Importance of Hobbies
Why hobbies are so important + 22 new ones to try
The abundance of new hobbies that Americans have taken up this year is certainly one good thing to come from 2020. The uncertainty of life in a pandemic world may have left us feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and bored, but it certainly brought out our need for doing something. Anything. We baked bread, cooked new kinds of food, and dug in and got dirty in our flowers and vegetable gardens.
We renovated and refreshed our homes with all kinds of DIY home improvement projects. We learned how to grow our own food and flowers and painted our living rooms.
Simply put, we reengaged with hobbies and activities that made us feel better. We revisited those we had in childhood and tried some new ones.
Activities you started to keep you from falling over from boredom last spring may now have turned into a much-loved hobby.
Why have a hobby?
Hobbies enrich our lives in so many ways. They give us something to look forward to. Hobbies provide hours of time we can think about everything or nothing.
There’s a lot of feel-good, mind healing therapy in those knitting needles and balls of yarn.
That feeling of being at one with yourself and what you’re doing is called having a sense of flow. You know it. It happens when you become so absorbed in something you enjoy doing you lose a sense of time and place.
Hobbies teach us the skill of living in the moment. No worries about tomorrow or next year, just blissful concentration on arts, crafts, and physical pursuits.
Hobbies do so much more good for us than we realize. If you need more convincing, keep reading.
Hobbies help our brains work better.
Some studies have looked at specific activities—such as playing a musical instrument, doing crossword puzzles, or playing games—and have found that people who engage in these hobbies tend to have better memory and executive functioning skills and a reduced risk of dementia. Any mental activity is good for the brain and helps enhance cognitive abilities.
One study from Johns Hopkins found that people who engage in multiple activities that “stretch” the brain have a much lower risk of developing cognitive problems. Mixing up the activities to “train your brain” is key. Reading in any form – newspapers, books, magazines – seems to be especially important in keeping the brain sharp.
Hobbies make us more interesting.
Yep, it’s true – your nerdy secret hobby can actually help improve your social life. No longer will you suffer as the dull one holding up the wall at the party. Next time you have the chance to tell someone what you enjoy, enchant them with your latest gardening or cooking successes. Or tell them how you learned how to knit so you could enjoy it with your mother. There are great stories to be told about how we develop and enjoy our hobbies.
Even the rich and famous have (nerdy?) hobbies:
- Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio both are both into sculpting pottery
- Julia Roberts is an avid knitter
- Johnny Depp collects Barbie doll
- Taylor Swift makes snow globes
- Billionaire Warren Buffet plays the ukulele
- John Lennon collected stamps. In 2016 his personal collection went on display at the World Stamp Show in New York, followed by a residency at the Smithsonian Postal Museum.
- Quentin Tarantino loves board games – believe it or not, “The Dukes of Hazzard” is a favorite
Hobbies create flow and increase happiness
Hobbies give us something we can count on and control. The human brain seeks order and routine, and we seek activities that provide them. If you knit, sew, write, or paint, you know the feeling that repetitive motions bring a sense of flow, of becoming so totally involved in the action you lose track of time. This “flow” results in a completed project – say a hand-knitted scarf or beautiful painting. Tasks that end in a result make us feel good.
Hobbies challenge us - in good ways
Not all hobbies are centered around physical activities, although biking, walking, running, and going to the gym can give us those physical rushes of endorphins, those “feel good” chemical brain boosts that make us feel we can conquer the world.
You can boost your brain with reading, puzzles, paper crafts, and painting too.
Challenging yourself, either physically or mentally, increases happiness and leads to relaxation.
Hobbies ease stress and negative emotions
There’s nothing better for getting out a funk than doing something you enjoy. If your job is causing you to feel anxious and stressed, it’s even more important to have some fun hobbies.
Keeping your mind and body occupied with another activity besides work helps you become multidimensional – you’re not just “one thing.” Plus, the science of neuroplasticity tells us that over time, our brain can start to rewire itself to make that activity more natural for us to carry out.
A happy, healthy human is multidimensional. Enjoyable hobbies help us fight burnout, depression, exhaustion, and the general monotony of modern, everyday life.
Hobbies give us something to feel good about.
