We are a society that has forgotten how to relax. With a constant pull of demands facilitated by 24/7 access to emails, it’s hard to unplug from work. Yet, scheduling R&R is worth the valuable time it requires because pursuing a hobby, learning a new skill, or trying something different promotes self-care: It calms racing minds, increases energy levels, and helps us cope with life’s stressors.
If sitting and chilling is anathema to you, there are lots of other activities that are productive, engaging, fun, and relaxing. Don’t know where to start? Keep reading! You don’t have to stick to tried-and-true hobbies if your interests lie in other directions. Whether you’re social or solo, there’s something for everyone.
Have a dog or thinking about adopting one? You can take him to obedience school or train at home with the help of some of these online training videos. The basics for all well-schooled dogs include “sit,” “stay,” “down,” “off,” and “come.” Start with “sit” and keep going; in no time at all, your pup’s manners will shine.
Canine Agility and Frisbee
If you have an active canine who needs a job, why not train him to catch a Frisbee or compete in agility games? You can set up a basic backyard agility course or check your area for local groups. Should you prefer to stay a bit more low-key, you can train your dog to catch a Frisbee. The best breeds for Frisbee-catching are labs, pointers, shepherds, collies, and retrievers, but that doesn’t mean other breeds won’t succeed — they just might require more intensive training.
Guitar Hero skills only go so far, but learning to play a real guitar brings numerous social, personal, and health benefits. Guitars are relatively inexpensive and have an easier learning curve for beginners. The internet’s full of free or inexpensive online resources, too.
Sweep your partner off their feet while you improve your poise, posture, and confidence while getting that heart pumping. It’s a great way to meet new people or spend time with friends, too. Check out this beginner’s guide to exploring ballroom dancing.
Camping, Backpacking, and Hiking
Nature provides a soothing balm to the rush and rigor of daily life. The natural world offers a myriad of mental and physical benefits. If you’ve only got an hour or a few hours to spare, all you need to hike is a pair of broken-in sturdy boots or shoes and a walking stick -- and you’re good to go!
Lego blocks aren’t just for kids! Even if you’re attracted to other model types and styles, you’ll sharpen your eye for detail, relieve stress, clear your mind, and get instant gratification as the model takes shape. Age and gender don’t matter — there’s something for everyone!
Whether you prefer the “old” film cameras and enjoy the challenge of developing your own black-and-white photos or like the all-digital trend, there’s plenty of opportunity and many groups to support this hobby. The best thing about photography is its ability to blend with other interests. For example, you can snap a few photos on your nature hike. Develop your photography skills with the resources available online.
Want to turn a hobby into a career? If you're looking for a rewarding career where you can put your passion into your paycheck, a career in information technology may be just what you need. Computers are a great example. You can go from computer wiz to true guru, and as a highly skilled field, an IT degree will not only help you get your foot in the door but also give you the certifications needed to be successful in your work. There are many options for earning your degree, but one that is very flexible (to allow you to stay at your current job until you're ready, for example) is an online degree program like those offered by WGU. Set the pace of your studies and control when you finish so you can balance your life as needed.
When it comes to hobbies for self-care, there’s no limit to how we spend our time exploring and relaxing. Challenging projects, hobbies that bring joy, and learning skills that sharpen our minds all add interest to our lives and keep us more well-rounded. Consider all possibilities — they’re endless!
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