Stress Management: The Importance of Hobbies

I spend a large percentage of time helping people manage their stress more effectively.  And when I talk to the media, one of the first questions they typically ask is “What are some good ways to manage stress?”  My answer: Anything that’s healthy and works.  Sure, yoga’s great but so is just breathing, sitting quietly, reading, and walking.  I’ve admitted to reporters (I always let my guard down when they get me talking!) that some of my favorite stress management strategies include: watching House Hunters and tweeting John Mayer.  Embarrassing – yes, but also effective.  Given that @johncmayer no longer exists, I’m glad I have a few other stress management tools up my sleeve.

In our fast-paced, productive-every-moment, never-relax world, I think many of us have forgotten the importance of hobbies.  I had a supervisor on my internship in graduate school who told everyone who walked in his office that they should be spending more time on their “avocations,” i.e. hobbies.  I’m not sure I would go that far, but I do think the pleasure, stress relief, and change of pace that hobbies afford us are quite valuable.

One of my favorite hobbies? Baking.  Not only is it fun, your friends and family will likely encourage you to spend time doing it – the rewards are just too sweet to pass up!

Halloween cupcakes - Yum!

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