Family, Running & Fitness

How Pursuing a Hobby Can Improve Your Mental Health

Matt Orlando
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With work and responsibilities, many people find it challenging to set aside time for enjoyable activities to destress and care for themselves. It doesn’t help that we’re now trying to balance these responsibilities while winter weather and COVID-19 stay-at-home orders trap us all in our homes. If you’ve found yourself stuck in a relentless routine, consider how pursuing a hobby can improve your mental health and help you find time for yourself.

Reduce Stress

Because you’re spending so much time indoors, you’ve likely fallen into a sedentary lifestyle and maybe even put on a few extra pounds. These factors can leave you feeling unproductive and demotivated, further worsening your mental state. Try taking up a hobby like exercising to relieve stress and feel productive. You’ll improve yourself both physically and mentally. Whatever hobby you choose, use it as an opportunity to turn your attention inward and focus on your own needs instead of the pressure of your responsibilities.

Inspires Creativity

Enjoying yourself doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. One of the best ways that pursuing a hobby can improve your mental health is by providing new opportunities for creative inspiration. The act of making or achieving something releases dopamine within our brains and lifts our moods. Additionally, practicing a hobby or talent boosts self-confidence and motivation.

Form Connections

In this increasingly digital age, we need not ever be truly alone. Getting into a new hobby and discovering new interests allows you to seek out like-minded people via the internet and form new, meaningful connections through a common interest. It’s the next best thing to in-person communication—which is not much of an option right now—and will help you stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Expressing Yourself

When facing depression, anxiety, or many other ailments, we tend to keep it bottled up because we have nowhere to turn to express those feelings. A hobby can be the perfect place to get those suffocating feelings and anxieties off your chest. By creating something new and unique, you vent that energy and redirect those feelings into something productive. This practice is a great way to confront your problems if you’re having a hard time grappling with them because recognizing and accepting your fears and feelings is the first step to solving the underlying issues.

As our lives only get busier and the world around us becomes more tumultuous, we hope we’ve expressed to you how crucial it is to pursue a hobby and make it a point to find time for that hobby. Never consider your own enjoyment and fun as shameful because these emotions are such an important part of staying healthy.