Written by Doran Campbell
Stay at home orders have impacted the global community. Now, finding ways to keep yourself motivated and regimented can feel begrudgingly difficult. The great thing about taking on a hobby or finding a creative outlet is that you do it for your own self-fulfillment.
When we think of a hobby, the categories are extensive. You might enjoy outdoor activities or engaging with your artistic abilities. Maybe even developing your technical skills, or enhancing your knowledge of certain topics. Regardless of what it is, a hobby can provide mental health benefits. It can also be a creative way for you to connect with others who have similar interests.
Mental Health Benefits
The mental health benefits you can reap by engaging in your interests are an added bonus. Active pastimes such as hiking, running, swimming, or other sports are excellent ways to release endorphins and dopamine. These chemicals enhance your ability to cope with stress, and can even make you feel happier. In addition to this ‘runner’s high’ which comes from physical activity, there are other hobbies which release similar ‘feel-good’ chemicals and engage different parts of your brain.
For instance, engaging in your creative side can be a wonderful way to stimulate the right side of your brain. This is vital as both sides of the brain work together to improve your cognitive function. Ways to engage the right side of your brain include learning to play an instrument or listening to music, and activities such as painting or drawing.
The same goes for ‘left-brain’ targeting activities in terms of enhancing cognitive function. Hobbies which help stimulate the left hemisphere of your brain include reading, writing, or learning a new language.
Whichever type of hobby appeals to you, the stress relieving benefits increase ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the body. Additionally, they energise your brain through creative or logical tasks.
Another advantage of taking on a hobby is that it provides you with an opportunity to develop certain skills. Dane Todorovski writes about ten business skills he expanded through taking on a hobby. This helped him in his professional life, but also his personal one. Some skills which stick out on this list include stronger communication, goal orientation, analysis, patience, and time management skills. While this is not the full list, these items are important as they impact every area of our lives.
Todorovski explains that communication skills are enhanced through your hobby as you can connect with people who share similar interests. Taking on a pastime often leads to consistent engagement with that activity. So it makes sense that this would increase your goal setting ability. This is because achieving more within your craft requires ambition and a will to accomplish more within what you plan for yourself. As your love for your hobby grows, your analytical skills become heightened through your attention to detail because we tend to care about the results of what we put our time and energy into.
However, sometimes we run into obstacles with different tasks at hand. While this happens in every aspect of life, hobbies can be a great way to train your patience and problem solve. Lastly, you need to fit your hobby into your schedule to find a balance between leisure and work, which helps with time management skills.
How We Can Help
Your pastime may not just be of interest to you. You never know when someone else is looking for help from someone with a specific skill. Whether you have a knack for web design, a passion for math, or a love for gardening, your skills and knowledge can serve those in your community through freelance opportunities. With Phavour, we can help connect you and your hobby to community members looking for help with the work you love to do!
If you want to find out how Phavour can help you, or have any questions, head over to our contact page to get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you!