Every year when summer rolls around, it’s easy to be hit with summer fever, restlessness or stress when business is slow. Hobbies are the perfect solution if you don’t have an imminent vacation planned, but you need to unwind. There are plenty hobbies that can aid your stress levels and improve your leadership skills simultaneously. And the best part? You don’t have to shell out the big bucks to try them out.
When you spend the majority of your day working, your brain can struggle to make the right choices. Hobbies can refresh your ability to focus and concentrate throughout the day. By opting to take on a hobby, you are giving your brain a much-needed rest. On top of that, a well-selected hobby can teach you valuable business skills such as patience and creativity, and give you a sense of accomplishment that can assist your day job.
There is much talk about leaders failing to achieve a balance between their work and their home life, and a hobby can help them bridge the gap. Your choice of hobby doesn’t even need to relate to your profession to make a difference in your work performance. Sometimes the less relevant it is – the better!
Here is a selection of cheap pastimes that you might want to consider.
Yoga is great for your mind and body and can be practiced at any time of the day or night. You can do it with a group or by yourself. You don’t even need to spend a lot of money on expensive classes as YouTube can give you some excellent pointers free of charge. While you may struggle with some of the poses initially, the more you practice, the better your body and mind will respond to the exercises. Physical movement such as yoga can even improve your sleep habits, making your business day run smoother and leaving your mind clearer.
Learn a Musical Instrument
Practicing something over and over is a good habit to get into. Music can help your listening skills and hone your self-discipline. If you decide to play instruments with other people, then you can also get a sense of collaboration as well. Other than the initial outlay of purchasing the instrument, there is no huge cost to playing music. And of course, you can always use your new found musical skills at your local church or event.
Be a Mentor
A great way to hone your leadership skills while recharging the batteries when you’re away from the office is to mentor others. Programs like Junior Achievement or even giving back as a life coach can really help you to share your knowledge and experience to impact people in your local community. As a leader you have wisdom to give, so why not pay it forward to the next generation of leaders?
While volunteering may not sound like a hobby in itself, it can offer many benefits. Helping others will provide you with a strong sense of community and positively affect your well-being. It can also improve your networking skills and give you a sense of empowerment, ultimately boosting your confidence. Volunteering can often give you a more broadened perspective of the world and help build your skills depending on your volunteering responsibilities. The only cost that is involved with volunteering is the time you commit to the organization.
Play a Sport
Playing a competitive team sport is an excellent way to get fit and create bonds with others. Athletes have an amazing ability to focus on a task – taking that focus into the boardroom will benefit the entire organization. Leaders and athletes often have skills which overlap; both are known to manage their time well, communicate effectively and work hard. Consider your sports options wisely – in all likelihood it will depend on your time commitment. Despite sport being a physical hobby, it can also allow you to take your mind off the stress at work and provide a necessary breather.
Try Creative Writing
Creative writing is an ideal way to let off steam – all you need is a pen and paper, or a tablet or laptop, to begin. You can try your hand at writing poetry, short stories, a novel or even a blog to relax. You may find that once you get into the swing of things that you have a story or a piece worth publishing. Writing for pleasure is a lot different than just writing for profit – you can let your mind and pen wander. Writing can help with issues such as being able to express yourself wholly or comfortably. The more you write, the easier you will find it is to locate your writing voice.
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