If you’ve been feeling busier and more stressed than normal, you may need a hobby. What if you’re feeling a little lonely or at loose ends because life has become less organized and less predictable? Picking up a hobby could be good for you, too.
A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that spending regular time on a hobby or leisure activity can help you feel better in the short term by managing negative stress and adding satisfaction and fulfillment to your days. The study reported that having a hobby has a positive impact on your overall health and can improve your daily function, lead to less severe disease outcomes and a longer life. The benefits grew for study participants who were involved in several leisure activities compared to those with only a few.
It doesn’t matter what activity you choose, but find one (or more) that leaves you feeling calm, refreshed and invigorated. Consider whether you enjoy doing things that are creative, nature related, social, physical, spiritual, reflective or involve travel.
If your regular hobby is a little hard to do right now, try something new that you can do while social distancing. Exercise, online reading groups, puzzles, adult coloring books, cooking or a scenic drive all count as a hobby if it’s something you enjoy and restores your sense of well‑being. Set aside a little time every day and consider it an important way to take care of your health. Your mind and body will thank you for the pause from worry and responsibility.