It can be tricky to find time in our modern lifestyles to take some headspace for ourselves, and certainly difficult to find time to do things just because we enjoy them. It is important, however, that we ensure we make time for our hobbies and give our mental health the boost it needs. Some people find it more rewarding to spend their downtime doing an activity which is intellectually stimulating and/or creative, as this has the added benefit of improving their self-esteem. If you are searching for a productive way to unwind, here are six hobbies you might want to try.
- Reading (or listening to) books
Reading – whether fiction or non-fiction – is a form of escapism, but it also keeps the mind sharp and broadens intellectual horizons. Choose a topic, author, or theme which piques your interest, and find a book which intrigues you. You can read physical books, e-books, or listen to audiobooks.
An online blog can be anything you want it to be, but ultimately it is a space for you to share your interests, thoughts, and experiences. In some ways, it can be thought of as a diary, but you might want to focus on a particular theme and attract like-minded readers who might share the blog. Writing blogs can be a great way to challenge yourself intellectually, to connect with others, or even to make money if you can build up an audience and sell advertising space.
- Painting or drawing
If you are artistic, or even if you are a beginner, drawing and/or painting can be a rewarding and therapeutic way to spend our time. You could do this in your own in your home, with others in a class, or out in the natural world getting some fresh air and sunshine at the same time.
Crafting is an increasingly popular way not only to pass leisure time, but also to create pieces which we can use around the home, give as gifts, or sell for a profit. There are hundreds of crafts to consider, but a great example is quilting. By buying quilting supplies online, and stitching bright, colorful fabrics together, you can create a beautiful quilt for your bedroom or lounge, which will look amazing. It takes concentration and time, but long-term projects are often more rewarding.
Baking, in some ways, is like crafting as it involves preparation, concentration, and, in some cases, creativity, which makes it a great activity for reducing stress. You also end up with some delicious treats to enjoy, share, and sell. Some people who start baking as a hobby go on to open their own side-business, which is a productive way to spend your leisure time.
- Dog walking
If you an animal lover and you have some spare time during the day, you might want to consider becoming a dog walker. You might have a friend or neighbor who would be happy for you to take their dog out for a walk which will give you and the dog more exercise, as well as time to enjoy the great outdoors. Dog walking has been found to reduce stress levels, and you may even be able to charge a fee and earn some extra money.