A Hobby that Heals: From Play to Productivity

- 15 Aug 2018 -

Guest feature from Julie Morris – Career and Life Coach from Wilmington, DE, USA – who last year, at 53, started learning how to play guitar! A big thanks to Julie for sharing her knowledge, insights and experience about the benefits of hobbies … from Music to Coding and beyond!

Photo Credit: Pexels

As kids, we had many hobbies. We colored in books, skipped rocks, made friendship bracelets, played hopscotch, built forts, rode bikes, roller-skated, and traded baseball cards. We did all of this when we weren’t in school, studying, or participating in extracurricular activities. As adults, we’re usually too busy for hobbies. While you’re relaxing at home on your time off, how about doing something instead of nothing? With the Internet, you don’t even have to leave your house to pick up a new skill or hobby. Chances are, there’s an app for what you want to learn. But maybe you want to get out of the house and spend time with others? There’s an activity for that too.

Here are five suggestions for fun new skills and hobbies for you to learn solo online or with a group of friends in class…

MUSIC – Whatever it is, you will find your own tune

You may have grown up playing an instrument that you’re eager to pick up again or you’re starting for the first time. It’s never too late to play music! Although music lessons are typically marketed towards younger kids, adults can take lessons too. If you’re more of a “self-taught” type, you can teach yourself to play a new instrument by finding instructions online, downloading sheet music, and following video tutorials. Some people have a natural gift for music and can learn to play in no time. Most music students start with cover songs and eventually make their way to writing their own music. Some would rather write music than perform for an audience. Others are not creators, but performers. You might be a sight-reader, or you might play by ear.

FITNESS – There’s a program for everyone at any skill level and fitness goal

Movement is not only good for the body, but the endorphins released during exercise are good for the brain. Working out doesn’t require gym equipment or DVD players anymore. Nearly every popular exercise program exists online, either through a one-time digital purchase or a monthly subscription. Most workout programs target people trying to lose weight or build muscle, so figure out what your goals are and find a program that’s suited for those goals. What’s even more important is that you find a workout that you enjoy and can sustain long-term without getting bored or frustrated. Even if you do get bored, you can always switch things up and try something different every few months.

SEWING – Get started by taking a sewing class or find tutorials online

Many of us know how to hand-stitch a button, but how many know how to alter a hem or patch up torn clothing? Understanding the basics of sewing can be useful in everyday life. It can also lead to making your own costumes and clothes. Not only does it save money, but it also allows you to custom build your wardrobe to your fit and style. You can even up-cycle your out-of-season clothes for a fresh take on an old wardrobe.

CREATING – Practice makes perfect, but starting out with a class or online instruction will help jump start your skills

Art comes in many forms, whether it’s print, 3D, or digital. You can start by drawing or painting to explore what’s on your mind, writing poetry to put your thoughts into abstract words, or sculpt a piece of art to decorate your space. If you’re digitally inclined, Photoshop and Illustrator are great digital design tools to learn for personal and professional reasons. With computer applications, you can do anything from making songs in GarageBand to making movies in iMovie.

CODING – With all the free coding workshops online, you don’t even need to spend money to learn

The future is digital, and engineers will always be in demand to build these digital domains. Web coding is a useful skill for the workplace or for your own personal websites. Coding isn’t something that’s easy to teach yourself unless you’re tech-oriented, but there are many courses and programs you can take to learn the trade.

Besides curing boredom, these new hobbies can be useful in other ways or could lead to jobs. Additionally, the mental health benefits of doing something fun and productive surpass the challenges of trying to learn it. For those suffering from depression or recovering from addiction, a hobby can promote feelings of happiness, purpose, and confidence. Recreational hobbies also provide outlets for self-expression and emotional release. Regardless of the state of our mental health, we could all benefit from more joy in our lives.


Website: juliemorris.org



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