“Try new hobbies. Develop new interests. Pursue new experiences. When you expand your interests, you increase your opportunities for happiness.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
Even though the end of lockdown is in sight, there is still a little time to got before we can get involved in all the wonderful stuff that is usually available to us out in the real world! This time has challenged many of us in ways we didn’t know we could be challenged, and I don’t know about you, but I have often had to find inventive ways to stay on top of my wellbeing, resilience and need for creative and mindfulness fulfilment.
That being said, there is never a bad time to take up a new, mindfulness focussed hobby. Although the following hobbies are ideal for the strange world in which we currently live, they will offer you just as much when things begin to return to ‘normal’, whatever that may mean.
So, if you need something new to do, something calming and mindful to occupy your time, maybe one of these hobbies will take your fancy!
I mean, we all have to eat, right? So, I fancy most of you reading this will have put a meal together at least once or twice. However, cooking needn’t be just a chore. In fact, as it is something that most people do every day, you might as well enjoy it.
It is easy to get stuck in a rut with cooking, especially if you haven’t much energy. However, I have found a simple and sustainable way to keep the joy of cooking alive in me, and to mix up my weekly menu. It is as simple as this; cook one new dish a week. I put one day aside per week to try something new, to consciously engage and follow a recipe as opposed to just chucking the same old stuff together. I often find new recipes by picking a favourite ingredient, and just searching for recipes including said ingredient. For example, last week I make paprikash for the first time, as a result of me searching for paprika based recipes.
It was delicious, by the way.
2. Any Form of Exercise
Exercise can sound intimidating if hard physical exertion isn’t really your thing. However, exercise does not have to be intense to have mindful benefits. Any exercise is worth doing. Not only does exercise fire endorphins through your body, but it also offers momentary escapism, focus and a sense of having achieved something. So, sure, go intense, take up running, cycling, or HITT training. But know that regular walks or daily stretching sessions are just as good for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Photography is a great way to look at the world from a different angle. I took photographs on a daily basis for a while, and it taught me that beauty can be found anywhere in the most apparently uninspiring places, and in the most mundane of objects. Your regular local high street might be glorious when the sun hits it just right. You can find beauty in the steam rising from a coffee cup. And peoples faces tell many stories when they are captured in candid moments.
4. ‘Every Day for A Year’ Projects
This year, I have decided to post a ‘Song of the Day’ every day. I am doing this for 365 days. I find this relaxing and mindful for a few reasons, the first of which is that picking a song a day demands that I reflect on why I like the song so much. It helps me to feel gratitude towards the music. The regularity also helps to mark time and to give me structure. I am also already enjoying looking back on my choices and thinking about why I made those choices on the days that I made them.
Hobbies needn’t be, for lack of a better term, ‘frivolous’. They can also be functional. Cleaning gives you satisfying results, as well as helping you to get your blood pumping a little. This endorphin rush and ultimate sense of achievement will help to clear the mind. Try and clean your home for 20 minutes every day. Just a little clean on a daily basis. You’d be surprised how good it makes you feel, and how quickly it will transform the atmosphere in your home.
6. Walking and Map Colouring
To give her daily walks focus and interest, my mother-in-law invented a hobby. She bought a map of her local area and is now trying to walk down every road on said map. She then colours those roads in when she returns from her walk. I think she’s done about 60% of East Oxford now! This has given her more focus and interest, and, best of all, a hobby that enhances an activity that was already part of her daily life.
By Chris Thomson
If boredom is bugging you right now, and hobbies are something you aren’t into, why not try one of these?
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