Healthy Living

Why You Should Take Up A Hobby

First, let me start off by saying that I absolutely had 100% no idea what to write today. Some days when it comes to my blog, I feel really good about the content that I produce to my readers.

Other days I contemplate if anyone is actually listening, taking my advice, or even cares about what I do. I want to desperately serve you (even if that number of readership is small) and yet, still feel insecure about the fact that I do all of this work, hit the publish button, and just kind of hope someone is stumbling upon my work.

As I sit here contemplating to write (and feeling that urge to quit all over again) I realize something profound that I wrote in one of my email newsletters a few weeks ago: I write for me. Sure I love to blog and share tips to others…but I also keep up with my blog, share my meal plan ideas, and challenge myself to read more books because I just love doing it. It’s my hobby, and it makes me happy.

Then, as I continued to ponder, I realize that hobbies kind of feel healthy. I mean, really healthy. Think about it – without blogging during my months of unemployment, I would have been sitting around on the couch with nothing to do. Blogging helped me to stay *somewhat* sane during those months. Blogging requires me to stay consistent and dedicated, two qualities I desperately need more of in my life. Blogging requires all of my favorite elements – photography, words, video, graphic design – and I get to play with all of these just for the fun of it. Sure I write stuff to help out my audience when it comes to thrifty and healthy living, but I also keep up with it because I absolutely love it. Even if my email list and social media followers have way lower numbers than most bloggers these days (and let’s be real, I care more about reaching the people who actually care versus having people who just scroll by).

So – here I am – sharing why I love blogging, and thinking about how I should probably encourage my readers to do the same thing. Maybe it’s not blogging (although if it is we should totally chat about it, happy to help), but instead it’s something you just love to do in your free time. Something that brings you joy, that distracts you from your busy every day.

If that’s not enough of a reason, here’s some reasons to why you should pick up a hobby:

Hobbies help to shape who you are.

I’m not saying a hobby defines you, because I think there are much greater things in life that define you as a human being. But I do think hobbies help us to understand ourselves better, and to befriend people around us that like the same things…while also staying away from the stuff that we know that we don’t like (even if people around us thing it’s the best thing in the world). For example, I’m a complete grandma when it comes to my hobbies. I love to read, knit, write, and cook in my free time. I dislike going to concerts, watching reality television, and consuming really, really sugary drinks or desserts. Understanding these things about myself – I know feel this incredible freedom to just be me, and say no to the things that I don’t enjoy. It’s kind of refreshing understanding what I like and turning to what actually brings me joy versus what people think would bring me joy just because it does for them.

Hobbies are actually great for your health.

So there was this huge study that was published about behavioral medicine and hobbies, but to sum it up, I found a great article by Shape that shows us why hobbies are actually really great for us. Turns out researchers found that people who actually engage in hobbies feel 34 percent less stressed and 18 percent less sad. Their heart rates were slower making them less stressed, which of course results in lower risk of some common ailments such as heart disease, depression, weight gain, memory loss, low immune system, and even poor performance at work/school. So if you’ve always had a hidden passion for scrapbooking – you should give yourself a few hours a week to play around with it. Your body actually craves that scrapbooking time, and you’ll do better at work the following week!

Hobbies fill up the “useless stuff time.”

How many times have you come home after work or class and just felt utterly defeated and tired…usually resulting in a plop-down on the couch and flipping on your Netflix? Yeah, same. In a recent course I took on freelance writing, a writer calls it “useless stuff time.” The times where you succumb to mindless activities, fill up your time, and make you feel busy and tired afterward? Let’s put it this way – if watching new television series on Netflix is one of your hobbies, then it totally should be your go-to hobby activity! Just know the differences between useless stuff time and mindfulness when participating in your hobby, because it will make you feel less stressed out about just “wasting time.” Set time in your schedule for your hobby, because it will ultimately help you decompress and diminish all of that “useless stuff time” that you have in your life.

Convinced, but no idea what kind of hobby to get started on? Here are a few things for you to experiment with:

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Cooking
  • Coffee shop hunting
  • Intramural sports
  • Workout classes
  • Knitting
  • DIY crafting
  • Scrapbooking
  • Painting
  • Music collecting (like, finding new music to listen to)
  • Movies (watch through a list, or go to the movies)
  • TV Shows
  • Watching the news
  • Dancing
  • Exploring/Traveling
  • Hiking
  • Rock climbing
  • Blogging
  • Journaling (or bullet journaling!)
  • Makeovers/Makeup/Beauty
  • Closet curation/shopping 🙂
  • Scrolling through social media! (Yes, if you love it, just make it a hobby!)
  • Dates with friends

I hope this gets your brain flowing for hobby possibilities, and I challenge you to pick one and to stick with it. No matter what, it will make you feel so much better (and will teach you discipline like no other).

Photo Credit: Giulia Bertelli // Unsplash

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