“An activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.”
A hobby is any activity a person chooses to do for fun or relaxation in their spare time, away from usual commitments like work. Also known as a ‘pastime’, hobbies are the things people do to unwind and destress, for amusement, or to develop a skill.
Hobbies can add excitement, diversity and enjoyment to daily life. Hobbies can bring people together, you can meet new people, discover things about yourself, develop new skills and develop as a person. Without something to do for pure enjoyment, daily life can become very black and white. You go to work, you sleep, and repeat.
Hobbies can bring fun and adventure to life, as well as an opportunity for personal development.
Hobbies can be hard to come by as an adult. As a child, you may remember your passion for painting, dance, swimming and 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 any 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.
What is a hobby?
For many people, the only leisure activity they have is watching television and scrolling through Instagram, Facebook - whichever social channel is the favourite. Of course, binge-watching a TV series is nothing to be ashamed of and something we all enjoy. But having an actual hobby, whether that be colouring, calligraphy or rock climbing, offers real benefits.
Why are hobbies important?
Having a hobby can provide us with a creative outlet that many of us don’t get in our everyday lives. Working long hours, only to come home and have an endless list of housework, to be physically exhausted but too much on your mind to sleep, and doing it all again the next day, can easily become routine and well, make you miserable.
Having an activity that is just for you to enjoy, to forget the stress of daily life, can bring a lot of pleasure.
The benefits of having a hobby
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 on the regular (we know, you may not be able to do this daily, but every now and then is OK too).
You can develop life skills
Who would’ve thought something you do for fun could affect your life so much? Learning a particular skill is impressive in itself, but by practising, you learn patience and persistence. Learning something new isn’t 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 may gain may depend on the activity you are 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. These days, we feel guilty doing things for ourselves, but having this alone time is very 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 help you understand yourself better. They show that you can do anything you put your mind to, despite what you’ve told yourself for years.
Learn more about self-care and why it's important.
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 who knows, maybe even a love interest!
It’s a stand out fact that looks great to potential employers
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 say a lot about you - someone who states they enjoy reading is more likely to be perceived as a quiet, more introspective person than someone who is an aspiring stand-up comedian or public speaker.
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
Sounds like a dream, right? While the main purpose of having a hobby is for recreation and pleasure, having one can often lead to opportunity. 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 life coach help?
Starting a new hobby takes confidence. Many people can be put off trying new things, perhaps due to time management, fear of failure, lack of confidence. The list goes on. While a professional coach can’t choose your hobby for you, they can help you 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 step by step, achieving your goals.
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