Time flies when you're having fun
While I have horses, practice yoga, and love to read, one of my current goals is to explore new hobbies.
As you know, a hobby is something you love doing and can get lost in it, something you look forward to doing. These are two exceptional reasons to have a hobby or hobbies: research shows that when you take time to do activities that bring you joy, your mental health improves, and your stress level lowers.
One study in New Zealand found that participating in activities that bring out your creative side leads to an increased sense of well-being and leaves you with a feeling of positivity after just a few days of a creative activity. All of which is good for you in the long term. Some studies have shown that people taking time for hobbies even feel less depressed.
There are also other advantages to having a hobby: it helps you in your professional life, can help improve your fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, helps you develop patience with the learning curve, and eradicates boredom. Don’t just find something to fill in the gaps of your day. Think of something that makes you forget about the stress and worries of your day. Seek an activity that helps you relax. If it feels like work, it’s probably not the best choice.
Think of hobbies grouped in the following categories: creative, athletic and intellectual activities. Personally, I think it is best to have at least one hobby in each category in order to stimulate yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. One hobby that checks all these boxes is yoga — but I know you would expect to hear that from me!
Another form of exercise with a wealth of health benefits is dancing. Dancing can be a great cardiovascular activity and can help improve your balance. Even doodling can be a hobby. Roxanne Glaser recently said, “The calmness of mind and breath when I create in my sketchbook allows my subconscious to settle into stillness. The beauty of doodling as a mindfulness activity is that it is intuitive and simple to learn.” Check out Roxanne’s SuperdoodleGirl’s website at https://www.superdoodlegirl.com/.
She “loves love guiding others on the journey to rediscover their authentic creative self through simple creative tools and techniques.”
No doubt society puts a great deal of emphasis on our professional achievements and doesn’t allow time for the pursuit of hobbies. How many individuals wait until retirement to pick up a musical instrument? Or take the time to start gardening? Decide to take an art class? Two simple pieces of advice about hobbies: Start sooner rather than later in life to find hobbies that interest you, and do not go out and buy tools or materials to begin a hobby. Instead of diving into a hobby, take a few baby steps and test the water.
For instance, if you want to take up woodworking, don’t go spend a lot of money on tools. Instead, join a local woodworking club or find a class at a local community college to see if you even like woodworking. Or better yet start googling and look for how-to videos and advice on how to begin your hobby of interest. Also, take time to reflect on your childhood to see if there was something you really enjoyed doing and revisit that activity.
You may be thinking you do not have time for a hobby. Have you ever tracked the number of hours you spend online or on social media daily? My iPhone has an annoying habit of doing that for me! It will say, “Ashton, your screen time is up 23% from last week.” You know you’ve overdone things when your phone becomes your monitor.
Think of a hobby as enriching your life. Hopefully, with new hobbies you will learn some new skills and find an activity you can lose track of time with. Then you can start having fun because time flies …
Feel free to share your thoughts with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Maintaining Balance:
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Ashton Graham is an educator, book publisher, photographer, cowgirl and yoga teacher. She is currently studying to become a yoga therapist and lives on a ranch in West Texas. Visit www.ashtoncannon.com to learn more.