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Work and family responsibilities can cause you to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Devoting time to a hobby you enjoy can help you cope with the many demands in your life, prevent burnout, and improve your mental and physical health.

Benefits of Having a Hobby
If you spend most of your time focused on things you have to do at work and at home, you can become burned out. The pleasure you derive from a hobby can help you be present in the moment and forget, at least temporarily, about struggles in other parts of your life. A hobby can help you relax, focus your attention on something you find rewarding, get a good night’s sleep, and be ready to tackle the next set of challenges.

If you have a boring or unfulfilling job, or if you spend most of your time home alone while your spouse is at work and your kids are at school, a hobby that you find challenging can provide you with positive stress. It can give you something to look forward to, offer a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and break up the monotony.

If you participate in a hobby with other people, you may make new friends. If the activity lends itself to conversation, you may find that you share other interests and experiences that can help you forge strong bonds.

A hobby can improve your physical health as well. People who spend time engaging in activities they enjoy tend to have lower blood pressure, a healthier weight and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Make Time for a Hobby
No matter how much responsibility you have in your daily life, it’s important to take some time for yourself. Don’t think about setting aside time for a hobby as selfish. The less stressed you are, the healthier you’ll be, and the more you’ll be able to contribute to others. Relaxing and unwinding can help you avoid burnout and be better able to focus on things that others rely on you to do.

How to Choose the Right Hobby
Find an activity that you enjoy and that gives you the right balance of challenge, accomplishment and relaxation. You might want to consider playing a sport, riding a bike, drawing, painting, knitting, writing, collecting something, or playing a musical instrument, or you might choose to do something less conventional. The key is to find something that you enjoy and will look forward to doing.

Pursuing A Hobby Can Enrich Your Life
Devoting time to a hobby can provide countless benefits, both mental and physical. It can help you reduce stress so you’ll be better able to focus on your responsibilities and challenges and be more present and successful in other areas of life. If you don’t currently have a hobby, think about something new you’d like to try and set aside time to explore it.

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