Many of us often plan to pick up a hobby but never get around to it. We blame a lack of time, a lack of energy, or even a lack of interest. However, hobbies can provide a number of benefits. If you’ve been putting off taking up a new interest here’s why you should take the plunge and how to find the right one for you.
Why Start a New Hobby?
It Can Benefit Mental Wellbeing
One of the most significant reasons to start a hobby is the positive impact it can have on mental wellbeing. Firstly, it offers a means of escapism. As work and other responsibilities can often become overwhelming a hobby can be something where the expectations are set by yourself.
Additionally, if you set yourself goals within your hobby reaching them comes with a sense of achievement, helping you boost self-esteem.
Finally, by having an activity that you consider yours it can provide sense of identity and belonging, something we all value in ourselves.
You Could Learn a New Skill
The other major benefit of taking up a hobby is the opportunity it presents to learn a new skill. This could be a musical instrument, an athletic skill, or something more unique. Even simple collection hobbies could help foster focus, discipline and persistence.
Not only would you gain the skill itself, but it ties in with the self-esteem boost that comes from the sense of achievement. The lasting usefulness of the new skill and the situations it can be applied in can become a source of confidence.
How to Choose a New Hobby
A hobby having benefits is all well and good, but many people struggle with finding something that captivates them on a consistent basis. To help you pick a hobby you’ll be more likely to stick with here are some areas to consider.
Friends or Solitude?
Choosing whether you want a hobby that is a solitary activity or an opportunity to socialise can depend on various circumstances. It could be a personal preference if you’re introverted or extroverted, or you might even be aiming to push yourself out of your comfort zone, perhaps to overcome social anxiety. You could also choose an activity with existing friends or strangers.
Do You Like Competition?
If you have a competitive streak choosing something that can scratch that itch may help you stick with it – just be sure to be gracious loser. Competition can also be a good way of picking a physical hobby if you’re looking to get fitter. The goal of winning a game or match of something, or beating your own record, can be a more reliable source of motivation then just wanting to be healthier.
Do You Like to Be Challenged?
Whether or not you like to be challenged is also something to consider when picking a hobby. If you need something to push you to your limits of skill to stay motivated then doing something you’re already familiar with may not be ideal. However, if you’re just looking to unwind more often continuously challenging yourself may cause more frustration and something aimless may be better.
Do You Have an Old Interest?
It may be the case that there’s something you used to do regularly that you’ve since given up due to other commitments. If that’s the case then dusting off an old hobby and making some time for it is a great way to stick with something. It gives you a chance to regain an old skill, revisit some cherished memories and even make some new ones, perhaps with new people as well.
With all this in mind you may just be able to find the right hobby to improve your skills and wellbeing.