Hobbies Are Healthy: What’s Yours?

A group of friends playing ultimate frisbee.

Admitting to ourselves that we’re bored can be pretty tough as adults. Being bored is something that kids complain about; as adults, we’ve been taught to think that being bored is bad. If you’re bored, you’re probably not being productive or “doing something” with your life.

Except that boredom can and does strike.

It’s a bit more insidious than when we were kids—you remember how that was. You’d feel bored, but 15 minutes later you’d have found something to do and the whole idea of not knowing what to do with yourself seemed silly. Now that we’re all grown up, being bored is more of a slow drag. We go to work, we get home and relax, maybe on the weekend we go out with friends. Rinse and repeat. You’re technically doing things, but you have this nagging feeling in the back of your mind. That’s “adult boredom.”

If you really don’t like your job or the area you live in, that’s a bigger issue than just boredom. But supposing that you like your work (at least somewhat) and enjoy the company of your friends, if you’re still getting that feeling of boredom, you might want to consider taking up a hobby.

It sounds silly—hobbies are for those guys who collect baseball cards and knitting for grandmothers, right? Not even close. A hobby could be anything you enjoy, ideally with the company of other people. Sports, music, games, book clubs, you name it. If you don’t have something like this in your life, try and make time for it. Hobbies can be enriching and beneficial:

Social Hobbies

The social aspect of hobbies might be the most beneficial part for you. If you’re feeling like all of the faces you see at work or at home are getting a little bit too familiar, taking up a hobby is one of the easiest ways to meet new people. You have something in common by default, and chances are you have other similar interests as well. If you’ve ever wondered “How the heck are you supposed to make new friends as an adult outside of work?”, a hobby is the answer.

A list of potential hobbies.

A Sense of Accomplishment

Sometimes our goals are just too big. There’s nothing wrong with small, fun wins every now and then. Say you took up bowling as a hobby—getting a really high score isn’t going to help you save for retirement or get you a promotion at work (unless you work somewhere awesome), but it’ll feel great. You’ll get accolades from your fellow bowlers. Take the small victories as they come, because strangely, these accomplishments are often what we do remember in life, not the promotions at work or a big Christmas bonus.

Learning New Things

There’s no rule saying that you have to take up a hobby that you’re already good at. In fact, it’s probably going to be even more fun and interesting if you try doing something you’ve never done before! Hobbies are a great way to learn new things and have interesting experiences, and a lot of the time this “fun education” can benefit other areas of our life as well.