Do more than just your normal routine - get a hobby!

January 02, 2016

(Updated on April 29, 2020)



Did you know that trying something new is crucial for the brain? Well,
it's true! The brain needs to be exercised and it can only do that if you make it work.


Have you ever noticed that if you do a repetitive activity, it just becomes a physical reflex and your brain doesn't even have to think much anymore when you're doing it?

That is why you need to feed your brain with new experiences and opportunities to deepen your skills - the need to adapt to a new or unknown situation is what makes the brain work and keeps it healthy in the long-run.

These days, most people lead a fast-paced life and follow the same boring and hurried routine every day. However, we should also find the time to do things we enjoy! 

So when we are not working, we should try to do activities that engage our brains and make us fully focused on it for that period of time. 

This is where hobbies come in.

A hobby can be a great way to use your free time, because it will provide you with moments of fun and contentment and it will also help keep your brain healthy through exercise. 

Here are a few things that you should look for when taking up a hobby:


1. T
ry to do something that builds relevant skills

caderno, caneta, cotidiano

First of all, a hobby can be something fun and still be useful to add to your skillset (and even your CV). 


Employers often favor someone who has hobbies because that shows that the candidate has varied interests and skills. It also might be an indicator that you are good at managing your time if you can fit other activities into your study or work schedule.

2. Choose something that brings you joy


acústico, adulto, ao ar livre

Try to pick a hobby that you really enjoy or something that is creative because it can be super exciting and fulfilling to be able to create or accomplish something.

Spending your free time doing something that makes you happy will also be an amazing way to take your mind off of all the stressful things that you may have going on.

3. Consider a hobby where you can involve other people

alvorecer, amanhecer, aurora

Keeping a healthy and exercised brain is also about social engagement. 

Interacting with other people - sharing ideas, points of view or simply working with them on something - can also help your brain adapt. 

I've had lightbulb moments a few times just from hearing other people's points of view or ways of doing things.

Avoiding social isolation also seems to be very important to avoid cognitive decline when you get older.

So try to pick a hobby that enables you to interact with other people - you might even make new friends!

4. Do something physical

ação, andar a cavalo, andar de bicicleta

Physical activity is obviously important - we all know it, no matter how much some of us might hate it!

Exercising keeps both the body and the mind healthy so you should definitely try to incorporate a physical activity into your hobbies.

Here's the trick: if you're able to do something that requires physical activity but is also creative and enjoyable for you (e.g. something like dancing), you'll get all the benefits from just one hobby!

5. Take it outside

adulto, ao ar livre, árvores

We already spend so much time cooped up indoors at work or in school that we should really take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in our free time.

According to WHO, catching a little bit of direct sunlight (around 5 to 15 minutes on 2 or 3 days a week during the summer months) is very important to our general health.

Enjoying the fresh air won't hurt either so take your hobbies outside!

If you're in need of ideas, here are a few:
  • Cooking
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Drawing
  • DIY-ing
  • Scrap-booking
  • Photography 
  • Writing (stories, journaling, blog, etc.)
  • Reading
  • Learning or practicing an instrument
  • Listening to music
  • Singing
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Playing sports
  • Playing board games
  • Making puzzles
  • Playing computer games
  • Sewing, crocheting, quilting
  • Wood-working

What are some of your hobbies? 



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