4 Reasons You’ll Be Happier and Healthier With a Hobby

  • Lifestyle
  • Claire Cavanaugh
  • November 27, 2017

In your fast-paced lifestyle, there’s nothing more crucial than slowing down every now and then. As I write this, I can feel you rolling your eyes. I know you’ve heard it countless times before from your friends, your mom, and your favorite lifestyle magazine. And I’ll leave it up to them to tell you you’re too busy, you deserve some time for yourself, and you’ve earned it. Because while that may be true, your lifestyle is not a prerequisite to having a hobby. No matter who you are, having a hobby is critical to your health and happiness.

If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts for The Rachel Review, you’ll know I recently graduated from college. As a Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts major, my senior thesis project was a self-published book about the tricky balance of work and leisure in our lives. After researching dozens of studies, articles, books, and films, interviewing 19 experts on the subject (including Rachel herself!), and writing through my last spring break, I’d learned a lot about the risks and rewards of doing what we love for a living: a fantasy of many, but a reality for few.

Above all, I realized how important it is to have something in your life that you love to do, something that provides you a sense of purpose, and something that you want to continue getting better at. Many of you probably know this magical activity as a hobby. Do you have one? Whether it’s knitting, baking, gardening, photography, or anything and everything in-between, there’s no right or wrong way to have a hobby — and a long list of reasons why you should! I’ve detailed a few of them below.

1. Establish Your Leisure Lifestyle

Just as you have a work life and a home life, you also have a leisure lifestyle: a facet of your daily routine that should be prioritized just as much as the others! Filling your free time with activities that are meaningful to you will ensure enjoyment, focus, and commitment — on your own terms, not a boss’, a friend’s, or a significant other’s.

 2. Find a New Community

While some hobbies may be completely solitary endeavors, many involve a community of individuals who share the same passion. Clubs, classes, online forums, and groups on different social media platforms are just a few examples. Establishing a variety of social circles can be very important in life, and a hobby could be a great way to meet people with interests similar to yours!

3. Cure Your Professional Burnout

If you’re feeling exhausted and unfulfilled on the job, you might be in the wrong role, company, or industry. However, there’s also a chance you haven’t achieved sufficient work-life balance. Are you experiencing symptoms of professional burnout? Try altering your leisure lifestyle: take up a hobby, or swap your go-to pastime for a new one. Sometimes, a greater balance of work and leisure can offer some much needed clarity in both areas. If you’re still dreading your nine-to-five after implementing these strategies, it might be time to make a change in your work life.

4. Engage Your Creative Side

 Even if you don’t consider yourself a particularly inventive person, this last reason is a key piece of the puzzle. Whether it’s a handmade scarf or a homemade pie, creating can provide a sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency. Pursuing commitments unrelated to work can be highly rewarding, and engaging your creative side often demands the practice and determination to do just that.

Which hobby will you explore? Don’t forget to share in the comments below!

Cover image by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

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