The Importance of Hobbies

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The Importance of Hobbies

Many people undervalue the importance of hobbies throughout life when the truth is that hobbies have multiple benefits to those who engage in them. When younger, hobbies are frequently pushed to the side to allow more time for work, family, education, and friends. As we age we may develop too much free time which can lead to a sense of idleness, depression, and feelings of worthlessness. Engaging in a hobby or two can help combat these negative feelings and may help reinvigorate long lost passions.

Hobbies are important as they create a sense of community and help fortify one’s identity. When entering retirement, many feel as though they have lost a large part of their identity through the retirement process. Engaging in a meaningful and engaging hobby can combat these feelings and add to one’s personal identity after retirement. Other benefits of hobbies include: keeping your mind active, lowering the risk of dementia, bringing a sense of purpose, fighting isolation, bringing joy through engaging in the activity, and if the hobby is physical in nature you may see benefits to your physical health as well.

A good rule to go by is to engage in at least one hobby that focuses on improving mental health, one hobby to improve cognitive health, and one hobby to improve physical health.

Some examples of hobbies/activities to engage in to help promote physical, cognitive, and mental wellness as we age include:

  • Quilting/sewing
  • Scrapbooking
  • Volunteering
  • Gardening/ caring for houseplants
  • Caring for a pet
  • Reading
  • Playing Chess
  • Forming a coffee group
  • Attending church/bible study
  • Art
  • Yoga
  • Cooking/Baking
  • Adult coloring books
  • Reading and writing poetry
  • Knitting
  • Writing down memories
  • Meditation
  • Mentoring youth
  • Taking a class on something you have always wanted to learn
  • Engaging in pen pal correspondence

Many of the above-mentioned activities can be done independently or in small groups. Engaging in these hobbies while following COVID19 guidelines is entirely possible. For example, you and a couple of friends could start your own book club and meet outside, call to discuss the book, or meet in a large room to discuss the material while being socially distanced. Bonding over enjoyed activities does not have to diminish during these times as social distancing does not have to equate to social isolation.