning of a drawing tutorial. But, perfection isn't the point! Learning to draw as a fun hobby should be about putting your own creativity and style into your artwork.
When following tutorials, take the liberty to add your own personal touches to your drawings. This will help you develop your creativity instead of learning to simply copy someone else.
Hobbies are a wonderful way to get active, meet new people, and avoid unhealthy habits. If none of these hobbies sound like a potential passion of yours, don’t worry! There are plenty of other healthy ways you can spend your time. Just make sure that the hobby you choose is inexpensive, easy to get started with, and productive.
Cheryl Conklin is a freelance writer and tutor by trade and a blogger, adventurer, traveler, and creator of Wellness Central in her free time.