Last week we shared a few fun ideas for hobbies, but this week we wanted to expand with a few that lean into your artistic side!
Did you know that learning a new skill could improve your brain function and help protect against cognitive decline? The brain is a complex and fascinating network of nerve fibers that respond to mental stimulation and exercise. But beyond the physiological benefits of trying a new hobby or craft, there are benefits to your self esteem as you expand your horizons, make time for yourself, and even have the opportunity to connect and share these hobbies with friends and family.
Put your crafting skills to the test with these fun creative challenge projects that are simple to master and then reap the unexpected benefits!
- Knitting: What do Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz know that you don’t? While some may guess that they know what it’s like to collect multi-million dollar paychecks (which may be true), the real answer is that they all know the joy and skill of knitting. Stitching and purling is not only rewarding in the sense that you are creating a new accessory and garment, but many find that the feel of needles and yarn to be relaxing. The craft is so popular, there is an entire social networking site dedicated to the craft!
- Scrapbooking: Preserving family photos has come a long way from the days of just placing them into an album behind a plastic sheet. Today scrapbooking has grown into a multi-billion dollar business where “scrappers” (as they’re affectionately called) create personalized, multidimensional storybooks to be treasured for years to come. Many scrapbook companies and craft stores offer workshops, weekend scrapbooking retreats, and even cruise vacations to enjoy the hobby in the company of others. What better way to celebrate fond memories of the past while making new ones (and getting a suntan!) at the same time?
- Cooking: You don’t have to attend culinary school to tap into your inner Julia Child. We mentioned last week that trying new foods can be considered a hobby, but if you’re not already skilled in the culinary arts, attending a cooking class can expose you to new types of food, preparation techniques and a world of tastier and healthier meals with less processed ingredients. For a more laid back approach to the art, pair up with an adventurous friend and take turns hosting an evening where you cook together, learning a new recipe in unison.
- Photography: We’ve often heard people described as “having an eye” for photography, but have you really given your eye the opportunity to flourish? Learning a little bit of composition and gaining a clear understanding of settings offered by your particular camera goes a long way in making you able to operate it confidently, and with ease. Once you’ve mastered the technical aspects, go out and express yourself while recording places, people, and occasions that are important to you. You never know, you could turn your love of photography into a new career!
Whatever new hobby you choose, selecting one that suits your lifestyle will benefit you tremendously… And if things go awry, at least you’ll have some fun anecdotes and you can be commended for giving it a try.