Why Finding A Fun Hobby To Do After Your 9-5 Is Good For Your Mental Health

Having a hobby is an important part of life and can serve as a key part of self-care. Of course, picking the right hobby isn't always easy. When choosing a hobby it's essential to think about what makes you happy. So, if you're a creative person who loves to make things, you may want to consider taking up drawing, painting, or sculpting. You might also want to craft things and get into home decor. However, hobbies can be simple, as well. For example, you could pick up an adult coloring book if you just want a creative outlet that's easy and relaxing. Other relaxing hobbies include photography, doing jigsaw puzzles, reading or listening to audiobooks, playing card games, journaling, and birdwatching.

Hobbies can be challenging as well as enjoyable. Activities such walking, hiking, bike riding, jogging, yoga, dancing, tennis, swimming, and other physical hobbies can not only be fun and help give you energy, but also keep your health in check. But hobbies aren't just about physical health and entertainment — they are also important for your mental health. "Hobbies that include physical activity have been linked to many health benefits including reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, and a lower heart rate," said Emma Parkhurst, an Assistant Professor at Utah State University. "But if you take physical activity outside, there are many additional positive benefits. Experts agree that spending as little as 10 minutes in nature can lead to improved mood, focus, and overall wellbeing."

People who take up group hobbies tend to live longer

Hobbies will look different for each person, as everyone has their own specific interests and passions. However, the benefits of having a hobby are universal. A hobby can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as it gives you something to look forward to, stimulates your mind, and offers up a sense of achievement that can create feelings of confidence and positivity. Hobbies can also help you feel relaxed, which can be very important for your mind and body following a workday.

A person's mental health is also greatly impacted when they have a hobby that they enjoy, because they can help improve brain activity. According to Web MD, performing group hobbies like joining a book club or taking a cooking class can help combat loneliness and reduce your mortality risk by up to 50%.

Meanwhile, hobbies that include exercise and other physical activity also help improve mental health and offer a number of benefits such as reduced blood pressure, lower heart rate, and positive changes in mood. Taking up meditation can also create a solid foundation for better mental health. So, choosing your after-work hobby might just be one of the most important things you'll ever do.

How to make time for your hobbies

While hobbies are very important, finding the time to fit in your chosen after-work activity may prove to be difficult. With busy lives that include careers, families, relationships, and other responsibilities, hobbies can often be put on the back burner. However, making time to perform your hobby is important. You don't have to do your chosen hobby every day. Instead, check out your schedule and try to fill in any gaps with your chosen activity. Trying to find just a few hours each month is a great start. Hobbies can also fit into your work day. For example, you could read during your lunch break. You could listen to an audiobook or a podcast during your commute or your workout.

You can also look for things to cut back on in order to find more time in your schedule. This could mean less time scrolling on TikTok or watching TV, which will free you up to take a piano lesson, try a new recipe, or meet a friend for coffee. You could also find a way to delegate some of your less desirable tasks in order to open up your schedule. Hiring a cleaning service to keep your home tidy, getting a babysitter to watch the kids while you head out for some time to yourself, or simply saying no to tasks and events you have no interest in are tried and tested methods. However you go about it, try to remember that hobbies are an important form of self-care that will help you retain a strong mental state and healthy lifestyle.