The whole world stopped when COVID-19 hit 2020. There was lots of time spent at home, with people lost on how to make good use of all the free hours. For the workaholics, they were left stressed on what to do when they are so used to working all the time in the office. This is why the issue of having a work-life balance became a topic of discussion for so many. The importance of having hobbies became even louder. More people realized why a hobby is essential for one’s mental health. There are many hobbies to choose from. It’s impossible that you’ll run out of ideas about what activity you’d like to get into. You may even pick up more than one.
People often demonize having no work and playing all the time. They refer to this group as couch potatoes with nothing better to do in their lives than to have fun and spend their parents’ money, perhaps. While this is not good, being a workaholic without allotting room to play is just as bad.
Yes, it’s important to work for wealth, career experience, and improve your sense of self-worth. But having hobbies can also enhance this.
Unfortunately, not everyone believes in the power of hobbies. The education system, for instance, often burdens students with a whole load of homework and studying that don’t give them any more to cultivate their hobbies. Five days in a week is taken up by school and then after-school hours, students still spent a great deal of time for homework and studying. According to PeaceInnovation.com, even clubs and teams in schools cause a disturbance in “unstructured playtime” that is essential for social skill development, problem-solving skills, and creativity. The student is left with a full load of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, sleep for rest, social life, and unstructured playtime. This might lead to over exhaustion and anxiety, and which is why a balance must be struck.
Social stigmas and stereotypes also push people to veer away from certain hobbies that spark an interest in them. Boys who are into arts feel that they need to be on sports teams while girls who are into sports are made to participate in dance or arts and crafts sessions. Age is also a factor as people question if there are hobbies that are too late for people to start learning. Disability is another social stigma that people often constrict a specific sport or activity to be done by someone without any disability.
People often unconsciously fall into the pit of self-stigmatizing. They tend to associate social attitudes and stereotypes brought about by their condition.
What we should be working on is having a society where people are free to go for whatever they feel most passionate about, regardless of money, productivity, title, or any social stigma. It’s your free time so it’s your right to do whatever makes you happy. So don’t be afraid to try a hobby even though society is telling you that you’re not the perfect fit for it.
Why You Should Have Hobbies
After a long day at work, you can turn to your hobbies to destress. They can help your mind to breathe and relax. This can work benefits and magic for your mental health. It can reduce anxiety, help you manage stress, and cope with any symptoms of depression.
You will have a life outside of what makes you money. Without any pressure to perform or achieve anything, a hobby can give you a time to relax and just be yourself. There are no rules; there is no need for a structure. You don’t need to be on time or to work in a group. Well, you may also do this if you want to, but ultimately, you play by your own rules when you have hobbies.
You will also find like-minded people when you engage more in your chosen hobby. You could support one another and add more value to your lives. It will make your hobby more enjoyable to share it with others.
When you are in a good mood, you are generally a nicer presence for the people around you. You can also bring your family to try and enjoy your hobby with you. It will offer a great bonding time for you and your loved ones.
By having hobbies, you also widen your knowledge. Most often than not, hobbies will teach you positive life values. You will be armed with the knowledge that you could apply in your life, no matter how old you are.
Once you’ve decided that you’re getting a hobby, the next choice is looking for the right one.
How to Find the Right Hobby
Not all hobbies will be a good fit for your lifestyle. So you have to know yourself and take into account your schedule as well when picking up a hobby. For instance, you are stuck working at a standing desk all day every day for work. You want to add activity to your life apart from using an under-desk treadmill or a desk bike. Then you can allot time for fitness such as joining a marathon, enrolling in a yoga class, or doing laps in a swimming pool. You could go hiking with your family or go on camping trips with your partner.
A lot of hobbies can also be done at home. With everything on the Internet, you may take online classes and join groups while all being present virtually. You may learn them on your own by watching videos on YouTube.
For those who love food, you may try urban gardening, cooking dishes under a particular cuisine, or baking sweets. If you want to be more involved in your neighborhood, you may volunteer for community service in your area or even go beyond and travel to another place to volunteer.
There is really no rule aside from asking yourself what you’ve always wanted to try. You may go reading books, painting portraits or landscapes, learning a new language, or playing an instrument. You could jump from one hobby to another until you find the right fit. Remember it is never too late to learn anything new.