In the pursuit of mental wellness, we tend to seek comfort in finding things we love to do. Realizing that a significant portion of the day goes to work, we are left with little time to ourselves. This daily hustle and demands of life can get overwhelming, making us disconnected from what matters to us. An integral aspect of self-growth and positive mental health is to engage in activities that give us a sense of purpose.
When we talk about finding a hobby, it is more than just “passing time”. It is about finding portals to channel creativity and relaxation, often leading to self-discovery.
Why do you need hobbies?
Hobbies can help individuals meet new people who like similar things and can expand opportunities to learn and grow. Shared interests provide avenues for social interaction like being part of a group/ club, or online communities, which foster a sense of belonging and support. It can include different forms of art like drawing/ painting, theatre, dancing, etc. Or if you are into nature and like to travel, hiking or going on treks can be useful. While some hobbies are solitary endeavors, the ones that require social connection can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.
The older we get, the more important (and tougher) it becomes to maintain a balance between work, relationships, personal time, etc. The skill lies in managing time in a way that reflects our identities while also catering to our different needs. Hobbies that revolve around physical health can also impact mental health positively as they go hand in hand. For instance, swimming or going to the gym regularly leads to healthy dietary habits, which subsequently improves mood and self-confidence, and helps beat fatigue. If you are someone who struggles with anxiety or rumination, pursuing a hobby can be a good distraction, where you can divert the energy to something that fuels a state of flow.
What we like and what we do majorly sculpt our identity. When we explore hobbies that suit our personality, we can uncover aspects of ourselves that we didn’t know existed. The hobbies we find are usually linked to our values and priorities and can bring about a renewed sense of energy and passion, which hasn’t been tapped into. They add layers to our identity and enhance our self-concept. If you are someone who loves photography, capturing moments and telling stories through photos become an integral part of who you are, as you become someone who finds beauty in the ordinary.
The power of hobbies stimulates a desire for cognitive growth whether it is for seeking an escape, self-improvement, or both. By exploring this, we create a more authentic and multi-faceted identity that reflects our inner creativity and individuality.