The More, the Merrier
In summer, my energy levels pick up again and I find myself outdoors in my garden, either soaking up the sun or spending time caring for my plants. I grow fruits and vegetables and herbs, and love to turn them into delicious meals. One of my favorite things to do when I wake up in the summer is to walk out the back door and pick a bowl of fresh berries for breakfast. The feeling of satisfaction I get from having grown something tasty and nutritious is a great start to my day.
A Great Icebreaker
Aside from their many therapeutic properties, hobbies can be the perfect way to break that awkward silence in uncomfortable social situations. Bringing your knitting or crochet project along to a picnic or barbecue will always pique the curiosity of those around you, and often saves you the trouble of starting conversation yourself, which is a big help if you suffer from anxiety or are depressed. Talking about hobbies is also a nice way to find common ground with people who you might otherwise feel somewhat intimidated by or awkward around.
And however cliched it may sound, hobbies still remain a great way to meet new people. Going to your local Stich ‘n’ Bitch group, joining a beer brewing club, or participating in a fishing competition are all guaranteed ways to find people who share at least one common interest with you - and we all know that having a strong social support network is one of the keys to staying healthy.
The friendships that form in those kinds of groups are often uncomplicated, easygoing relationships that provide a welcome retreat from the stresses of illness, work, kids, and bills.
Sometimes It's More than a Hobby
If you’re persistent, dedicated, and maybe a little bit lucky, a hobby can become lucrative as well. Perhaps you start selling crocheted hats or knitting patterns on Etsy; maybe you decide to give piano lessons or become a fishing guide. You might discover a talent for photography that ends up becoming a career, or maybe a local gallery is interested in selling your paintings. My own hobbies slowly melted together and evolved into a career in illustration and typography; you never know where something might take you.
So try something new, or dust off an old, forgotten hobby. Or if you already have something you love to do, get going! Start a new project, finish an old one, join a group.
Do something you enjoy, and see where it takes you.