Get a Hobby

A lot of people associate hobbies with people who have way too much free time, but it turns out, whether you think you have the spare time or not, having a hobby you enjoy may be worth making time for. This is true for everyone, regardless of gender, but in terms of men’s health, this is perhaps especially worth noting, because it’s an area that may often be lacking or not being nurtured in a healthy way. What exactly do we mean by this? Let’s take a look.

A Good Hobby Promotes Healthier Socializing
Toxic masculinity is, unfortunately, ubiquitous in our society. Men are told from a very young age that they need to be territorial, aggressive, domineering, and unfeeling. This can make it incredibly hard for men to form any healthy relationships with friends, family, their partner, etc, etc. Picking up a hobby could give you a reason to get out of the house for something other than work, and you could find yourself in a good environment to make lasting friendships with people who have similar interests. Ever thought painting could be fun, but you figured you’d be no good at it? Or that it wasn’t very “masculine?” Well, screw that, we all know dividing things by gender is generally entirely arbitrary anyway, go sign up for a class at your local community center! Or maybe you like working with your hands in the soil and the satisfaction of watching a little sprout grow big with love and care. Who says men can’t be gardeners? Whatever it is that interests you, make time for it. And if you don’t know what the hell you want to do, just try some new things! Take classes, talk to people about it, dabble until you find something you love to do!

Hobbies Are Good for You
And we mean that in more ways than one. They might actually be beneficial to your physical health! Studies have found evidence suggesting that engaging in enjoyable non-work activities is associated with lower blood pressure, cortisol, and healthier body fat and weight. Doing something you love in your down time relieves stress and gives you a boost that helps prevent or manage depression, anxiety, bad moods…the list goes on.

It’s Important that Your Hobby not Be Work
We’ve said a couple times now that a good hobby outside of your job has a lot of benefits. Thing is, it doesn’t even matter if you absolutely love your job; ultimately, it’s still work, and work feels different from a hobby. If you love your work, great! Even better! But it’s still what you do for a living, and all the positive effects we’ve listed apply more to enjoyable things you do outside your job, because no matter how fun your work might be, it still just feels different, on a fundamental level, than a hobby.

Some people have the experience of their hobby becoming their work. Professional artists or bloggers that started out as hobbyists, etc, etc. This can be a really neat experience, and allows one to do what they love for a living, but if you’re ever lucky enough for this to happen to you, you should really consider finding a new hobby to replace the one that became your job. You’ll probably notice a reduction in stress levels pretty quickly.