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Health & Wellness

Why are hobbies so important and how to get started

So maybe you’re getting tired of your daily Netflix and YouTube routine. Or you’re looking for something more fulfilling than just swiping through the endless stream of Instagram stories and Facebook posts to unwind after a long day of work. That’s where the wonders of having a hobby come into play.

“Wait, so what does it say about me if I don’t have a hobby?” Don’t panic. Not having a hobby doesn’t make you any less of a person compared to someone who has one, or ten. It’s easy to get bogged down by school or work commitments, or to be so mentally and physically exhausted that all you want to do is to shut your mind off for the evening or the weekend — we get it! Which is why we’re here to help offer a different perspective by sharing the importance of having hobbies, as well as some tried and tested tips on how you can get started!

It encourages you to unwind and take breaks

When we unwind after a day of work or school, are we really unwinding? Or do we sometimes find ourselves with lingering thoughts about our work?

When we find a hobby that allows us to completely immerse ourselves in it, we end up shifting into a different headspace; a state where you’re so absorbed in an activity that virtually nothing can distract you. More commonly known as being ‘in the zone’, achieving this state of flow allows one to forget about their worries and stresses, and instead focus on the present. The result? You end up feeling more relaxed, and for some, it helps reduce instances of anxiety and even depression.

It's great for your self-esteem

It’s a no-brainer for this one. When you immerse yourself in activities that help you accomplish goals or hone certain skills, you’re bound to feel good about yourself. Picture this: you’re an avid home cook and you have been trying to nail that pasta recipe for the longest time. When you finally do and you get to share the fruits (or food) of your labour with loved ones, there’s no sweeter feeling in the world, is there? When you pour your heart and soul into an activity that you love and start to see results, it builds up your self-confidence and subsequently, your self-esteem.

It spills over into your everyday life

Hobbies allow us to get in touch with parts of ourselves that we don’t often have access to while we’re at work or in school. And while the tangible benefits of your hobbies might not translate into your professional life, it’s the intangibles and the values that come with them that do. For example, you love completing puzzle pieces. While you probably won’t be able to show off this skill at work, the soft skills you’ve honed through your hobby might include an attention to detail, a strategic mind and a lot of patience! Having a hobby you’re passionate about shows people a different side of you that they might not often see, and in a professional setting, that is often an advantage. So go forth, and wear your hobbies and interests loud and proud!

Now that we’ve covered some of our favourite benefits, where are some quick tips on how to get started:

Pay attention to yourself

It all begins with being more self-aware about your actions. As you go about your week, take note of the things that grab your attention. Is it the weird and wonderful world of the arts? Go on and be a casual art historian. Maybe you enjoy reading and learning about different cultures. Why not learn a few languages to help you better understand the culture? It could even be something as simple as being interested in the flavours and textures of the food that you eat — your kitchen’s yours for the taking!

Take time to branch out your interests and turn them into potential hobbies. Sometimes all we need is to pay more attention to ourselves, and we’ll come to find that our passions have probably been there all along; we just have to look a little closer.

Get inspired the old-fashioned way

Make a list, or lists, even! You can start by listing every single activity you can think of and seeing if anything appeals to you. Can’t think of any off the top of your head? Discover A Hobby might be a good place to start! It’s an online directory that contains all sorts of hobbies. Browse the website and read through the in-depth overviews of the different hobbies, and see if anything is up your alley.

You can even ask your friends what they like to do in their spare time, and if it’s an activity that can be enjoyed by more than one person at a time, ask if you can tag along for a session. Picking up something new with a familiar face can make the process a whole lot easier.

Hobby

If you eventually take on a new hobby, that’s awesome! Just make sure that it isn’t for the wrong reasons, like feeling the pressure to do something for the ‘gram, or forcing yourself to do something you’re not entirely interested in, simply because. Your hobbies should help you feel recharged, happy and relaxed! But if you find that you’re not ready to take on anything new, that’s fine too — we progress and grow at our own time so when you’re ready, everything will already be in their rightful position.

This article is brought to you by Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited. All information provided is for informational purposes only.

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