The importance of hobbies

What do you enjoy doing? What do you do in your free time? Hobbies are activities you undertake because you want to. Maybe you collect cards, or maybe you rollerskate for fun. Both of these activities are hobbies because they are things you do for your leisure. During the pandemic, many people decided to ponder their hobbies and figure out just what they like to do outside of work.

Hobbies should be relaxing, healthy, and refreshing. They shouldn't add to your stress in any way, and they shouldn't become detrimental to your overall health. Hobbies should make you happy overall. An article by the NY Times titled How to Find a Hobby states, "The Journal of Sleep Medicine recently reported that binge-watchers get poorer sleep. And screens can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating, whether it’s action sequences on the television or the artificial blue light emitted by our devices. Another negative of screen time: It tends to be a solo pursuit that keeps us from engaging with our loved ones. Finding time for hobbies in your day means being more thoughtful about how you spend the time you have. When you do have downtime, do you crash and do nothing? Or do you use that time for things you love?" Spending your free time doing something detrimental, like scrolling mindlessly through TikTok, may not be the best way to spend your free time. This is because TikTok can actually reduce the number of hours of sleep you get, and it can become stressful due to the content shown through the app.

Hobbies are important because they improve your physical health and allow for more sleep time. People who engage in hobbies are more likely to be healthier overall, and they are more likely to participate in hobbies that improve health. Examples of some hobbies that could improve health are yoga, cooking, dancing, and painting. Participating in things you enjoy doing can lower your risk of diseases and illnesses. According to the article by NY Times, "...the findings are consistent with other research showing that having hobbies and other leisure pursuits is associated with a variety of benefits, including less severe disease and greater longevity." The study conducted by a team of researchers from universities in Pittsburg, Kansas, and texas found that having hobbies is correlated with health benefits.

Hobbies also lower stress and increase happiness levels. The study showed that people who spent more time on their hobbies got a better night's sleep. Getting enough hours of sleep every day is proven to increase happiness levels, and it can also leave people feeling more refreshed every morning. Having a hobby gave many people a sense of purpose in their life, and people were also able to meet a diverse group of people who share similar interests.

Finding a hobby may be hard, so just think about things you like to do and do them! Maybe baking treats relaxes you, or maybe reading a book keeps you entertained. Just ensure that the hobby you want to do isn't something that could hurt you. Make sure to keep practicing good habits!

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