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The Importance of Hobbies


You probably know at least one woman who seems to do everything, and do it well. She’s the divorced mom with three kids who has a busy career, volunteers at the school, cooks a healthy meal for her family every night, and still finds the time to attend book club and take award-winning nature photographs. How does she do it? While you might think that her book club and photography hobbies just add more stress to her busy life, they might just be the things that help her the most. Here are 5 ways in which hobbies are important—even crucial—to stress management and overall happiness:mb18

Hobbies Force You to Take a Time Out

When you have a mile-long list of tasks, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. You race through the list, barely taking a moment to gulp down some lunch. You end the day exhausted and emotionally drained. Add a hobby to that to-do list and you’ll get a much needed break.

Hobbies Make Waiting More Interesting and Less Stressful

Much of daily life involves waiting. You wait at the doctor’s office, the DMV and the auto repair shop. You sit in the car, waiting for kids to come out of school, dance lessons and soccer practice. What makes waiting better? A hobby. Read a book, work on a knitting project, write a poem. Instead of tapping your foot impatiently while waiting, you’re enriching your life and easing your stress.

Hobbies Make You Smarter

Engaging in a variety of activities stimulates your brain and keeps it constantly accumulating new knowledge. A challenged brain is a healthy brain, and you may even stave off the memory loss that naturally occurs with age.

Hobbies Remind You What Really Matters

Participating in a hobby you love not only gives you a break from the daily grind, it helps you remember what’s important to you as a person. Your hobbies connect you with your true inner self—something that running errands and doing paperwork can never accomplish.

Hobbies Help Your Function Better in Your Daily Life

Taking an hour here and there to engage in a hobby provides crucial mental stimulation and stress relief. Not only will you enjoy the time you spend at your hobby, you’ll be better prepared to deal with stressors. When you’re less stressed, you’re a happier person to be around, so your relationships with family and friends will stay strong and healthy.

mb19How to Find a New Hobby

Need some guidance finding the right hobby for you? Here are some suggestions:

Remember your childhood.

Things you enjoyed doing then are likely things you’d enjoy now. Either reintroduce the exact same hobby, or modify it a bit for your adult self.

Step outside your comfort zone.

Think of something you’d never try—then try it! You might be surprised to find a great new hobby.

Think of something you’ve always wanted to do.

Do you wish you could speak a foreign language? Decorate beautiful cakes? Arrange flowers just so? Get out there and learn how!

Find people you like and do what they’re doing.

Join a hiking club, book group, bird-watching club, etc. Hang with people similar to you, and you’ll make new friends, too.

Help others in need.

Volunteering is a great way to find a new hobby and help out in your community.


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