Are you in need of a new hobby?

Posted by Lori Keroack on Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 at 6:18pm.

Hobby - a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.  

“Hobby.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster. Accessed 29 Apr. 2020.

watercolor and colored pencisl

Do you find yourself watching movies or binge watching TV shows all the time because of the Covid-19 stay-at-home order?  In Florida, the stay-at-home order is set to expire Thursday, April 30th.  Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties are re-opening recreational facilities Wednesday, April 29th, with limitations.  The Governor will soon announce plans for reopening non-essential businesses but I think it's safe to say that the plan will not include theaters, stadiums, fully operational restaurants, and the like on the first go around.  I'm sure many people will continue to social distance while we wait to hear if there are any negative outcomes from the gradual openings of venues and businesses.  It feels like we've been at home forever at this point.   So, how about a new hobby to pass a little more time?  Read on if you need new things to keep you occupied until the pandemic passes.

Stress is part of everyones life, so it’s really important that we find ways to include healthy activities in our life to help reduce stress.  Hobbies are a great way to help you cope with anxiety and stress which is something that we are all feeling in this unprecedented time.  It goes without saying that you should always eat well and get plenty of rest.  Beyond that, what can you do if your TV is no longer adequately filling your spare time and you are feeling like you need something more to fill the void?  Have you thought about picking up a new hobby?  A hobby is a great way to turn your thoughts from the external factors that you cannot control to an activity that captivates your complete attention.  An added plus or bonus is hobbies often get you moving, therefore, a welcome addition to a healthier lifestyle.  

Yoga is great for stretching and increasing your flexibility and strength. Many people choose Yoga as a hobby for relaxation and it's  ability to alleviate stress.  Yoga focuses on breathing and bringing the mind-body connection to the forefront of your awareness - in other words mindfulness.  Yoga not only boosts your mood but it also burns calories, conditions muscles, and improves balance, flexibility, posture, and circulation.  People love to practice yoga because it bridges harmony between your mind and body allowing you to unplug from what you cannot control and place focus on what’s happening within your body and your life at the moment.  Yoga is a total mind-body workout that benefits your mental and physical well-being. 

Exercise comes in many forms.  You could try hiking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, tennis, resistance training and many more activities to find something you enjoy.  Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals which help you feel happier, more relaxed and less anxious which improves your mood and decreases feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.  Regular exercise can also help you sleep better.  Mood and exercise are strongly intertwined, therefore, it is especially important to exercise when you are not feeling your best.   

Dancing comes with many great benefits too.  Most people say they are in the moment while they are dancing meaning they are focused on the music and their surroundings and not on things that bring stress and tension to their life.  Dancing is a cardiovascular activity so it naturally boosts endorphins and endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body.  Dancing is very expressive and is a fantastic creative outlet.  Similar to exercise, there are many dance styles you can try to find your happy spot.  Try ballroom, Irish step, clog, tap, disco, barn, line dancing and so many others.  Dancing is a great way to be socially active, self-expressive, and physically fit while having fun. Dancing can also be competitive if you are so inclined.

Curl up with a good book - escaping your own reality for a little while can be quite beneficial.  Live vicariously and lose yourself in a great story. Reading works physiologically to reduce muscle tension and slow your heart rate which helps you to relax.  Because reading makes you feel relaxed and you often read in a quiet place where you enjoy spending time, reading reduces your overall stress level.  Reading also helps to improve your imagination and to get a better nights rest.  Go ahead, immerse yourself in a good book and let the rest of the world melt away for just a little while.    

Ahh puzzles!  What a strange word.  Puzzles include jigsaw, crossword, soduko, Rubik's cube, word search, spot the difference between two pictures, and other brain teasers.  Puzzles are called "brain teasers" for a reason.  Puzzles are weirdly satisfying and frustrating at the same time.  As with many hobbies - most people gravitate toward a specific type of puzzle that has just the right amount of satisfaction and frustration.  Puzzles are great because you use logic which boosts your brain power and strengthens your memory.  Puzzles are also good for the soul which can be noticed when you complete a difficult puzzle.  Puzzles of all sorts are stress relievers!  When focusing and concentrating on a puzzle, your mind is not occupied with negative and stressful thoughts.  We live in a very stressful time and puzzles have the ability to clear your mind of stressors in your life and allow you to forget the world around you giving your body and mind a chance to rest and get caught up. 

Color - sometimes doing something that you loved as a kid is the perfect hobby to alleviate stress or boredom.  Many adults have taken to coloring again - I'm not sure if the childhood nostalgia has anything to do with it but adult coloring is extremely popular these days.  The popularity of adult coloring is easily verified if you do a quick search of "Adult Coloring Books" on Amazon - over 40,000 adult coloring books are returned in the search results. WOW!  Coloring is a creative outlet that focuses your attention on the details of a picture and lets your mind wander ahead to a vision of the finished picture.  Focusing allows you to forget everything around you and lets your brain begin to relax and block out the nonstop thinking that we are all guilty of.  Using coloring as a creative outlet removes your thoughts, calms, and relieves your brain of stresses, distractions, and pressures of daily life.

Writing takes many forms -  different strokes for different folks.  Whether your prefer writing your thoughts in a journal, poem, song, or blog - the common denominator is that all of them allow the author to creatively express himself or herself.  Writing is great because it allows you to release pent up emotions, share knowledge, or see your own personal thoughts and feelings more clearly.  In general, it's easier and more precise to express your thoughts and emotions in written form.  Venting to other people should always be done with caution because situations can quickly become toxic.  Writing is the perfection solution for venting - you can say whatever you want and no one is offended.  Some song writers, such as Taylor Swift, have made fortunes writing narratives about their personal lives.  

Start a new hobby - you might discover something that you absolutely love doing. A new hobby could also help you meet new people and make friends with people who have similar interests.  A new hobby will certainly take your mind away from the stressors of every day living.  We've been through a lot in 2020 and we all deserve a little more happy in our life.  Go for it.    

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Lori Keroack is the Business Office Manager of Mizner Residential Group. Lori recently moved to Delray Beach from Connecticut. She is enjoying learning about her new home town and the surrounding areas by researching and blogging about various topics that are relevant to the area.


- Lori Keroack, Business Office Manager - Mizner Residential Group

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