It seems like our to-do lists are getting longer every day and ‘free time’ is a distant memory, so the thought of adding something else to your plate might seem unnecessary. However, research shows that starting a new hobby helps to relieve stress and provides you with multiple benefits. From bringing new challenges and the opportunity to learn a new skill, to enhancing your physical health and promoting happiness, there are endless reasons as to why we encourage you to consider starting a New Hobby for 2018!
Most of us have a long list of things which we’ve always wanted to try with the hope that we will get the opportunity to one day, but if you’re struggling for ideas here are a few of our top suggestions. These hobbies are also perfect for encouraging children to get outside and learn a new skill whilst spending quality time with the family.
The great thing about gardening is that it’s a perennial pursuit. You can pretty much do things in your garden all year round. Over the autumn and winter months, you can prepare your garden for the spring and summer by digging up annual flowers, cutting bushes back, and clearing your beds of detritus. By the time spring and summer arrive, you can start potting plants, planting flowers and transforming your garden into a veritable oasis.
Being outside, surrounded by nature, truly awakens the senses, which is why gardening is so beneficial to your mental wellbeing. The smell of a Sunsprite rose, the sight of an Allium giganteum, the soothing sound of a singing Nightingale – all help to take your mind off any worries you’re feeling. Indeed, there is no greater stress reliever than enjoying a glass of wine, reading a book, or catching some rays in your own beautifully kept back garden.
Gardening also gives you a workout. Digging weeds, shovelling compost, lopping branches and other gardening activities are guaranteed to get your heart racing and muscles moving. According to a 2006 study by Pennsylvania’s University of Scranton, prolonged exercise such as gardening can burn more calories than a trip down the gym. Put simply, you usually spend about an hour down the gym but can easily potter about in your garden all day long.
If gardening doesn’t set your pulse racing, maybe a roller sport will. You’re never too old or too young to take up a roller sport, be it skateboarding, inline skating, roller skating or riding a scooter. As well as being fantastic fun, roller sports are great for strengthening your muscles, improving your core balance and boosting your cardiovascular health. You can skate by yourself or with your friends, depending on your personal preference. And, if you’re seriously interested in pursuing a roller sport, you can even join a local team or club.
Like all sports, skateboarding requires a great deal of practice and perseverance. It isn’t easy to perform a Fakie Beta Flip and other complex tricks, but you’ll feel an enormous sense of pride when you pull them off. Plus, they’re a sure-fire way to impress all those cool cats down the skate park. Don’t attempt difficult tricks straight from the word go though, or you’re likely to do yourself a mischief. Performing an Ollie (jump) for the first time is equally as rewarding and will give you the encouragement you need to take things to the next level.
Roller skating has enjoyed a huge resurgence over recent years. It’s easier to balance on roller skates than inline skates, which makes it far more accessible to newbies. Such is the popularity of the sport that the BBC is going to be broadcasting the Nation Roller Derby World Cup 2018 for the first time in its history. The full-contact sport is played in teams with a single point scoring skater. With help from their teammates, the point scorer, or Jammer, has to lap as many opposing players as possible. If you’re looking to take up a fast, frantic and furious hobby, there are lots of local Roller Derby clubs dotted around the country.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts are great if you’re looking for a hobby to feed your creativity. Taking up a creative activity helps to focus your mind and prevents it drifting off into a sea of negativity, therefore relieving you of any stress or anxiety you’re feeling. Whether you’re past the age of 50 or under the age of 10, there are lots of arts and crafts activities to suit. For children, drawing and painting are a great way to express their emotions and boost their self-confidence. For adults and the elderly, learning a new skill such as knitting helps to keep the brain active. It can also build social connections with people who share a similar interest, especially if you join a local class.