Welcome to the month in which we celebrate the things we do in between work and sleep. That’s right, it’s National Hobby Month! Not everyone has the time or energy for a formal hobby, but everyone has a hobby of some kind – watching television, reading, walking, cooking, etc. If you are looking to understand WHY these are important then click past the block for more!
In the magazine Alive: Canada’s Natural Health and Wellness Magazine, an article by Nikki Bayley, has an article titled “Try Something New! Forget failure and embrace change,” Nikki quotes a study by the Annals of Behavioral Medicine that states that people who engage in some kind of leisure activity were 34% less stressed and 18% less “sad” while engaged in the activity. While these numbers may seem a little on the loose side (and somewhat questionable), they still demonstrate a fairly well established theory that leisure activities generally have a positive effect on our lives as a whole.
Nikki then goes on to relate a few hobbies that are good for improving our mental health, which may not necessarily be the reason why we take up a hobby, but it is an excellent side-effect. One that I thoroughly wish I had time for is joining a choir: the combination of musical performance and social “togetherness” with choir members makes joining a choir a great option. If you have the opportunity or time and enjoy singing, find a local choir.
While I may not necessarily be the best “crafter” on the planet, I do enjoy tinkering with electronics and understanding how they work-incidentally, crafting is another hobby that can take numerous forms and help someone gain a sense of peace while they create something they can use or display. It’s a little known secret, but I do actually know how to crochet (scarves and hats mostly). When I’m trying to keep all those loops straight and not mess up with the hook, I do kind of go into a more “meditative” state where I am wholly focused on the task at hand and feel more at peace. I don’t do it much anymore, but crocheting can definitely calm the mind.
Finally, Nikki Bayley offers one more hobby, or type of hobby, that helps our mental health: getting social! She states that social isolation can be really debilitating, so joining a sports team, taking a class, or playing a leisure sport like disc golf can help expand your horizons and help you reach out to someone else. Unfortunately, I tend to keep my cards pretty close to the chest and only socialize with a small group of people; however, those people are fantastic and really help me get out of my curmudgeonly shell.
If you want to read the whole article, you can find it here in our library.
So, are there any kind of hobbies you enjoy that help you unwind/de-stress?
Let us know in the comments below!