When we’re under pressure, struggling to meet deadlines or coping with a deadly pandemic, it’s often hard to carve out the time for our hobbies. They seem frivolous, optional, not important, or something we can always pick up later when we have more time. We feel busy all the time, even when we spend a great deal of time on passive activities such as social media, web browsing or streaming video or music.
But think again – people who spend time on hobbies they enjoy may have better physical health, better sleep, more social connections, improved work performance, cope better with stress and also be less likely to suffer from low mood and depression. Hobbies help us explore ourselves and our talents, promote flow – where time flies as we’re fully immersed in a challenging absorbing activity -and help us build a sense of mastery and control.
Here are three ways to take advantage of your hobbies – or find a new one:
- Reflect on the hobbies you’ve had over the course of your life. Which are the ones that make you smile, fill you with enthusiasm or just feel worth revisiting? Pick one and start it up again – or if you’re still dabbling in it, increase the time and focus you spend on it.
- Consider what type of new hobby might suit you. Something athletic, to exercise your body or cerebral, to exercise your mind? Something social, to build connections with others or something individual, to give you time to yourself? Something quiet and relaxing, to help you switch off? Something creative? Something you want to learn? Use these questions to pick something new to try, and schedule time to achieve it.
- Reprioritise your time: now you understand the value of hobbies, look for ways to substitute an active hobby for some of the passive activities we’re all prone to overdoing these days.
In our webinar on 29th September we’ll discuss more about this and other secrets to gaining competitive edge while mastering your potential for happiness and success.
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