At the start of any year, it’s common for the media to fill up with stories about how the winter period – after the joys of the Christmas holiday – is one of the most depressing times of year. There are plenty of reasons offered for why this is the case. After the holiday, according to the theory, our wallets and bank accounts are empty, the future seems to offer a lot of hard work for little reward, and the days are short, the evenings long.
It’s easy to get negative when looking at things that way, but in truth, a new year is a chance for a new start. There is never a better time to look at life and decide what you want to make of it, and this includes how you spend your leisure time. The chances are that you can’t avoid the stresses of the everyday, and the best way to make the most of life is to ensure that your downtime includes plenty of relaxation. A new year can be the perfect time to pick up a new hobby to help with this, and the following are a few examples…
Drawing or Painting
Almost everyone, before they take up art as a hobby, has the same attitude: “But I can’t draw/paint/create art!”. To begin with, this argument may be true. However, that’s why you take up new hobbies – to learn how to do it. No-one is able to create super-realistic landscapes without some practice, but if you treat it as a way to relax and let the mood take you, you’ll find that the improvements come fast. Checking out YouTube videos such as the below from the legendary Bob Ross can help you create things you wouldn’t have believed possible.
It’s often been viewed as a hobby for retired men, but fishing is the kind of pursuit that can offer genuine peace and contentment for anyone of any age. The health benefits are many and varied, and include relaxation and plenty of vitamin D whether you’re fishing for bass as a noob, or picking up an old fishing pole and giving it another try. It helps that, if you turn out to be pretty skilful, you can end up catching something in the morning and enjoying it for dinner in the evening – depending on what’s available where you live, of course!
Much like fishing, some of the benefits of gardening are completely practical – when you harvest the results of your good work, you can serve them up at mealtimes and save a bit of cash in the process. The advantages of getting into the garden go way beyond that, though. Working in the garden is the perfect chance to take some time to yourself, just to think or to listen to music or your favorite podcast, and let the stress melt away. Indeed, study after study has shown that getting your hands in the soil can be great for mental health – so there’s even more reason to give it a go!