Having a hobby is a great way to occupy our spare time. There are several mental health boosters associated with having a hobby including offering a distraction from unhealthy eating habits, preventing boredom and giving our mind the opportunity to recharge. For these reasons, learning a new hobby is often recommended for those suffering from anxiety, depression or in recovery from food addictions.
As we learn new things, our brains are stimulated. As we create new things that we are proud of, we get a priceless boost in self-esteem. Learning and participating in a new hobby is a wonderful way to stave off loneliness. There are so many benefits and your choices are truly limitless. Below are a few suggestions.
Elevate Your Cooking Skills
Become your family’s chef. You already have the basic tools: a kitchen and cooking supplies. Add a dash of adventure and creativity, and viola – you’ve whipped up exciting new dishes. Start by learning about various cooking techniques such as searing, broiling, sauteing and blanching. Then, learn how to shop for the best ingredients. Check out our tips on reading a nutrition label to get started. Before you know it, you will have picked up a fun new hobby that not only helps you eat healthier but will also help you save money over dining out.
Learn a Musical Instrument
You do not have to learn to play an instrument in childhood. In fact, some studies show that learning as an adult is easier because you are more focused on the task and have more self-discipline. Besides that, if you love music, learning an instrument is fun. If you’re learning with the help of a teacher or learning in a group, it’s also a great way to be social. Your brain is stimulated because you have to coordinate your mind and your body while playing. Anxiety is swept away because in order to play music you have to be in the moment, leaving all other stressors behind.
Yoga is not only a great way to build flexibility, but it can also help you lose weight. Combining yoga with mindful meditation is a powerful combination that will not only make you more fit physically and mentally, but it will also reduce stress, boost your confidence and can significantly lower anxiety and depression.
Other Hobby Ideas
Cooking, music, yoga and meditation are fantastic hobbies, but your choices are only limited by your imagination. Here are some other hobby ideas:
- Learn to sew
- Explore creative writing
- Take art classes
- Learn to kayak
- Put together puzzles
- Learn to crochet or knit
- Pick up a new language
- Start journaling
- Volunteer in your community
Whatever hobby you choose, know that you are worth the investment.