the joys and health benefits of a hobby

hobbiesSomeone asked me recently why I work so hard on this blog.

It seems like a lot of work and you aren’t really getting anything for it

I was a little taken back and it made me think for a minute. All I could come up with was:

it’s a hobby

To which she replied:

it kind of seems like a waste of time if you aren’t making any money

I disagree!

When I started it, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know if anyone would read it or if I would even stay interested in it myself. It’s been six months and I’ve had so much fun and learned so much that it now consumes all of my spare time and I love it!

Do you remember the old saying:

all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

Well, all work and no play could also shorten Jack’s life with stress, loneliness, depression and poor health.

Whether it’s crafting, historical re-enactment, playing an instrument, blogging, reading, or any number of sports; a hobby is not a waste of time. It has a significant part to play in the joy of a well-rounded life.

The joys and health benefits of a hobby:

  1. Reduce stress – It’s funny how, with all of the modern conveniences that are supposed to make our lives easier, we still somehow manage to make our lives so busy and stressful.
    Spending time on something you enjoy is a great way to give your body and mind a break from the stresses of work. And by “work”, I’m not just talking about your job.
    We need a break from life’s work too. Cleaning, errands, grocery shopping, cooking, looking after kids and caring for parents is work; hard work. Definitely not play.
  2. Make yourself more interesting – My ex-husband and I work in the same industry and we used to talk about work ALL of the time. Early in our careers, we worked so much that we had nothing else to talk about.
    When I finally found myself in a social situation, I realized that if I couldn’t talk about my work, I didn’t really have anything to say. I was not very interesting at all.
    Having a hobby or, even better, a couple of hobbies gives you something to offer in a conversation.
  3. Make some new friends – If you love cooking – take a cooking class. If you love soccer – join a recreational league.
    A hobby is a great avenue to find new friends that share your interests. When you have a shared interest, connection and conversation comes easily.
  4. Challenge yourself in a positive way – When my son was 5 or 6 years old, he used to play Super Mario on that Game Boy thingy. I remember that he would get so upset trying to get the next level. And I mean seriously upset; crying and yelling; I just couldn’t watch it. It would get so bad that his dad and I would threaten to take the thing away.
    I finally realized that getting upset was part of the game for him. He had to get that angry to push himself to figure out how to do it and when he finally won, the sense of pride and accomplishment lit up his whole face.
    Striving to be better or reach a new milestone at something you enjoy is a challenge full of endorphins and serotonin; not stress and anxiety. This is called good stress. And the payoff is increased self-confidence and self-worth.
  5. Get and stay healthier – An athletic hobby is great for keeping fit – I have a friend who loves soccer so much that he plays five nights a week in five different leagues. He is very fit . . . and single (ha, ha).
    But even a rather sedentary hobby can be good for your health. Besides reducing your stress, it can also reduce your food intake, especially high fat, high sugar snack food.
    Boredom is one of the biggest reasons for over-eating, over-snacking and over-drinking.
  6. Boost your brain power – A mentally sedentary life is just as unhealthy as a physically sedentary life. Learning, reading, problem solving and generally concentrating on something are all great ways to keep your brain active.
    Keeping your brain active is critical to maintain mental health.

So . . . why do I spend so much time and effort on my blog?
(it certainly isn’t the money)

I do it because:

  1. It takes my mind off of the stresses of my day job.
  2. It gives me so much to talk about. Everybody has opinions and ideas that they want to share with me and they give me lots of ideas to blog about.
  3. I’m meeting lots of new people in the blogosphere.
  4. I have learned so much about setting up and running a blog and I get so excited when I finally figure out something that’s been frustrating me. I feel like Rocky Balboa when he makes it to the top of the steps!
  5. It keeps me away from the TV and potato chip cupboard.
  6. Researching for my posts leads me to all kinds of interesting reading.

But most important? I really love it!

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  1. Writing this blog has brought a glow to your face. You ooze excitement when you talk about it. Sure doesn’t sound like a waste of time to me! Keep it up! I love getting your latest instalments.

  2. It shows that you love it Babs. I love reading your blogs. Interesting, knowledgeable, fun and you do it very well. Keep it up.

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