Our day to day lives are busy from dawn to dusk, particularly when caring for others like many members in the NPUK community. Often this can mean that activities we don’t deem necessary or productive can take a hit and are forgotten, ahem, creative outlets. But having an activity that enables you to express yourself and is done solely for your own sheer enjoyment is such a vital part of self-care!
Just remember, you don’t have to be creative to do a creative hobby. Everyone has to start somewhere, but the most important thing is you start. It needn’t be a time-consuming task, but something as simple as an adult colouring book or baking a batch of fresh cookies can provide respite from an overly stimulated mind. If the incentive of freshly baked cookies is not enough, here are four reasons why donning your creative cap is super beneficial.
1. Boosts your Self-Esteem and Confidence:
There’s no greater confidence booster than a bit of unlocked achievement. Taking up a new creative hobby generally requires you to try new things and go through a gradual learning curve as you hone your skill set. Getting past that learning curve provides a sense of accomplishment. Okay, say you take up baking, nobody is expecting you to be Mary Berry’s protegee overnight but, even reaching a goal related to your creative hobby provides a feeling of achievement.
2. Connecting with New People:
If you have the spare time, signing up to a class, club or course in your local community is often a great way to meet new and interesting people in your local area who share in your enthusiasm. It goes without saying not all hobbies are going to be as social as a book club, for example, but sometimes you might not have to look far to find individuals with similar interests. Try getting family and friends involved and learning together- perhaps leaving competitive streaks at the door!
Of course, it may be the case that you want your hobby to be a way to disconnect from the outside world and focus on something else and that’s okay! Just make sure your creative hobby and how you do it is something that is making you feel positive.
3. Relieving Stress:
Essentially your creative hobby is meant to be relieving stress, not adding to it. Of course, it can be frustrating when things turn don’t out right the first time, as my countless batches of burnt baked goods will show. But creative hobbies should be low risk and low pressure. So, when doing your hobby, it shouldn’t feel like your life depends on it but rather you naturally go into a creative flow irrespective of the outcome.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep:
What do you usually do before bed? If you’re like most people, you might watch television or scroll through social media. Often, we see this as our unwinding time, but in reality, it could be making falling asleep even more tricky.
Instead, if you have time on an evening, try to find a relaxing hobby that you can do before going to bed such as reading, drawing or knitting- you might have a new scarf ready for next Christmas!
Some hobbies will come and go, and that’s perfectly normal. It’s when you find that one hobby you love that you will notice a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. Needless to say, there is no expectation to do a hobby or be able to routinely take part, but simply having an activity that you know you can turn to in times of stress could be valuable.
What is your creative hobby? And if you don’t have one yet, which are you most interested in starting?
Researched and written by NPUK Communications Assistant, Eleanor Lily Taggart.