Hobbies are vital for your health

Do you have any hobbies? And we mean real hobbies, not ‘maintaining an active social life’ or ‘a passion for food’ that you grasp at as ‘interests’ on your CV.

Emerald Street asked in a recent article, “what did you get up to at the weekend?”

What DID we get up to in the weekend? This question is more important than just a conversation starter on a Monday morning, as recent research has shown the importance of hobbies to our wellbeing.

This finding comes at a time when more and more of us seem to see hobbies as whimsical memories from childhood, as far removed from our current lives as the ability to eat unlimited chocolate without second thoughts to our thighs.

All work and no play

According to Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, having hobbies is more important than ever in our work-dominated lives.

Cooper said…

“Finding activities we enjoy is critical to our wellbeing. In the UK we have the longest working hours in Europe, so often we want to go home and flake out in front of the TV. At the weekend we should try and do something that keeps us cognitively active, for instance learning a language or getting involved in politics, or being physically active, like playing tennis. It gives your mind something to focus on besides your day-to-day stresses.”

And it’s not just the activity that matters. The people we interact with are vital too.

“Relationships at work can often be tactical but at classes or in sports teams you meet new people who you can be yourself with.”

None of this is new to us at GoLearnTo.com; we hear it every day from our guests.

Julia recently returned from her yoga and Pilates holiday in Fuerteventura and reflected…

“One of my favourite things about the holiday is just meeting all these like-minded people. It’s lovely to hear how other people live and their stories.”

So go ahead. Dig out that paintbrush. Call your tennis partner. It’s important for your health and it’s fun.

Kick start new interests and hobbies on holiday

Pursuing a new interest on holiday is a great way to meet like-minded people and discover a passion for new activities that you can continue when you return home.

According to psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson, “Holidaymakers returning to work are healthier, happier and therefore likely to be more productive.’’

photography guests take photos of each other under trees

Photographers work on their skills on holiday in Greece

How it works

  • It’s a great way to focus on a new hobby or interest – have a passion you never had the chance to explore? Now you can in a relaxed and friendly environment.

“I’ve seen people get frustrated when they can’t pick things up immediately and some find the adult learning situation odd to start with. The guidance and safe learning process of a class does help them through and often turns nervousness into excitement.” – Rachel Davies, founder of and teacher at Rachel’s Kitchen.

  • It’s a great way to bring a past hobby back into your daily routine.

“I’d done yoga before but was not very disciplined in practising it. I wanted a yoga holiday to get myself started again.” – Caroline, who hopes her recent yoga holiday will help her to regulate her breathing when she heads for the Himalayas this October.

Read more: Caroline’s verdict on her yoga holiday in Spain

  • It’s a great way to switch off, giving you a real holiday. A holiday that leaves you refreshed and rejuvenated. One that doesn’t disappear with your tan.

Pursuing a hobby on holiday will have you returning with zest in your step and with the skills and motivation to make serious lifestyle changes.

Cooking to photography. Pilates to painting. What will you get up to this weekend?

For some ideas on how you can pursue your hobby on holiday, visit NotInTheGuidBooks.com.