Hobbies are great tension busters, and they can also get creative juices flowing, which aids in stress reduction, mindfulness, and relaxation. In this respect, hobbies are not merely activities you can do when you have some free time, but rather, intended practices that foster good energy and usher happiness into your life.
More importantly, having hobbies has been shown to provide long-lasting and impactful health benefits, such as:
• Better brain health and less risk of dementia later in life
• Longevity and longer life
• Lower blood pressure
• Smaller waist circumference
• Lower body mass index
• More career and life success
The more we study biological health, the more we learn how much stress negatively impacts it, so just as we teach our kids to eat healthfully and exercise, we must teach our kids how to combat life stressors. The best part is that we can learn new hobbies with our kids. Taking up a hobby with your child is a win-win situation and the bonding factor can often last throughout your lives.
Here are five hobbies that you and your child can enjoy. Each one provides its own unique approach to instilling peace and inspiration:
Crafting: From scrapbooking and pottery to crocheting and sewing, the benefits of crafting are many. First, they can aid in math skills, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. Secondly, you have a finished product in the end. And you also can create beautiful memories and keepsakes through your masterpieces.
Gardening: Combining a physical activity with a project appeals to many. Gardening can be very physical with lots of stretching and bending, yet also less active — think of planting seeds in an egg carton on your windowsill. No matter which you choose, the benefits of bonding with nature are profound. Best of all, you can reap the rewards in the form of a delicious tomato or a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.
Bike riding or walking: If you’re looking for a more active hobby, you can try walking or biking. These activities are easily accessible to most, require little to no training, and combine exercise with relaxation. Walking provides quiet time for in-depth talks. Often it is easier for kids to speak when you are engaging in an activity rather than sitting across the table from them. You can mix it up, too: If you want to get in a power walk, your child can bike alongside you.
Painting and drawing: Art is one of the purest means of expression that exists, and it can be enjoyed by nearly everyone. With just a few pencils or paintbrushes, you can get started. YouTube enables us all to become amateur artists. There are also learn-to-draw books of all kinds. Inexpensive supplies can be easily purchased at multiple stores either locally or online. Finished projects can be displayed all around the house … or perhaps, even in local art shows.
Photography: It’s all about perspective, and it’s likely that your perspective is completely different than your child’s. Photography helps capture a personal point of view. Best of all, you don’t necessarily need to purchase a fancy camera to start out. You can very nicely capture beautiful photos on your phones. If photography becomes a greater interest, then cameras make great birthday presents.
Danielle Sullivan is a writer living in New York City. Follow her on Instagram @Deewrite.