Why Are Hobbies A Self Care Activity?

Hobbies can be a lot of fun.  We may look at them as unimportant and just playing around.  They are actually more important than we may think.  When you read lists about self care, hobbies are often included in the list.  If you seek therapy for mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, it is usually recommended that you try a hobby.  So why should we make them part of our lifestyle?

Let’s take a closer look at hobbies.  Different hobbies provide self care in different ways, but they all seem to relax us because we enjoy doing them.  When you do something relaxing it reduces your stress levels.  Relaxing can also help us get better sleep.  Another benefit of hobbies is it gives us a sense of purpose in life outside of our work life.  Often hobbies lead to forming friendships based on similar interests.  Maintaining good supportive friendships is important to our own self care.  As we get good at a hobby, we gain self confidence in the hobby.  This improves our own self esteem and self worth.  Some hobbies such as reading or crossword puzzles can improve our memory which is important for our intellectual self care.  Other hobbies such as yoga and exercising leads to more flexibility which is good for our physical self care.  Some hobbies such as painting and woodworking allow us to tap into our creative side which is important for our intellectual self care.  As you can see there are many benefits for those who participate in hobbies.  

With so many benefits to doing something fun, you may be wondering how do you get involved in a hobby.  When we were kids it was easy to do as schools and community centers offer many after school activities to give kids the opportunity to get involved in a hobby they would enjoy.  Now that we are adults it seems like it is harder to find those opportunities.  I assure you they are available.  We just have to learn where to look for them.

12 Places To Look For Hobbies

  1. Classes at a local college:  Often colleges offer classes in a variety of hobbies including art, baking, fitness, and computers.
  2. Adult Ed classes at a local school:  Some schools are getting involved in offering classes to adults including things like painting, cooking, and fitness.  I am currently taking an Essential Oils class at a high school in my area!
  3. Community Centers:  If you are fortunate to have a community center in your town, you may find some fun opportunities there such as gardening, knitting, choir, and fitness classes.
  4. Local Library:  Some local libraries are getting involved in supporting hobbies with book clubs and chess clubs.
  5. Museum classes:  Many museums will offer adult classes on hobbies relevant to their museum.  You may find an art class at an art museum or genealogy class at a history museum.
  6. Community Band:  Some communities have a community band you can join.  Two of my daughters enjoy this hobby.
  7. Community Theater:  If you are interested in acting look for a community theater program near you.
  8. Karate Dojo:  They don’t just offer classes to kids. Our local Dojo offers adult Karate classes and Tai Chi classes.
  9. Dance Studio:  Some dance studios will offer an adult dance class.
  10. Craft/Art Studio:  There are many of these that have popped up and offer Paint & Sip classes, paint ceramic times, and more.
  11. Craft Stores:  Some craft stores such as Michael’s offer classes for adults including scrap booking and cake decorating.
  12. Churches:  Many churches will offer social gatherings such as bible reading discussions, knitting clubs, and volunteer opportunities.

Now that we have a few ideas on where to look for hobbies, how do we know what to look for?  Not every hobby is enjoyable to every person.  You want to find one that is enjoyable to you.  How do you do that?  Think about what interests you.  What skills do you have?  Do you have physical limitations?  If you make a list of some of these answers, you may find some activities stand out more than others.  Maybe you like to move a lot and need physical activities.  Maybe you have limitation with movement, but like to be creative.  Maybe you love learning new things.  Choose something that matches your interests, skills, personality, and abilities.

Hobbies To Consider

  • Acting
  • Woodworking
  • Poetry
  • Writing
  • Journaling
  • Ceramics
  • Calligraphy
  • Bird Watching
  • Astronomy
  • Photography
  • Scrap Booking
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Board Games
  • Playing an Instrument
  • Singing
  • Reading
  • Walking/Hiking
  • Bike Riding
  • Gardening
  • Baking/Cooking
  • Card Games
  • Soduko
  • Brain Games
  • Crossword Puzzles
  • Word Searches
  • Dancing
  • Tai Chi
  • Painting
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Basketball
  • Baseball/Softball
  • Golf
  • Horseshoes
  • Exercising
  • Bowling
  • Skiing

Does anything sound fun?  If so look around and see if you can find a place to do it.  Give it a try.  You may find that doing a hobby you enjoy regularly to have it’s own self care benefits for you.  Would love to hear what you do in the comments!  As for me, I’m learning a lot at my essential oils class and hope to start experimenting with making my own candles, soaps, and maybe even lotions!

 

3 Replies to “Why Are Hobbies A Self Care Activity?”

  1. I think this is a lot of reasons why people have a hobby. They may not realize it at the time though. I have always liked gardening, but I remember I was going through something in my life, and I picked it up again.

    I now, try to garden all the time. To me gardening is very calm and you get to be outside with nature. I also love being to keep things alive. I love having plants and flowers that draw in butterflies, birds, and the bees.

    My husband and love hiking so we do that regularly as well.

    We also just started getting into making things with wood.

    Also, we have joined a volunteer nature group.

    I feel like I got a lot going on, but it doesn’t all happen all at once or all the time.

    I also want to start working out, and take up yoga as well. I am sort of lazy which is why I probably like gardening. It’s not something that is super fast paced.

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