This article serves as a reminder than we are allowed to do things ‘just for fun’. The attitude of not pursuing something unless we are going to be the very best in that area has robbed many of joy and the benefits of having hobbies. Hobbies are a vital part of life, and we do not have to be the best in order to benefit from their various advantages.
Feel free to make ‘ugly’ art or sing ‘terribly’. It’s all subjective, and no one has to see it anyway. There’s this idea in modern society that if we can’t paint like Van Gogh or sing like Amy Winehouse then there is no point in trying.
However, there is a point. Doing something because you enjoy it and it makes you happy is a reason in and of itself. We all need a reminder of this from time to time.
Additionally, there are numerous benefits of having hobbies.
Some of these include:
- Stress relief: Channelling your energy into a hobby can help to relieve stress, and may also serve as a healthy distraction. This is because hobbies are active, and they remind you of your multi-faceted self-concept.
- Patience: Hobbies can teach you patience in a number of ways. Firstly, patience is required to develop a new hobby and build your skills. Importantly, hobbies also teach us to be patient and compassionate towards ourselves, which is a great advantage.
- Foster social connections: Hobbies can help you create bonds. This could be with others who simply share a similar hobby to you, or in the form of a club or group hobby. Moreover, it could help your general social life too as it would give you experiences and stories worth sharing with others.
Earlier this year I filled a notebook with my thoughts on people and all types of relationships. I did this for fun, without the worrying about how eloquent (or not) I may sound. Once I was done I found that there were some ideas worth sharing in there, and that is what inspired me to start writing these articles.
After my first year at university I found that I wanted to do something more with my love for listening to and analysing music. So I bought myself an electric guitar at the age of 18. I didn’t think about the fact that I had never played an instrument before or worry about how slowly I would learn and how I would advance. I decided that this was an experience for me to enjoy and it has taught me to be patient with myself.
A year ago I started taking pictures on film. I first began with a disposable camera and then bought myself an actual one. I’m definitely not the most talented photographer, and there have been dozens of out of focus or shaky pictures. However, many of them have turned out lovely. And most importantly, all of them capture precious memories and moments that I will cherish forever.
Moreover, this autumn I decided to buy myself rollerskates. I remember having the most wonderful time rollerblading in my neighbourhood as a kid. So I decided to try rollerskating now. While I may not be the swiftest and most elegant skater, it feels good to be active in an engaging way. Nevertheless, I always have a good laugh from almost (but not quite) falling on my face.
It’s important to remember that you’re allowed to simply enjoy what you are doing. You don’t have to be the best; in fact you don’t even have to be good at it. Life is too short to let the fear of not being good enough stop you from having fun.