While the Covid-19 pandemic brought with it a lot of pain and suffering, it also brought about some potentially positive changes. On the part of individuals, the pandemic forced many to reassess their priorities. For some, working from home helped them to discover the value of spending extended time with family. For others, a lack of income led them towards burgeoning entrepreneurial endeavours.
One lesser sung hero of the pandemic has been the (re)discovery of hobbies, with businesses like RC Hobbies reporting an increase in sales and queries regarding hobby-related products. Indeed, where once few people found extended time to devote towards enjoyable pursuits – opting instead to veg in front of the TV – the pandemic caused many to pick up alternative ways of spending their time. From carpentry and cooking, to drone mapping and hiking, many New Zealanders began finding outlets that did not revolve around passive entertainment or the need for spending extended (and potentially unsafe) time with others.
What has resulted, according to psychologists, is increased overall wellbeing. There are many benefits associated with allowing space in one’s life for pursuits that are not so much linked to ‘product’ but rather to ‘process’, including:
- Increased creativity and problem-solving
- Decreased stress levels
- Improved mental and physical health
- Greater self-reflection
Another wonderful thing about a hobby is that it can be literally anything. Some people enjoy reading, exercising, or painting. Others enjoy debating philosophy, building models, or playing an instrument. As long as the activity engages the brain and body in an active rather than passive pursuit, a hobby can have lasting positive effects on general health and wellness. This also bodes well for those who may be struggling with depression or who may have picked up unhealthy habits in these difficult times, as pursuing a hobby could prove an ideal way to jumpstart a generally healthier and happier life.