A hobby can be described as “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.” Essentially, hobbies are activities we choose to do for fun or relaxation in our spare time, away from usual commitments like work or care-giving.
Hobbies can add a sense of fulfilment and joy to your life. They can bring people together, help you discover new things about yourself, develop new skills and develop as a person. When we don't have something we do for pure enjoyment, daily life can become very black and white, you go to work, you sleep, and repeat.
Hobbies can bring variety and adventure to your routine, as well as an opportunity for personal development.
Hobbies can be harder to come by as an adult. As a child, you may remember your passion for painting, dance, swimming or football. You may have had a collection of sticker books, which you cared for daily, saving your pocket money until you found the rare ‘shiny’.
When you grow up, you gain responsibilities. It seems like you have no time to do the things you once loved. In between work, relationships, socialising and creating a life; a home and a family, how can there possibly be time to learn something new or revisit an old interest? But having a passion, however small, can be very beneficial for your health - mentally and physically. Finding the time to continue your passions can help you unwind after a long day, it gives you the opportunity to focus on nothing else, other than your happiness.
Why are hobbies important?
For some, the only leisure activity they have is watching television and scrolling through social media. Of course, binge-watching a TV series is nothing to be ashamed of and something we all enjoy. But having some sort of hobby, whether that be colouring, calligraphy or rock climbing, offers real benefits.
Having a hobby can provide us with a creative outlet that we may not get in our everyday lives. Working long hours, only to come home and have an endless list of housework and doing it all again the next day can easily become routine and leave you exhausted.
Having an activity that is just for you to enjoy, to forget the stress of daily life, can bring a lot of pleasure and become an act of self-care.
The benefits of having hobbies
Anyone can have a hobby. You don’t need to have a particular skill, just an interest. Nor do you have to be a whizz at your chosen activity, you can reap the benefits regardless.
There are a number of benefits to having a hobby, or at least, an activity you partake in regularly (we know, you may not be able to do this daily, but every now and then is OK too).
You can develop life skills
Learning a particular skill is impressive in itself, but by practising, you learn patience and persistence. Learning something new isn’t always easy, especially as an adult, but taking the time to practice and keep at it shows a lot of self-discipline.
Of course, the life skills you'll gain will depend on the activity you're taking up. For example, if you join a new dance class, you’re stepping into unknown territory. You may be afraid, but you push past it, finding confidence and achievement in trying something new - and enjoying it.
It’s great for your mental well-being, self-esteem and confidence
Self-care is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle - mentally and physically - and not enough of us do it. We can feel guilty doing things for ourselves, but having this alone time is important for overall well-being and key to enjoying life. It helps you learn more about yourself - what you like, who you are, and what you want. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential.
Hobbies can help boost self-esteem and confidence, as you see your skills develop and improve. They show that you can do anything you put your mind to, despite what you’ve told yourself for years.
By crafting, we’re just letting images, shapes, colours, and our intuition lead us in different directions. Somehow the fun of the objects themselves can mean we drift out of boxed thinking and discover that something within us can quietly rearrange things in the background.
You can meet new people
This will again depend on your chosen activity, but many hobbies can be a great way to meet new people and open up your social life. Whether you’re comfortable in social situations or prefer to keep to yourself, pursuing a hobby that requires social skills is a great way to challenge yourself. Putting yourself in these often uncomfortable situations can help you gain confidence, make friends and maybe even a love interest if you're looking!
It looks great to potential employers
"What do you like to do in your spare time?" You may have experienced this question in an interview before, and had no answer. You may think what you do in your spare time is your business and yours alone, but what interests you is also of interest to potential employers.
Adding your hobbies and interests to your CV or job application is a great way to stand out, and the employer is likely to look at this section to learn more about you. Your chosen interests and hobbies can say a lot about you and the type of person you are.
Having a variety of interests is a great way to increase your employability. You don’t need to be a budding entrepreneur, even an interest in painting or running shows you have patience, willpower and self-discipline.
It can change your life
While the main purpose of having a hobby is for recreation and pleasure, having one can lead to incredible opportunities. Many award-winning novelists start by writing as a hobby, musicians start by picking up a guitar and playing for fun.
Whether it happens by chance, or you’re considering taking your hobby and turning it into a business venture, what was your way of unwinding after a long day can end up changing your life completely.
How can a coach help?
Pursuing a hobby is one way we can enrich our lives, and enriching our lives is what coaching is all about. Many people turn to coaching when they're feeling stuck in a certain area of their lives. For some, making time for hobbies or starting something new is where they become stuck. Here's how a coach can help with hobbies.
They can help you make time for your hobbies
When it comes to self-care, in any form, lack of time is a barrier many of us come up against. Working with a coach can help you outline what you'd like to prioritise (including your hobbies) and how you can make time for what's important to you. This may involve delegating other tasks or saying no more and setting boundaries. Over time you'll create a routine that works for you where you have time for your passions and can feel more fulfilled.
They can help you build confidence to try something new
Starting a new hobby often takes a dash of confidence. Some of us can be put off trying new things, perhaps due to fear of failure or lack of confidence. While a coach can’t choose your hobby for you, they can help you to identify what would bring fulfilment, overcome your fears and feel confident enough to take the first step. A coach can support and guide you along the way, as you grow more comfortable in making your own decisions and achieving your goals.
If this sounds like an area you could benefit from support with, search for a coach today and see how they could help. Offering guidance and gentle accountability, coaching may be the key you need to open the door to new possibilities.