• Monique Gaddy

Unwind With: New Hobbies

picture of water color paints

I have been exploring the world of new hobbies for at least six months now. There is something about not being able to travel that really got me exploring my more creative side. While there are still a ton of things I would like to explore, just knowing that there are numerous benefits to learning new things - as well as allowing myself time to play and explore - has helped me keep my sanity while cooped up at home.

Why New Hobbies?

So, why pick up a new hobby? Why not just continue perfecting old hobbies or perhaps just spend time watching TV or relaxing? What about adapting old hobbies? While I did spend some time working on hobbies that I was already invested in - for instance, I had a ton of hand-painted cards that needed to be mailed out around the world and they had gotten pushed aside due to my busy work schedule - I found that NOT challenging my mind to learn something new was really adding in a layer of extra depression. So then I decided that I would pick up playing my flute again, surely my neighbors would enjoy some endless practice runs. But then I realized that what I wanted to do was learn something entirely new.

So, I began learning how to play the ukulele by using self-teaching techniques. The fantastic thing about learning a new instrument is that it really requires so many layers of absorbing new information. For instance, I needed to learn basics, like which tools I needed to utilize and what techniques I needed to learn. Then I needed to make sure I had the right supportive equipment. Then I had to figure out what songs I would like, and what styles of strum and finger-picking I would like. There was also the process of keeping up a good practice schedule. The entire process was not only fun and entertaining, but challenging and all-absorbing. The gloominess I was experiencing had really started to lift and I was able to feel like I was experiencing a fresh view on life again.

silhouette of a woman doing a martial arts kick on the beach

Benefits of Lifelong Learning