In our productivity-obsessed society, it can be all too easy to get sucked into a cycle of waking up, going to work, running errands, maybe doing some more work, and falling into bed before setting an alarm to get up and do it all over again. But research shows that cultivating hobbies outside of the rat race isn't just a nice break for your body and brain – it actually carries mental and physical health benefits. Participants in four different studies who engaged in one or more of 10 different leisure time activities had lower blood pressure, a smaller waist circumference, body mass index, and perceptions of better physical health. What's more, a study by University of California health psychologist Matthew Zawadzki found that leisure activity can provide immediate stress relief, as well as lower stress and depression in the longer term. Of course, finding a new hobby you enjoy can feel like just another thing to add to your to-do list. That's why we compiled a list of the best hobbies for women, to take the guesswork out of it. Call a friend, grab your partner, or set out solo to improve your health and your outlook on the world.
1.) Get in touch with your inner book worm
The number of Americans who read for pleasure has plummeted by more than 30 percent since 2004, according to the American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2004, roughly 28 percent of adults read for fun on any given day. In 2018, that was about 19 percent. Pick up a book to buck the trend and escape your own world for awhile. Check out the CLAMS e-book and digital audio collection by clicking here: CLAMS - OverDrive
2.) Make like Bob Ross and paint a picture
No artistic talent? No worries! Anyone can reap the relaxing benefits of painting their own forest of happy little trees even if the results aren't exactly museum-worthy. Sign up for a guided paint night if you prefer a more structured environment or grab a set of brushes and paints at your local craft store if you'd rather fly solo.
3.) Belt out some tunes
Bring out your inner Aretha and sing in the shower while making dinner or doing chores. Many adults can also take virtual voice lessons to tune up their pipes.
4.) Put on your dancing shoes
Go ahead, bust a move. Join a virtual Zumba class to get sweating, look for virtual dance nights at your local community center, look for an app or online video tutorial, or take your partner for a little spin around the kitchen. Dancing boosts endorphins and gets your body moving for a double whammy of health benefits.
5.) Start a scrap book
In this digital era, many of us don't have a lot of pictures we can hold in our hands. Get offline and start a scrapbook that exists somewhere other than the cloud. Crafting is cathartic, and you'll be preserving memories for the next generation, while you're at it.
6.) Learn to take better pictures
Smartphones mean most of us have a camera in our pockets at all times, but few of us give much thought to lighting, composition, or even subject matter. Photography can make a rewarding hobby, even if you stick to the camera in your phone. And you can even turn the fruits of your labor into decor!
7.) Cultivate a green thumb
Apartment-dwellers and those with yards can both reap the benefits of gardening. Houseplants have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity lately, and they're a great option for those who don't have outdoor space or those who live in cold climates. And don't worry if you're not a plant expert: Hard-to-kill plants are here for you.
8.) Learn Origami
The Japanese art of folding paper into whimsical shapes isn't just for children. It's a great activity to help maintain manual dexterity, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home, and it only costs as much as the paper you use.
9.) Learn your calligraphy ABCs
Take birthday and holiday cards to the next level by learning calligraphy. Some libraries and art centers offer classes, but you can also purchase your own pens and ink and find free tutorials online.
10.) Plug in with video games
The kids aren't the only ones who can enjoy video games. Ask yours to teach you their favorites, or try an online game if you don't have a standalone system of your own. Puzzle games can help keep your mind sharp, while role-playing games can feel like controlling your very own story book.
Source: Good Housekeeping magazine, BY LIZZ SCHUMER
Dec 26, 2019