Finding a hobby that brings you joy will help improve your mood and cognitive skills at any age, but it’s especially important for seniors who have the luxury of additional free time. There are many mental and physical health benefits to engaging in a regular hobby. When you find yourself feeling stuck in a daily routine, finding a new hobby can increase your overall happiness and satisfaction with life, for example.
Keep reading to learn more about the many benefits of hobbies for seniors, and maybe you’ll discover a great new hobby to try for yourself.
Top 8 Benefits of Hobbies for Adults
1. Hobbies are Great for Stress Relief
A hobby should be a pleasurable activity that takes your mind off the stressors in everyday life and leave negative emotions behind. It should be a healthy and productive way to distract yourself from personal troubles. While some may think that adding another activity to their daily workload would only create more stress, a fun hobby actually has the opposite effect. If you can find a great outlet for relieving stress, you’re much more likely to keep up with it and make it a part of your daily or weekly schedule.
For example, maybe you like the idea of taking up yoga for both mental and physical health benefits. Yoga helps you stretch out dormant muscles, stay mobile, and relax with medication. You could also meet other adults with similar interests. After a few classes, chances are that you’ll feel the stress of your other daily commitments melt away.
2. Hobbies Provide a Sense of Accomplishment
There’s nothing better for the mind and body than tackling new challenges and tasks – and getting the resulting endorphin boost when you accomplish them. If you’ve been feeling bored or stagnant in your daily routine, a new hobby can help to get you out of your comfort zone and learn a new skill.
Whether you choose a new hobby that is more physically demanding than you’re used to our you really want to exercise your brainpower, taking on new challenges are important at any age. So, why not try out kayaking, fishing, painting or pottery classes? If those aren’t your style, you can also try mentally challenging activities. Crosswords are a classic example, as is sudoku for the more math-minded.
3. Boost Your Immune System
Did you know that by simply being more active each day, you can give your immune system a big boost? Becoming more active is great for your body in many ways, but for those who find themselves constantly battling a cold or other ailments, a hobby could be just what you need to help enhance your immune system. Research shows that hobbies involving lots of physical activity can help to maintain or even prevent many chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.
When you keep up with physical activities like walking, biking, or yoga over a consistent period of time you can also improve your overall quality of life and help to increase your longevity. Worried that you can’t keep up with the demands of a more physical hobby? Keep in mind that almost every physical activity can be modified to accommodate people of different skill levels and physical functional abilities. Don’t let the fear of the unknown prevent you from trying out new hobbies like golf, basketball, and horseback riding.
4. Explore Hidden Talents
When we’re busy in our early adult years raising families and moving up the ranks at work, it can be tough to make time to try new things. Have you always secretly believed that you would have been a great sculpture artist if you only had the time? Or that you would have been a champion chess player in your younger years? Whatever the case, you’ll never really know just what you are capable of until you try new things in life.
Taking up a new hobby is a great way to begin on the path to self-discovery. Whether you’re interested in taking up pottery classes or you have an inkling that you’ve got a killer golf swing, trying new things is a great way to surprise yourself and discover hidden talents.
5. Extra Income
It’s not uncommon for people to pick up a new hobby only to find that they are really good at what they’re doing. In fact, many people turn their hobbies into an extra source of income without putting additional stress on themselves. For example, if you enjoy gardening and find that you have a green thumb, you may be able to grow beautiful heirloom tomatoes that can be sold at local farmers' markets or fairs.
Maybe you end up being so good at gardening that you end up helping others to keep their garden healthy and well-manicured as well. Soon your passion for gardening and eye for detail could lead you to become a gardening consultant for friends, family, and other seniors in the area. It’s a great way to keep doing what you live and earning some extra cash on the side as well.
If adding to your income isn’t important to you, consider using your new talent to strengthen relationships. Teach your grandchildren how to garden, or bond with neighbors and friends who also garden. Strong, active social ties help keep your mind healthy.
6. Grow Spiritually
Learning to relieve stress and find a happy balance in your life has much to do with nourishing your spiritual side as your physical body. This can happen through religious practices, meditation, gratitude rituals, or any number of other practices. Finding a hobby that allows for creativity and your own form of spiritual practice can help you grow spiritually. When you find a hobby that allows you to do something inspiring or creative, it’s much easier to apply those feelings in other aspects of your daily life.
7. Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem
Pushing yourself to try new things that are outside of your comfort zone is not only a great way to discover hidden talents, but it can also result in a confidence boost. Each time you tackle a new milestone and improve your skills, you will build up your self-esteem just a little bit more. We all feel better about ourselves when we’re good at something, so why not explore a new hobby every now and then?
8. Hobbies Help the Transition into Retirement
If you’ve been managing a household for the last 30 years or are preparing to leave a job that you’ve worked at for decades, the idea of entering into your retirement years can be overwhelming. There’s the plan to downsize from your family home to a senior living environment, the many hours each day full of nothing but free time, and the challenge of making new friends outside of the workplace. When you have a hobby or two to focus on, you’ll find that you worry much less about finding purpose in your life post-retirement.
Having a hobby that you truly enjoy allows you to have a life outside of your work and family responsibilities, easing the transition into retirement. For some, this can be as simple as their weekly bridge group meetup or something as involved as restoring classic cars. Whatever your hobby, when you set aside time in your life for an activity that is just for you and your happiness, you’ll find that your life is enriched in many ways.
Discover Your New Hobby at Havenwood Heritage Heights
Trying out new hobbies is an ideal way to stay active, keep challenging yourself, and learn more about your wants and needs. With just a small commitment of your time each week or month, you can find yourself engaging in a world that is much more exciting and full of purpose. Whether you’re interested in the physical and mental health benefits of taking up a new hobby or you like the idea of making new friends and tapping into your spiritual side, there are many different benefits to maintaining an active lifestyle in your senior years.
At Havenwood Heritage Heights, we make it easy to explore new hobbies and fill up your social calendar with a variety of monthly activities and events on the community schedule. Interested in learning more about life here at our continuing care retirement community in Concord, NH? Call 1.800.457.6833 or contact our friendly admissions specialists online today for more information and be sure to schedule a campus tour!