Hobbies, also known as purposeful activities that add joy to our life.

Research has shown that hobbies can lower our stress, create social connections, benefit our physical well-being, and add to better sleep, there creating better work habits and increasing our happiness. How do you fit a new hobby into your life?

Begin by evaluating time available, what you enjoy most and cost of the desired hobby. Then take a moment to give your self permission to do an activity that is not classified as “productive time spent” but as a relaxing down time to fills your cup. It could be learning a new skill, being creative in the kitchen, starting an art interest or being more active. Whatever it is you should feel personal enjoyment and satisfaction.

Your mental health is important so taking time to develop a hobby that gives you an escape and can introduce you to new people. They can help you relax and take your mind off daily events of work, bill paying or concerns of parenting. Hobbies can give you a sense of accomplishment leveling up your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Perhaps you have heard that music lowers stress, so does gardening, painting, photography and other interests of creative motion.

Social events are a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Check your local papers and news outlets for groups like hiking, wine tasting, story writing, curling, jewelry making or restaurant clubs. If you don’t see your area of interest consider starting up your own group

Being active is also important to your well-being, consider a new hobby of biking (fat tire is popular in the winter), walk to run, swimming, camping, yoga, martial arts or refurbishing old furniture. Begin with your activity level and grow with a new group or personal interest.

One of my favorite hobbies to explore is in the area of self-improvement. Sign up for a new class that is different from your daily life, learn a new language, work on puzzles or join a travel group or read on travel. Nothing lifts you up like volunteering, explore the opportunities in your community at the library, schools, senior housing or hospitals.

The following questions might be helpful in narrowing your choices for a hobby:

  1. Do you enjoy competition?
  2. Do you prefer to enjoy a doing things alone or with others?
  3. Is there a particular skill you would like to develop?
  4. Are you getting enough physical activity in your daily life?
  5. Are there things you enjoyed doing in your childhood that you would like to revisit?
  6. In what ways do you want your hobby to challenge or change you?
  7. How much time can you devote to your new hobby?
  8. How much money can you invest in your new hobby?
  9. With what types of people would you like to interact?
  10. What kinds of benefits would you like your hobby to provide?