A hobby is an activity outside of a person’s usual work or school routine that is enjoyed for pleasure and not for financial gain. Hobbies are often creative or artistic in nature but they can also be productive such as gardening, cooking, woodworking, painting or coding software. Hobbies can be individual activities such as reading, playing chess or doing puzzles or they can be group activities such as dancing, taking a cooking class or participating in a sports team.
The enjoyment of a hobby can improve mental health by reducing stress, depression and anxiety. It can also increase self-esteem, life satisfaction and social connections. Hobbies that involve physical activity can also help improve a person’s health by decreasing blood pressure and heart rate.
Hobbies are popular among children because they can provide a sense of purpose, teach them new skills and provide a fun distraction from everyday stressors. People often start hobbies in childhood and continue them throughout their lives as they become more skilled at the hobby and as their lifestyle allows for it. People may also pursue a hobby during retirement to keep the mind stimulated and improve their quality of life.
Hobbies can teach patience and persistence. Many hobbies require a learning curve, and it can be frustrating to feel like you are not improving as fast as you would like. Hobbies can also teach us to value time and be more efficient. It is easy to waste time when you do not have a specific goal or plan for your free time.