Our wellbeing is made up of lots of different elements. Here is why developing a new hobby should be a prioritised element that nurtures your overall wellbeing.
How do hobbies help wellbeing?
A new hobby may be tricky to discover. During the lockdown, your ‘previous hobbies’ may no longer have been possible. HEnce you have grown out of the habit.
So, what’s the best way to rediscover your lost hobbies? Or to find a new one which also makes you relaxed. Try asking yourself what made you happy when you were younger. Start with something small.
Hobbies boost wellbeing in many ways
Hobbies are great ways to connect with others, to learn new skills, to create goals, to get motivated, to build self-esteem and confidence, to widen horizons and to get out and about. Make sure you view hobbies as a priority in your schedule and that you don’t compromise on taking time and space for you. Hobbies make us more interesting, they make our lives dynamic and they bring sparkle and magic into our day.
Hobbies shouldn’t be judged
Don’t compare the way you like to spend your time with the way other people spend it. You are unique. Hobbies should be about joy, about finding peace or creativity, about being totally immersed. Yet there are judgements about what hobbies we should like at what age, what hobbies might be seen as embarrassing and the ever-present danger of when hobbies turn into achievement-only activities, such as music grades. At a pottery course I once started, I was heavily judged for creating clay monsters for my nieces and nephew rather than olive bowls. Hobbies should allow us to be childlike again.
One hobby or many, it doesn’t matter
I have many friends who are known for a certain hobby – a gardener, a baker, a dancer, a film buff, a DJ and more. And that is wonderful. But there are so many people who don’t latch on to one particular hobby, or who love variety and who frequently change their interests. I am one of these people and have sometimes felt a big flighty or deficient because I can’t name “my specialist subject”. But I have learned that maybe variety in itself is actually my hobby, and there is nothing wrong with that – which is why I recently bought a pair of roller skates.
Hobbies are a way to express yourself
And that is why they are so good for us, because in that time spent painting a model train, weeding, practising your scales on a piano or metal detecting, you are being you. Without realising it, you are processing the day, reducing the stress, finding mental peace, learning about yourself and giving yourself the important message that you deserve that time and space for your wellbeing. It is the message that you matter.
Our wellbeing is made up of lots of different elements in our lives, and I am currently looking at how we can become more aware of these elements, how we can prioritise them and how we can nurture them.
Our hobbies and interests are one of those elements. We were reminded of that during the pandemic, either because we had more time to do them, because we had no time to do them, because we realised that we didn’t have any or because we didn’t even know that they were important.
And don’t worry, I am not going to talk about baking banana bread – although that is certainly one hobby, there is a real danger that, just like everything else in life, we get sold a templated version of what hobbies we “should” have.
If we get trapped in inauthentic hobbies, it just reinforces the message that we are not “allowed” to express who we really are, or that our choice of passing time is “not good enough”.
Do hobbies help wellbeing?