Healthy, Happy Hobbies!
What To Choose and How To Start
By Kitty Von Tastique
Hobbies are an amazing way to begin a new chapter in your life. Just the simple act of starting something new can bring about positive change and fulfilment! Here are some hobbies you should consider if you are looking for an activity with a wellness component.
Healthy Hobby Suggestions:
1. Go green! Picking a hobby with an outdoor element can deliver you both some vitamin D and some serious health benefits. Green spaces (including parks) have been found to offer improvements to mood, lower anxiety and sadness, and also lower stress. Try walking the dog (if you don’t have one maybe you can borrow one!) hiking or even gardening.
2. Make mine mindful. Choosing a hobby with a mindful element can help you to reduce stress and be more productive. Yoga is the obvious choice but even knitting and walking can incorporate elements of mindfulness by being aware of and focusing on, the physical sensations, like your feet connecting with the ground while walking or the feeling of the knitting needles against your fingers.
3. Create a plate! Taking up a hobby like cooking can open the door to various health benefits as well. Not only does it tap into your creativity but by choosing healthy ingredients you can learn more about what you are putting into your body and how they affect your health.
4. Dance up a storm. Dancing is a fantastic hobby because it incorporates both fun and fitness. If you are a little on the shy side try some of the dance cardio classes available online in the comfort of your own living room.
5. Put your hand up. Volunteering has been shown to increase life satisfaction and wellbeing, as well as improving mood and self-esteem.
Here are my top tips to taking the plunge:
1. Ask yourself “What have I already tried?” Are there hobbies that you’ve already begun but lost sight of, that you could renew interest in again?
2. “What do I like to do?” Clearly, it’s going to be easier to stick to that new healthy hobby if it’s something you actually like! For example, don’t choose early morning hikes if you’re a night owl. Work with yourself rather than against.
3. Be realistic. Set easy achievable goals when you are starting out on any new adventure. For example, you could set a goal of going dancing one night a week, rather than every night of the week. One night is more realistic and if you find you really love it, you can always add more nights later on.
4. Have a plan ‘B’. If your goal is to take the dog for a walk every Monday but it buckets down a storm, make a plan ahead of time re what you can do instead. For example you could spend some time with your fur kid playing indoors and then reschedule your outdoor walk for the following day.
5. Create a ‘healthy hobbies bucket list’. Rather than throw your eggs all into one basket, why not make an ongoing list of things you would like to try? The satisfaction you’ll feel ticking them off is going to make it all worth it!
Townsend M and Weerasuriya R. (2010). Beyond Blue to Green: The benefits of contact with nature for mental health and well-being. Beyond Blue Limited: Melbourne, Australia
Go on volunteer – it could be good for you! University of Exeter http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_315358_en.html