Hobbies do more than help you relax after a long, stressful day at work. Certain kinds of hobbies, such as doing puzzles or playing a musical instrument, can also boost your creativity.
Taking up various hobbies helps improve your physical and mental health. If you work in a creative field, your hobbies can even help you find inspiration when you’re stuck on a particular project.
The science-backed benefits of creative hobbies
In a study published in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine, researchers found that some “behavioral pursuits” offer benefits for an individual’s overall health, such as:
- Reduced boredom
- Improved heart rate
- Improved mood
- Less stress
Leisure activities help boost job productivity and performance because they give the brain a much-deserved rest. Additionally, taking part in creative activities can also engage your body, which improves your physical health.
If you need creative inspiration, here are nine hobbies that are worth trying.
Board games and puzzles
Board games are fun, and they help you bond with family and friends. On the other hand, puzzle games like crosswords or Sudoku are solitary activities that can stimulate your brain and reduce stress.
Board games and puzzles also help improve your decision-making skills.
Cooking alone can be a meditative experience. Learning how to cook also gives you a chance to make healthy meals using fresh ingredients without any additives found in junk food.
Alternatively, you can try new and healthy recipes with friends or a loved one to make it a social event.
If you have a particularly stressful job, consider joining dance classes. Besides relieving stress, dancing can also boost your physical health, especially if your work involves sitting at a computer for most of the day.
Dancing can boost your bone and muscle strength and improve heart health too. Dancing is also a fun hobby, which makes it a great choice for people who get bored with regular exercises.
If dance classes aren’t your style, turn up the radio and dance freestyle in the comfort of your own home.
DIY crafts are suitable for those who like to upcycle. Start small with projects like crocheting or try other activities like re-purposing old clothes and furniture.
Regular physical activity is essential for your physical and mental health. Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight, and it even helps relieve stress.
Once you find a sport or physical activity that you enjoy, do it whenever you have free time. Maintaining a regular exercise regimen ensures that you’ll be more successful at improving your overall fitness.
Learning how to play an instrument
Playing an instrument improves your hand-eye coordination, and mastering a musical instrument gives you a chance to create your own songs.
Finally, playing an instrument helps relieve stress since it can distract you from worrisome thoughts.
Learning a new language
Studies suggest that learning a new language boosts brain health by improving your critical thinking skills, attention span, and memory.
Learning a second (or third) language can also be fun, especially if you love to travel and learn about new cultures.
Writing can boost your creativity, or it can be therapeutic. Don’t get hung up on writing the next bestselling novel the moment you pick up your pen. Practice makes perfect, so focus on developing your own style and writing about what you know.
If you’re not a creative writer, starting a personal journal can help you reflect on your experiences. Writing down your stressors can help you find effective ways of dealing with certain issues that you may have at home or work.
Yoga is another hobby that offers many benefits for your physical and mental health. It boosts your energy and physical strength, improves your metabolism and heart health, and strengthens your muscles.
Yoga can also teach you how to be more mindful of your thought patterns and prevent overly critical or destructive thoughts from negatively affecting your mood. (Related: Why you really should sleep on it: Resting encourages innovation, creativity.)
If you’re stuck in a creative rut, try a new hobby like dancing or yoga. These creative hobbies won’t just give you a creative boost; they can also help improve your overall well-being.