The Importance of Having Hobbies
An article about the importance of hobbies from a company that helps you in your job search may seem a little counterintuitive. However, we at Vision to Purpose are firm believers in working hard and playing hard! We find that hobbies are a fantastic way to keep stress levels low – an essential part of a successful work/life balance.
WHY HAVE HOBBIES
There are many reasons to have a hobby (or two, or three). Here are our biggest reasons:
Hobbies Relieve Stress
A well-chosen hobby will help you unwind after a long week at the office. It will take your mind off things that are stressing you out. A hobby should be something that you look forward to, and something that leaves you feeling relaxed. While some hobbies include hard work (building furniture, hiking, martial arts, etc.), they should never feel like a chore. If your favorite hobby has recently started to feel more like an obligation than a source of joy, consider trying something new.
Hobbies Make us More Interesting
Hobbies are a great tool to help us become more well-rounded individuals. Picking up a new skill gives you something to talk about and share with others, other than, “What do you do for work?” Often, hobbies become part of our core identity. If you’re thinking about picking up a new pastime, consider what you’d like to be known for.
Becoming good at your hobby increases your knowledge base and helps you grow as an individual. You’ll have the opportunity to share and teach your new skill to others, which is a great way to bond with others. This brings me to my next point:
Hobbies are a Great Relationship Builder
Taking part in leisure activities is a great way to make new friends. Find a way to turn your personal hobby into a social activity. Doing so will expand your social circle and make friends with people who share your common interest. For example, if you like to knit, join a knitting circle. If you enjoy archery, join an archery club, or if you like to walk, find a friend or neighbor to walk with you.
If you’re looking to spend more time with your significant other, hobbies are a great way to do that. You can find a new hobby together, or teach each other your current hobbies. After retirement, my dad, a life-long athlete, decided to pick up golf. After about two years, my mom quickly became a golf widow and decided to pick up the game just to spend more time together. She was surprised at how much she actually loves golf!
Today, my parents golf together in a couples league, go to driving ranges and even make friends in their respective men’s and women’s leagues. This last point is huge for my mom. She spent over 30 years as a nurse working long hours, only to come home to her family, never really making time for friendships. Taking up this one hobby has strengthened her marriage, gained her many friendships, and helps to keep her active and fit. Talk about a win-win-win!
Hobbies Boost our Confidence
Being good at something is always a welcome feeling, isn’t it? A good hobby will challenge you and push you to learn and perfect new skills. It will allow you to continually improve and grow. Most hobbies will give you the chance to fail – and overcome.
Pushing myself has always been a huge confidence booster, and I imagine you’re wired the same. I think we all are. Especially when we reach a point where we’re really being challenged. When you push through the hard parts, you get that warm feeling of accomplishment. Who doesn’t love that?
Additionally, having a hobby that doesn’t include hours of binge-watching television will help alleviate some of the guilt that comes with time wasting. A hobby helps us to be productive even during leisure time. Productivity doesn’t have to mean checking off to-do lists. Productivity can be as simple as improving your skillset or making progress on a fun project.
CHOOSING A HOBBY
You may already have a hobby that you love. Or, you may not have discovered your passion yet, and you don’t know where to start. Maybe it’s time to try some new things! However, there are some things to consider before picking up a new hobby.
First, it needs to be sustainable. Picking up an expensive habit like golf or restoring classic cars may not be the right option if you’re tight on cash.
Second, make sure you have the space to do your activity if it’s something that you’ll be doing at home. For example, you should probably pass on building custom wood furniture if you live in an apartment. However, if something like that is what you’re determined to try, check out your community resources. Some areas have workshops where you can work on projects, and many even have tools you can rent for a low fee.
Third, you’ll need access. If you’re looking into picking up Jiu-Jitsu, finding a gym nearby is essential. While you may be willing to drive two hours to a place where you can roll with other Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, you should consider if that’s something you can commit to.
Fourth, your hobby should help you unwind. Picking something that just brings you more stress is probably not the ideal situation. Which brings you to my next point: IT IS OK TO QUIT!
I am a voracious reader. For years, I felt like I had to finish a book if I started it. I would resentfully push through books I didn’t enjoy, simply because I felt like I had to. A few summers ago I was participating in a reading challenge through my local library, and one of the best challenges I ever accepted was to quit a book if I wasn’t enjoying it. What a simple concept! Seriously, why hadn’t I just allowed myself to do that from the start? Now, if I’m not into a book within the first chapter, I quit reading it and grab a different one.
As I mentioned before – a hobby should be something you look forward to doing. It should leave you feeling satisfied and rejuvenated. If you’ve been scrapbooking for 20 years, and suddenly realize that you no longer look forward to it – QUIT! Out with the old, and in with the new, I say.
If you’re still at a loss for what to try, check out this massive list of over 1,000 hobbies.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
I hope I’ve inspired you to get out there and discover (or rediscover) your leisure passion. I encourage you to deliberately schedule some time this week for your current hobby or dedicate some effort to finding something new that you enjoy. Get out there and get after it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics.
ABOUT VISION TO PURPOSE
Vision to Purpose is an organization dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed by offering tailored career, life, and business solutions.
Need a resume writer? How about a career coach? Perhaps a business consultant? Look no further, Dr. Bennett and the Vision to Purpose team can help! You can learn more about Vision to Purpose by visiting www.visiontopurpose.com.