Online Training

The importance of creativity and exercise

The importance of creativity and exercise for mental wellbeing

2016 study by BMC Public Health found that Australian adults engaging in artistic hobbies for over 100 hours a year had significantly better mental health than those engaging in less.

Finding time for a hobby can be tricky with long working hours or family obligations. A lack of motivation can also prevent you from making time for a hobby or exercise, even though you know you will enjoy it. Sometimes, the barrier could be not knowing what to try.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Revive an old passion. Have you got an old guitar in the back of your cupboard or maybe some paintbrushes? An old hobby might have temporarily been put on the backburner, but restarting an activity from your past could revive your creativity. There are many instructional videos on YouTube to help you rediscover talents or learn new techniques.
  • If you are stuck for an idea regarding a new hobby you could try asking friends and family, researching interests online, visiting your local library or craft store, visiting a garden centre or hardware store, look at educational or recreational courses.
  • If you try something new and you aren’t enjoying it, don’t worry. Try something else each week until you find something that ‘gels’. The aim is to find something that is fun and hopefully relaxing.
  • Finding the time can be a major barrier to doing things that you enjoy. Have a look at your day and see if you can carve out some time in your schedule e.g. lunch break exercise, reading, knitting, puzzles whilst taking public transport, getting up earlier for walks or online yoga videos. Be conscious of the way you are spending your time. Perhaps you could do something after dinner or when the children are safely in bed.
  • Helping others can be the best hobby of all. If you’re not already supporting others through your work, in your family or the community, think about what skills you have and how you might be able to use those skills to help other people. Click here to see our Introduction to Volunteering micro course.
  • Click here for some creativity suggestions from Mind Tools.