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Connecting with others through hobbies

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Hobbies are great for wellbeing for a number of reasons.

Whether your hobby is active or sedentary, it’s perhaps benefiting you in ways you might not have thought.

If you don’t have a hobby, you could well be missing out on a plethora of positives that could unlock some wellbeing-related improvements in various areas of your life.

Here, we’re going to focus on some of the benefits hobbies bring, and provide some ideas on hobbies you could try. Stick with us; it may be obvious for some, but we’re going to attempt to surprise you with some hobbies you may not have thought of previously…

The benefits of hobbies

From the obvious to the not-so-obvious, we present some of the benefits hobbies can bring below:

  • A sense of purpose and structure

    • Hobbies can help create a sense of purpose and structure. For example, you know you’re training [x] times per week, or you’ll be gaming on a given day of the week with your friends. This can carry across multiple weeks and months, with overarching objectives around these hobbies. E.G. do you have something you want to knit for your friend? Do you want to enter a competition? 

  • Improved fitness

    • If your hobby is active, you’re undoubtedly benefiting from improved fitness and an endorphin release, which in turn contributes to your overall sense of wellbeing. If your hobby isn’t particularly active, you should consider incorporating plenty of stretch breaks and ensure your seat is comfortable, where possible. 

  • Camaraderie and friendship

    • Making friends is so much easier when you have a shared interest or objective. There’s no pressure around it, but if you’re attending something weekly, you’re very likely to make new friends. Even if you’re very quiet and private, someone will potentially connect with you and you’ll have someone to lean on and share ideas with. 

  • Mental stimulation and endurance

    • Keeping our brains active is easy with a hobby. Some of them really get you thinking, for example, if you attend a table top games club. Many sports get you thinking and then you have the added challenge of pairing physical actions with the thoughts you’re making in the moment. 

  • Improved sleep

    • Hobbies can help with sleep for a number of reasons, however, it’s important to be mindful that physical activity too close to your bed time can be detrimental towards sleep. If for example you have rugby training that finishes at 9pm, consider staying up for a while and reading a book or similar, while that adrenalin runs its course. 

  • Reduced stress

    • Having a regular activity that is focused around something you enjoy, or at least something that is beneficial for you is great for stress management. Whether it’s physically or mentally challenging, or perhaps both, it’s likely to help reduce your stress. Unless of course it’s becoming a source of stress, in which case it may be advisable to take a break or speak with your coaches. 

  • Networking opportunities 

    • Hobbies tend to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds and in turn mean you’re able to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t in your day-to-day activity. Essentially, it can open doors, now or in the future. 

  • Expanded social calendar 

    • Many hobbies and members at clubs are keen to form an extensive social calendar. Whether it’s related to the hobby or it’s a social night out at a coffee shop, or bar (if you’re over 18!), keep some dates free for extra-curricular activities. It’s all a part of the hobby and the experience it brings. 

Ideas on potential hobbies

  • Rugby

  • Football

  • Netball

  • Rambling

  • Knitting

  • Cross-stitching

  • Viking sword fighting

  • Archery

  • Table top games

  • Console/PC gaming

  • Live action role playing

  • Geocaching 

What are your hobbies? Will you try anything new this year? Let us know on our social channels.

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