A resurgence in old-fashioned hobbies

There is something about old-fashioned hobbies that seems to be making a bit of a comeback. Maybe covid had something to do with it – people had more time at home and probably needed to get away from the screens for a while and find other pursuits. In fact, UK sales of jigsaw puzzles reached £100 million in 2020, an increase of 38 per cent on the previous year.

Do crocheting, yellow thread,

Other hobbies such as cross-stitching, flower-arranging, bird watching and watercolor painting also make their presence felt once again. Studies show that the opportunity to take a step away from life, to become totally absorbed in an activity that all your worries fade away has been linked to improvements in emotional wellbeing. 

Let’s delve into these benefits in more detail.

Relaxing and de-stressing

There’s no denying modern life can have a detrimental effect on people’s well-being. Work-related stress and anxiety in the workplace can seep into someone’s private life – particularly if they are still working from home. There needs to be a distinct demarcation between work and home.

An immersive hobby can be that line in the sand between being in work mode, and switching off into relaxation mode. Mindfulness is a meditative practice whereby you concentrate simply on that present emotion. Many hobbies immediately put someone into a state of mindfulness where they are focused purely on what they are doing in that moment, rather than worrying or fretting about the day, or what might happen tomorrow. This is incredibly therapeutic.

Old fashioned challenges

Problem-solving can stimulate brains that have possibly atrophied too much due to immediate access to too many answers. Sometimes it is beneficial to solve a problem the old fashioned way by seeking a practical, tangible solution. For example model making has always been a popular pastime – building plastic models, that is, not the standing in front of a camera and posing kind (though that too is a noble hobby). The construction of a complex model can require seeking out supplies specifically for model engineering, which are both specialized and not easy to find. This commitment and dedication to your art can give you a sense of purpose that helps to elevate mood and determination.

Technology detox

One thing about good old fashioned hobbies is that they do not involve looking at a screen. Our days have become dominated by screens. Many of us spend all day staring at a computer screen as part of our work, then go home at the end of the day and stare at the TV screen. And in between that, we are staring at our phone screens paying bills, booking appointments, messaging friends and family, video calling people. Our attention is constantly being pulled into a direction proven to be mentally and physically harmful.

The latest stats claim that globally people spend an average of just under seven hours a day on their screens – either streaming TV, scrolling through social media or playing video games. When you factor in time spent on screen at work too, then that increases the hourly rate exponentially.

Having an absorbing hobby that does not involve looking at a screen will give you a valuable distraction from the on screen distractions. It teaches you to refocus on a world outside of the screen, which can be a toxic and damaging place, and reminds you that there is a world beyond the virtual. Using a hobby for a digital detox can help you destress and relieve anxiety, increase your overall productivity and improve your relationships with those closest to you, as you begin to focus on the real world again instead.

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