For the first time in a long time, many Americans are finding themselves with plenty of spare time on their hands. Social distancing has us staying home and finding new ways of entertaining ourselves. As the United States faces a time of uncertainty and restructuring of the workplace, some positive notes have come from this otherwise stressful year. One good thing is that more Americans are taking up a hobby now than ever before. And with many hobby stores opening again, whether for in-store patrons or curbside pickup, access to materials is becoming easier.
Along with giving you something to do, hobbies are known to also help boost your work performance. But just how does that happen?
Hobbies can reduce stress and anxiety.
Taking up a hobby gives your mind something to focus on, keeping the stressors of life on the back burner so you have the opportunity to relax. Some people take up woodworking, while others take up art.
Others might try their hand at knitting, while some may decide to start collecting minerals.
It might take a little bit of research to decide if a hobby is right for you, as some require tools and basic knowledge, while others leave more room for novices. And then there are hobbies that require a little bit of both!
Take mineral collecting for example. Mineralist Howard Fensterman recommends simply getting started after some basic research. But as you become more serious, networking, the correct tools, and research are important both for finding new minerals and maintaining your collection.
Be sure to pick a hobby that brings you peace. If it stresses you out, it tends to feel more like work and less like play.
A hobby increases focus and mental sharpness.
If you notice that you tend to have a short attention span when working, try improving your concentration with something you like to do on the side. Painting is a wonderful hobby for this because it requires focus and attention to detail.
If you have an interest in painting, but you’re not sure where to begin, Paint Loose is an excellent resource. Along with a variety of DIY kits to give you everything you need to get started, they also offer rock painting supplies acrylic paint pens. If you need a little guidance, they have a wonderful collection of project ideas and technique tips to ensure that you get the hang of your new hobby in no time.
As your skill increases and your paintings become more detailed, you will find yourself focusing with ease when doing something fun.
After a while, transferring this sense of calm and focus on your job will feel natural. Staying focused can be hard, especially if you are working from home and especially if you are a parent working from home. Teaching yourself to focus will help you stay on task, which will increase your work performance.
A hobby can teach you about your passions.
It’s fine if you don’t settle on a hobby right away; figuring you what you like along the way is part of the fun, and it also helps you rule out hobbies that aren’t for you.
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Maybe you have talents and passions that you’ve yet to discover. If you’ve always been interested in video games, Japanese anime, and comics, look into cosplay.
It’s a type of performance art in which cosplayers (or people who engage in this craft) take on the identity of popular-culture characters—from their dress to their personality—that exists in media or print. You can learn more about this type of performance art in this introductory guide to cosplay.
Often times, people are called to put their spare time into their church, whether it’s doing odd jobs, checking in on congregation members, or even teaching Sunday school classes. If some form of ministry calls to you, consider purchasing church supplies to have handy.
This can be anything from prayer books and bestsellers from the Harper Collins Christian new releases list, or religious gifts and holy cards.
But this doesn’t just apply to helping your local church.
Trying a bunch of hobbies allows you to rule out the activities that don’t relax you—whether it’s because they’re too much work or requires too much socialization, or you just don’t like it—and allows you to find something that truly brings you joy that you can benefit from.
If you’ve considered taking your spare time and doing something productive with it, there is no time like the present. Your mind will thank you, and your boss will too.