7 Helpful Hobbies to Pick up if You’re Bored

Have you ever been bored and wanted to pass time but in a way that is both useful and entertaining? Well the activities below are my personal favorite pastimes that are both fun and helpful later on in life.

Senior Melissa Tan's turmeric cranberry sourdough. Photo submitted by Tan.

Cooking

For starters, cooking is a great pastime. It reduces stress levels. Cooking is a soothing way to unwind after a long day at school or work. Cooking activities allow you to express your imagination in a fun way. You have complete control over the canvas. You can also learn life skills such as healthy eating, money management, and cleaning. Cooking your own meal is less expensive than dining out at hotels, fast food restaurants, or school cafeterias. Pre-packaged meals become incredibly costly over time and with the money saved from buying less pre-packaged food you could buy things you want like clothes or even pay bills. Fresh foods will provide much-needed nutrients to your diet, as well as improve your energy and health quality in the long run. Cooking will help you improve your critical thinking skills while also allowing you to practice subjects like science, reading, and math. Cooking is a fantastic way to have fun while critically thinking.

Painting

Painting is the perfect emotional outlet for you to release your stress and anxiety. Painting helps a person's mind to relax and let go of all the issues that lead to a high level of stress. Painting expresses your beautiful artistic minds while stimulating and relieving mental stress. A low level of stress contributes to a happier, healthy lifestyle as well as improved mental health. It can enhance your creative development by practicing and learning creative skills at your own pace. For many people, releasing emotions through painting is a beneficial activity. Experimenting with various painting styles helps artists understand what makes them feel happy, sad, love, or angry. Painting is sometimes used as a form of healing due to its abstract emotional expression. Instead of being stressed and bottling up your emotions express yourself through the canvas.

Running

According to Janet Hamilton, an exercise physiologist at Running Strong in Atlanta, running helps with blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar sensitivity. All of these have an effect on heart health, so clearly running makes you a lot more healthy. High impact exercises like running encourages bone growth and maintains a balanced bone mineral density. If you want to prevent fractures and stay mobile for the rest of your life, running is great. According to a Johns Hopkins Medical School professor of neuroscience, running can help new nutrient-transporting blood vessels expand. It also stimulates the brain's response to physical and emotional stress, and even encourages neurogenesis, the process of forming new brain cells.

Reading and Writing

Developing your communication skills goes hand in hand with enhancing your reading and writing skills. The more you read and write, the larger your vocabulary becomes and the more clearly and efficiently you can communicate ideas to others. Improving your communication skills will also help you become a better worker or student. According to studies, people who have advanced reading and writing skills have more opportunities in school and in the workplace than those who do not. This is because they are able to express themselves better and take a leader type of role. According to the NEA report, literary readers are more likely than non-readers to "engage in constructive civic and individual activities—such as volunteering, attending sporting or cultural events, and exercising." Reading is also a good way of winding down and relaxing on a nice day. It is also one of the most popular ways people relax in their free time.

Sewing 

Sewing skills also provide an outlet for your imagination, which is one of the most important advantages. Sewing is all about the parts we make. Everything is up to us, from the fabric and thread to the style and even the buttons and zippers. The more and more you practice the better you will get and eventually you'll be able to participate more actively in the design process.Hand or machine sewing with a needle and thread involves hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination training aids in keeping our minds as nimble. Also you are more likely to wear clothes you made instead of buying a shirt, never wearing it and getting rid of it. Sewing is a lot cheaper than buying clothes every week and way better for the environment. All of those clothes you throw away affects the environment and puts it in an even worse condition.

Gardening

Gardening has been shown to boost the mood and self-esteem according to research conducted in the United States and abroad. It helps people's anxiety levels decrease and make them feel less stressed after spending time in a garden. Gardening will improve your mood while also boosting your self-esteem. When you schedule time to work in your garden, your anxiety levels will decrease, and you may feel less depressed. Gardening also makes you healthy. It has been found that your skin absorbs vitamin D in a similar way as plants. Researchers estimate that the sun will produce between 8,000 and 50,000 foreign units of this vitamin, depending on your skin color and how much of your body is covered by clothing. Vitamin D will help you prevent multiple sclerosis, non-lymphoma, Hodgkin's prostate cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer by strengthening your bones and boosting your immune system. Gardening also gives you a feeling of responsibility. Once you plant in your garden you are now responsible for the plant and have to watch it like a baby.

Going to a gym

Exercising will help you from gaining weight or keep it off after you've lost it. Going to the gym is a great way to burn calories. The higher the intensity of your exercise, the more calories you can burn. Physical exercise releases hormones in your brain that make you feel happy, more comfortable, and less nervous. When you exercise regularly, you will feel better about yourself and your appearance, which improves your confidence and self-esteem. Regular physical exercise will help you strengthen your muscles and increase your stamina as well. Exercise helps the cardiovascular system function more effectively by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. You will have more stamina to handle everyday tasks as your heart and lung health improves. For the people who have trouble sleeping, working out will assist you in falling asleep faster, sleeping easier, and sleeping deeper. Fitness all around promotes a healthier lifestyle and is a great way to improve yourself.

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