Summer Living: Find a Hobby.

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I know, I know. You’re busy. I get it. Your to-do list, EVEN IN SUMMER, is a mile long. But, what if I told you carving out a few minutes a day for a hobby could change your life? Improve your mood, build happiness, lessen stress and anxiety? Now you’re all ears, right?

Merriam-Webster defines hobby as: a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation. And while technically accurate, this definition barely scratches the surface of this topic nor makes a compelling case for starting your own.

Today, let’s explore the 6 reasons to start a new hobby today, and a few places to get started with inspiration.

Reduces stress. Taking a few minutes a day, or a few times a week, to do something JUST for you is a great stress-reliever. Something done for fun, without pressures of the rest of your day, gives your mind a chance to turn off, to decompress, to fully engage in the task at hand.

Promotes happiness. Remember your excitement as a child when you got to just play, explore, wander? Recapture some of that by choosing a hobby that brings you joy. Something you will look forward to doing, that brings a smile to your face just thinking about it. For me, this is making art. I immediately go to my happy place and feel a sense of calm + purpose when I take even a few minutes to engage in my practice.

Builds community + connection. Learning a new skill means asking a lot of questions. Connecting with new people in real life, and online to learn, to study, to be inspired. Likely this group will be outside of your normal circle, promoting new connections, friendships, conversations.

Boosts confidence + mastery. As counter-intuitive as it seems, being a beginner at something is good for your brain. The earning and mastering of a new skill builds confidence, forcing your brain to think new thoughts, build new connections and engage in problem-solving. This is good for your hobby, of course, but also good skills to strengthen for life in general as they carry forward into other parts of your day.

Better physical health. Engaging in a hobby has scientifically proven benefits to your physical health. In this 1,400 person study, psychologists found that people who enjoy leisure activities also enjoy lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference and body mass index.

Makes you more interesting. You know the person at the party you just want to be near? The person vibing with energy + passion for life. They have hobbies. And you want to know ALL about them. Be that person. Pick a hobby that makes your soul sing, and dive in. Read, study, learn, travel, engage deeply and see how quickly that energy seeps into other parts of your life.

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You in? I thought so. A few of my favorite tips, things and places to get inspired and find your next passion project.

Skillshare. I am slightly addicted to skillshare, loving the all-access to anything I’m a bit curious about. I’ve taken collage, watercolor, goauche, procreate and writing classes in the past few months. Loving the self-paced learning, and the no pressure way to try something out, small, in the comfort of my own home as I decide if it’s for me.

Hit the kitchen. And eat your bounty. A win-win if you ask me. Visit a local cooking class. Or start your own monthly cookbook club. ps. I’m very interested in the club, anyone want to join me?

Get moving. Dance, walk, join a team. Whatever your thing, find a group or class that supports your passion and get yourself there.

Prefer some quiet, time for solitude? Commit to reading. Go at your own pace, or join a book club to get inspired + connect with others for notes, learnings and community. A few of my faves: Oprah, Reese or find your own from this well-curated hub.

Still stumped at where to start? Look at what you already enjoy. And do more of that. Love to eat? Try a cooking class. Love visiting museums any chance you get, try painting. Love perusing inspiring images on Instagram, grab a camera or your phone and get snapping. Chances are, what you already love is in your life in some way, shape or form. Take a look at your life, see what you find, and then get curious about how to do more of it.