Start a New Hobby, Improve Your Self-Esteem
Starting a new hobby may just seem like a fun thing to do, but it can also boost your mood and build your self-esteem. Hobbies help us to find a balance in our lives. If you’re a person who works all the time, chances are you are stressed out and tense. I think it’s important to find something that brings happiness and joy into your life. Finding a new hobby might be just the thing for you!
Benefits of Hobbies
Between work, family, and other obligations, we might find ourselves struggling to manage it all and feeling frazzled. Starting a hobby might seem like the last thing you’d want to do- just one more thing on your to-do list! But a hobby can give you something positive to focus on and can have the following benefits:
1. It may help to improve life skills like communication, technical know-how, coordination/ fine motor skills, relationship skills, etc. Learning these types of skills through your hobby might enhance your work performance and your personal relationships.
2. It may help to improve your physical health and make you healthier. Various exercises and self-improvement hobbies can get you in shape, and boost your immune system. decrease stress, and promote relaxation.
3. It may help to improve your social circle and help you to make new friends. As we get out of school and start to get older, it becomes noticeable harder to make new friends. Friend groups become more set and we just don’t have the free time available to forge new relationships. Hobbies place us with people who have a shared interest which is a good starting place for friendship.
New Hobbies to Try
So hopefully now you’re asking yourself what new hobbies are available for you to try? I have listed several suggestions for you to think about, or, you might want to do some searching on the internet to see what you might find.
1. Meditation, yoga, or guided relaxation. This provides stress relief, and relaxation, it can decrease your cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and can boost your immune system. Meditation and yoga can also help to decrease depression and anxiety. Just know that meditation especially can be challenging to learn if you have depression or anxiety.
2. Puzzles & games. This can not only be fun but can help you develop a sense of mastery which in turn will improve your self-esteem. It is also thought that this might help slow down or even stop the effects of aging on your cognition. Just beware that most computer games don’t make a great choice. These games can isolate you and are literally crafted to absorb your attention and keep you playing. They can cause relationship problems or can be used to escape from reality. I’d much rather see you get together with your friends for a game of monopoly, chess, D&D, or scrabble at someone’s home or meet up at the bar for the weekly trivia match. For puzzles, try jigsaw varieties, crosswords, brain teasers, sudoku, logic puzzles, or riddles.
3. Art or crafts. Make use of your creativity and learn a new art medium or start a craft project. This would include things such as drawing, quilling, tatting, leather work, whittling, scrapbooking, tile mosaics, flower arranging, painting, knitting, mixed media, photography, cake decorating, pisanki, sculpting, basket weaving, jewelry making, and many more. Activities like this can help with feelings expression or relaxation.
4. Learn a new skill. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to speak French. Or you’ve always wanted to learn reflexology. Or maybe you want to know how to do some carpentry or other household tasks. Your local hardware store might offer low-cost classes on various home repair tasks. Cities and municipalities offer low-cost classes as well on a variety of topics such as swimming, ASL, dog training, gardening, poetry writing, and computer programing. And there are all sorts of online platforms offering classes for you to learn history, arts, self-improvement, marketing, or a variety of other topics. Learning new information like this is linked to a higher level of self-esteem and can help delay dementia.
5. Travel. Traveling with friends or family can be great fun as well as helping you to expand your horizons. Traveling alone can help you to build self-confidence and self-reliance.
6. Learn a new musical instrument, take dancing lessons, or take singing lessons. Not only will these activities help you physically by improving coordination, strength, balance, and cardiac health, but music has been shown to be very healing emotionally.
7. Learn to cook. This will help you to be healthier and can help you to save money. You can take classes alone, with a friend, or even with your partner to help you grow closer. Or there are plenty of Youtube videos out there to show you how to start cooking today!
8. Take a martial arts class. Martial arts are known to improve your discipline. confidence, and can improve your physical health. And there are several different types of martial arts to choose from!
9. Join a book club. These are easy to find now. Your local library probably has one going, you can start one with your friends, or you can find scores of book clubs online. Many of them specialize in a specific genre or author. Reading can help to keep your mind sharp, but the addition of a book club makes reading a social activity as well. Having a good social life and friends is the one factor most associated with living a long and healthy life.
10. Sports. Playing a sport of any kind is good for you mentally and physically. It helps you to release stress, improves your sleep, and can boost your mood. Team sports also have the added benefits of being in a social group and sharing a common goal with others. So, think of tennis, baseball, swimming, wrestling, disc golf, soccer, target practice, hiking, golfing, ice dancing, gymnastics, bowling, handball, basketball, hockey, roller skating, horseback riding, pickleball, sky diving, boating, diving, rock climbing, or really any sport available to you.
Starting a new hobby can seem like a frivolous thing, but it can really help boost your mental health and your self-esteem. If you’d like to talk with someone further about self-esteem counseling, please follow the link. I’d love to hear from you!