Imagine a routine in which you are stuck simply sleeping, waking up, going to work, and repeating. The lack of variation in your day would make for a dull and meaningless life, wouldn’t it?
As soon as you take off your shoes and throw your keys on the counter after a busy day at work or school, there are a number of activities you can do to bring you joy.
According to the Australian Government’s Department of Health, hobbies help with various aspects of mental health, such as reducing depression symptoms, increasing happiness, lowering stress, and more. If there was nothing you looked forward to in your day besides your autopilot routine, you may be doing just the bare minimum to survive, but not enough to enjoy or thrive in life. Sounds tragic, right?
That’s what life seemed like for me a few years ago, until I discovered the beauty of gardening. Not only does gardening melt my stress away, but digging into fresh soil and planting a seed feels rewarding. Surprisingly, there are a lot of active parts when it comes to gardening. From gathering the appropriate tools and ensuring they are sharp and ready to go, to deciding what the perfect layout is going to be for the amount of space that you have, each step requires focus. Despite the need for concentration and patience in the gardening process, you are able to find joy, peace, and relaxation on the journey, and forget the troubles plaguing your mind.
Not only do hobbies decrease the stress in your life, but they also increase quality of life and have the ability to teach you new skills and lessons. Having a hobby means more than just having something to do in your free time; it also gives you the chance to learn something. Regardless of whether the hobby is purely for pleasure or for academic purposes, trying something new always brings the opportunity to improve your overall skill set.
For example, when I first started learning how to garden, I had no patience. I merely planted a seed and expected something to grow within minutes, not weeks, nor months, nor years. I was in a rush, but not for a good reason. After gardening for a while, I found myself developing more patience. I realized that this also helped me in other aspects of life. As a student, it can be very easy to get frustrated with difficult class material, so I believe that patience is one of the most valuable skills I have learned outside of school.
Whether a hobby is acquired in the classroom, or outside of it, the skills and lessons learned from these bring about the greatest result of all—they bring us joy. Not all hobbies will bring you happiness, as not all jobs suit everyone, but it’s a matter of learning more about yourself—to find your likes and dislikes. Then, once you find what your perfect fit is, you’ll realize you’ve struck gold.