GUEST POST: Fun New Hobbies to Try at Any Age and Their Benefits

Photo via Pixabay by Nietjuh

Finding a new hobby or skill can be hugely beneficial for people of any age, in part because it can help boost your self-esteem, but also because it can reduce stress levels and help your mental (and even physical) health. The key is to find one that engages you, keeps you interested and motivated, and helps you find new sides to yourself as well as build self-confidence.

Keep reading for some tips from No Ordinary Liz on how to find the right hobby for you and how it can help.

Learn a New Language

As The Telegraph explains, learning a new language can help you in multiple ways, from boosting your brain power — it can help you navigate and solve problems — to giving you a leg up when you apply for a job. It can also help strengthen your memory, improve your decision-making skills, and reduce the risk that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia later in life.

Whether you want to take a class or learn online or via an app on your smartphone, there are many options; choose the right one and you could start speaking a new language in as little as a couple of weeks.

Learn to Play an Instrument

Playing an instrument will allow you to boost your self-esteem while keeping you social even if you choose to take a class online. Interacting with other students will give you the confidence you need to start playing in front of an audience — if that’s your goal — and it will help you make and sustain social connections that can last a lifetime. Consider playing a saxophone, clarinet, or trumpet, as these are some of the best instruments for first-timers. There are many music-learning apps you can download.

Get Creative

Getting creative can help you reduce stress and anxiety while allowing you to communicate in a whole new way. Art has actually been used as a therapy for this reason, because those who are battling depression or substance abuse can have quite a bit of success in releasing negative feelings via creativity. Look for an online art class or take a workshop near you. With so many different ways to get creative, from painting to woodworking, you can find something that appeals to you.

Cooking

Cooking and baking can be a challenge, especially if you haven’t done much of either. However, spending time in the kitchen can be therapeutic, and learning to follow recipes can help you get organized in other aspects of your life and take responsibility. Choose a relatively easy recipe to start with, and make sure you have all the materials and tools you’ll need ahead of time, from basic ingredients to the pots, pans, utensils, and safety gear — including but not limited to an apron, pot holders, fire extinguisher, and something to tie back long hair.

Still Want More?

If you’re enjoying your newly developed interests and skills, then it might be time to think about going a little further and earning a degree in that field so you can turn your passion into a career. An online IT degree, for example, is a great way to further your education and career opportunities while being able to maintain a good school-life balance. Some online universities, such as WGU, also offer classes that can be done at your own pace, so there’s no need to stress about work and school clashing. Plus, earning a degree online is a great way to polish your resume for future job opportunities.

Trying a new hobby can be intimidating at first, but once you find your rhythm, it gets much easier. You may even find something you enjoy doing that you can also make extra money with, such as making jewelry or playing music. With a little patience and time, your new hobby will work for you.

Connect with No Ordinary Liz for ideas, inspirations and information that can help your world be anything but ordinary!

About the author: Jennifer Scott is a single mom who writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on SpiritFinder.org  The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences.

GUEST POST: How to Adapt to Major Life Changes During the Pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to deal with some pretty major life changes. We’ve had to adapt to remote work, learn to homeschool our children, get comfortable exercising outside of the gym, and find ways to fill our free time without leaving the house. By now, we’ve all settled into a new normal. While many states are starting to reopen, many of these changes are bound to stick around. Here are some tips to help you navigate pandemic challenges and cope with the changes in your own life.

Consider a Career Change

If the shutdown affected your ability to work, this could be a great opportunity to make a career change! There are all kinds of fun and fulfilling jobs you can do from home, whether you want to try freelancing or build your very own business. If you’re interested in becoming a freelancer, think about the type of work you would enjoy the most. You can offer nearly any service on a freelance basis, including web design, accounting, writing, translation, and admin support. Use job boards to browse freelance job categories and find the right choice for your remote career!

Maintain a Routine

A good routine is vital to success for anyone working from home. Not only will your routine help you stay on task and avoid household distractions, but it can also ground you to a kind of consistency during this time of unpredictable change. Start by developing a solid morning routine that will get you excited about waking up. Have a cup of coffee on the balcony, take your dog for a walk, or read a book. When you feel ready to start your day, jump into a work routine with scheduled breaks so you can avoid burnout. Finally, maintain a relaxing evening routine that can help you wind down and put those nagging thoughts to bed before your head hits the pillow.

Pick Up a New Hobby

Although lockdown restrictions are loosening, you may still be hesitant to return to all your old hobbies and pastimes. Ensure your days are still full of fulfilling and meaningful activities! Play around with some new hobbies until you find something that you can get really passionate about. Pick up a new instrument, learn another language, try baking bread, play around with crafts, or plant a garden in your backyard. Do something that makes you feel productive every day!

Keep Your Body Healthy

Maintaining your health is more important than ever right now, and not just so you can avoid illness. Long days spent in lockdown are bound to wreak havoc on your overall well being, especially if you’ve let your exercise routine slip or you’ve been snacking on all those tempting treats in the pantry. Keep your health in top shape so you have the energy you need to cope with the changes happening in your life right now. To enjoy optimal physical health, you need to focus on three main things—nutrition, exercise, and sleep. These three pillars support each other, so don’t neglect any one of them!

Protect Your Mental Health

The coronavirus pandemic may have caused you to lose the sense of control that you previously had over your life. As a result, you may be feeling anxious, sad, or even scared. This is completely normal, and many of us are going through the same emotions. Whether you’re worried that someone you love will get sick or you’re concerned about losing your job, these stressors can slowly chip away at your mental well-being.

Verywell Mind recommends keeping your mental health strong and resilient by taking good care of your body, developing healthy stress-reduction strategies, and maintaining your contact with supportive friends and family. It may also be a good idea to limit your exposure to negative news and sensational social media content that can only exacerbate your worries.

Humans are creatures of habit. This is why we hold onto the familiar and are resistant to change—especially when the outcome is wrought with uncertainty. Overcoming the numerous challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic likely means leaving your comfort zone, and you’ll come out of this a stronger person because of it!

About the author: Jennifer Scott is a single mom who writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on SpiritFinder.org  The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences.