I’ve had hobbies as long as I can remember. Having different hobbies has opened me up to many avenues in my life and some have made me who I am today. I think it is important to make time for hobbies in our hectic lives. We shouldn’t consider having a hobby as trying to fit another dress into an already over-flowing wardrobe, but as a way to develop our skill set or blow off steam. There are many reasons why it’s important to have a hobby. Here are just five of them.

Important To Have A Hobby

Build self-esteem

Hobbies can be a great way to bring us out of our shells – by joining a community performance group, knitting group or a women’s circle, for instance. This is the one area in our lives where we can surround ourselves with people we enjoy spending time with and who have the same interests as us.

What better way to forget about a stressful job, overdue deadlines or a pile of washing than getting on stage, grabbing some knitting needles or visiting a museum with people who get us, who like the same things as us and – most importantly – who may be there for the exact same reason we are?

Make new friends

Now, I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many friends. As you go through life you may have a “friend clear-out”, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make room in your life for the many brilliant individuals out there. Hobbies are a great way to introduce you to these people. And the great thing is that a new friend could pop up anywhere. For all you know, your new best friend is the model at your life drawing class, or the joker in your bowling team.

If you’re happier in your own company however, there are plenty of hobbies (such as taxidermy, pole dancing, collecting stamps/antiques/hats/anything) that can be solo activities if you’d prefer to hobby alone.

Learn new skills

A hobby can be a great way to learn or develop new skills: learn to play an instrument, sail a boat, fish or make a puppet. You can consciously choose a hobby that will help you in your work life, or pick something completely removed from anything you’ve ever done before. Pick whatever you want – that’s the beauty of having a hobby. You may even be lucky enough to turn your hobby into a career.

Important To Have A Hobby

Get fitter and healthier

A lot of us hate going to the gym, but still want to be fit and healthy. Oh, the conundrum! A great way to counter this is to join a sports team. Ask at your local leisure centre or gym, or check out social media for teams looking for new recruits. There are so many team sports such as netball, football or badminton that will always be keen on having new blood. You could even try your hand at a more extreme sport like fencing, rock climbing or mountain biking.

If you pick a sport that you enjoy, it won’t even feel like you’re working out. Whichever sport or activity piques your interest, there are always many others out there who feel the same. You may even kill two birds with one stone and make new friends along the way.

Important To Have A Hobby

Strengthen personal relationships

I mentioned earlier that I’ve always had a lot of hobbies, and that hasn’t changed as I’ve gotten older. I find myself writing, reading, going to the gym, theatre and gigs and acting in community productions. It’s safe to say my life is pretty busy. I also live with my boyfriend who has no hobbies.

And this can be a problem. I feel guilty when I am out enjoying these activities, but at the same time I wouldn’t force him to join me as he doesn’t share my enjoyment. When you’re in a relationship, sometimes it can seem that you’re the only people that exist in the world – and that can be nice. But I think it’s important to remember that you are two individuals. You are two different people.

It’s also important to have “things” in your life that are just yours. It will help you to keep that individuality. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a hobby as a couple but you should always feel comfortable to have interests, and indeed, hobbies that are just for you.

What hobbies do you have? Or what hobbies have you always wanted to try? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hobbies | Wellbeing | Mental Health | Self Care

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