Imagine if you were a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and had all the time in the world to write music. You’d surely be able to compose the best, given the resources. The Austrian genius composer is considered by many as the ‘greatest composer of all time’ as he excelled in all the genres of music that he wrote for. While becoming another Mozart might be too much of an asking for anyone, you could still take a page from the child prodigy. Cultivating the hobby you love in these trying times could prove to be not just a great escape for you but a lifesaver.
To boot, America is reeling with mental health issues. As hospitals are overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, people fear for their lives. Worse, the economy is limping hard, hindered by all sorts of contingencies to keep the virus at bay. All these uncertainties can certainly be unsettling and unnerving, leading people to compile all sorts of negative emotions inside.
And this is where keeping a hobby or two can be a glorious opportunity to boost your chances to stay on top of your game during the pandemic. It might surprise you, but all the time spent on a hobby or two you love is time well spent and never wasted. Here’s why.
In light of all the sorrow that looms above our heads due to the pandemic, the fun you get when doing a hobby you love is priceless. All that mental stimulation can contribute to better your mental health. And that can prove to be truly liberating on your part.
Multiple studies confirm that being creative can bring about positive emotions. In the process, it can lower anxiety. Even better, it can improve your immune system. That’s truly a lot of benefits. All these have been cited by Dr. Cathy Malchiodi, an art therapist and psychologist.
Moreover, this has been supported by a 2016 study printed in The Journal of Positive Psychology. The study concluded that spending time working on creative goals has a positive effect throughout the day. And that should tell you finding a creative activity is a secret weapon to keep you vibrant and happy all day long.
When you’re doing a creative task, you are in a state of fluidity. You’re intensely focused on what you’re doing. And it’s like having a runner’s high. You boost your mood in the process.
Even more amazing, hobbies can be a way to improve your body’s health. A study posted in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine in 2015 confirmed that leisure activities improve mood and lower stress, and lowered heart rate. This has been further supported by a study in 2017 that concluded that leisure activities pleasant to the doer lowered the blood pressure of caregivers attending to patients sick with Alzheimer’s.
And this can really be important in the middle of a pandemic. With everything in chaos right now, a hobby that you love can give you a sense of control, providing you with needed structure in the process.
As self-care and wellness articles will tell you, keeping your body as healthy as possible is key to building immunity to fight the onslaught of the virus. Already, government data show those who are considered heavy and those who have comorbidity are prone to COVID-19 complications.
Perhaps it’s about happiness. When you’re happy doing something you love, your body gets itself in order. And to a large degree, this could be traced to the workings of the brain.
A study done on older adults who volunteered to train young students should be telling. Compared to other adults who didn’t participate in helping young children learn, those who volunteered saw growth in their prefrontal cortex, the portion of the brain responsible for executive function and thinking. In short, those who did something they love improved their brain’s overall cognitive function.
The Best Way to Do It
There’s a slew of activities that you can do to keep yourself occupied and inspired at the same time. We call them pandemic-safe leisure activities. There’s gardening, cooking, playing an instrument of music, and even knitting. They’re all fine and dandy.
But the key to a more fruitful day is to mix things up. When you do various activities, you have greater chances of improving your brain function and your body’s healthy. Doing something that stimulates the brain is good but combining it with something that gets you to sweat, such as gardening, would be the better way to go.
For best results, find a good hobby. And the sweet spot should be something that’s not too easy that it won’t challenge you and something not too challenging that you’re bound to give up in a jiffy.