This past year of pandemic life has shown us it’s more important than ever to feel good about something. Hobbies can be just the thing to make us feel excited and engaged. And it’s fun to learn something new or rediscover enjoyable activities we may have left behind years ago.
Nerd Bear, a culture website, conducted research looking into the most popular hobbies and pastimes during the coronavirus outbreak.
Learning a new instrument or learning a language were the least popular hobbies that Americans are picking up during isolation, according to the survey, with just 5% and 6% of respondents picking up those hobbies, respectively.
The survey of 750 people showed the most popular hobbies during the COVID-19 outbreak have been:
- Watching TV Shows and Movies
- Working Out
- Arts and Crafts
- Board Games
- Video Games
New hobby ideas
Hobbies can take about any form – they can nourish the mind and soul, exercise the body, and function as escapes from the stresses of daily life. Maybe one or two of the activities below will spark your creativity. Or create your own wonderful, weird, and glorious pastime. The good news is practically anything can be collected, learned, or experienced.
Before you start - consider a UniKeep hobby binder kit
When you try something new, it’s a good idea to have an idea of how you will be tracking your progress and keeping the bits and pieces of your hobbies organized and in one place. You may also need some ideas of how to organize home repairs, a cookbook, or a trading card collection.
Hobbies have a home at UniKeep. We can help you discover that extra creative edge and get organized.
Our binder kits and accessory products are available in a full line of iconic or plain styles and formatted to protect and store everything from photos, crafts, and recipes to video game cartridges, sports trading cards, and gardening.
Collecting – coins, stamps, paper memorabilia
Collectors know how important it is to be able to organize and store their collections so they can keep them in the best condition possible. It’s also great to have them all organized and in a single place so you can show them off.
UniKeep’s binder kits for collections kits include the fun organizing extras – such as pages sized just right for stamps, sports trading cards, guitar picks , or comic books – that make collecting fun and easy.
UniKeep’s full-sized Stamp Collection binder includes 10 archival-safe page protectors that will protect and store 200 stamps. Included mounting squares keep your stamps from folding over and make insertion quick and easy. Available in full and mini-size.
Disc golf is played much like regular golf, only you use a frisbee instead of a club. The goal is to throw a frisbee into a raised metal basket, going from “hole” to “hole” throughout the course.
If you plan to start playing, or already a devotee of the disc, check out UniKeep’s Disc Golf Compact Score Keeper.
- It comes ready with rules of play, schedules, and a course directory, Includes scoring sheets for up to 6 players for 108 games
- Travel friendly, mini binder case is easy to throw in a bag and take along to the course
You won’t have to track the scores and players’ names separately anymore because this disc golf mini binder contains pre-printed sheets for recording games and results.
The binder also features an external clip that holds your scorecards securely in place as you play and record scores.
More hobbies to try:
- Cooking specialty foods
- Walking or hiking
- Book or record collecting
- Painting, drawing, coloring
DIY home improvements
Pulling together all the important details of any home improvement project can be a challenge. How do you keep everything organized, stay focused, and stay on budget?
If home improvement is in your future, try the Remodeling Binder. This binder kit functions as a completely customizable planning, identification, and storage system. It also has enough room so you can add up to 280 sheets of your own plans, sketches, articles, and ideas.
- Use the specially printed pages to record performed tasks; itemize purchases
- Jot down ideas and store photos
- Includes 8 tabbed divider pages and 5 pocketed pages
- 10 page protectors and 8 printed content pages
- Case style binder snaps closed to prevent loss and damage to contents
More hobbies to try:
- Quilting and crocheting
- Stained glass, string art kits
- Handwritten notes – lettering
- Adult coloring books – frame, fold, make cards
- Repurposing anything – old furniture, clothing
- Bird watching
22. Nature walks
In Japan, there’s a term known as 'forest bathing'. It’s based on the idea that simply being present in nature can provide meditative and therapeutic effects. While not a magical remedy of any sort, taking walks through nature does have calming effects on the mind along with physical benefits
If we’re honest, most of us can find time to learn something new - just for the sheer pleasure of it. Pursuing our hobbies makes us feel good and provides many social, emotional, and brain benefits that contribute to a happy, balanced life.
After all, Isn’t that what we’re all seeking?
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