With summer in full effect, many of us find ourselves looking for something new to do. After all, this is an invigorating season, with powerful energy in the area. And if you’ve been looking for something new to take on this summer, then we’ve provided a few helpful hobbies to consider. Check them out below:

Music

Learning an instrument is not only is this an excellent creative outlet but one that helps in learning other subjects as well. According to the I’ll Fly Away Foundation, 78 percent of Americans believe that learning an instrument helps students perform better in school. Why is that the case? Because music is practically another language, one that challenges you to think and respond differently. However, that skill set also comes with picking an instrument and practicing it.

In picking your instrument, go for something that translates as a skill set. For example, learning piano can be great as all the keys are laid out, which is great for visualizing how scales work, as well as sheet music. Try to schedule at least an hour every day or two to practice, setting goals such as learning a specific song or concept. The overarching idea is to create objectives that excite you, giving a better sense of enjoyment and accomplishment of each task.

Learning A New Subject

As learning is a lifelong mission, taking on a new subject you’ve always been fascinated by isn’t a bad idea. No matter if it’s picking up a new language or getting some tutoring in history, the possibilities are endless. While you might have a few different topics in your head, one of the first considerations you need to make is what you’re going to learn and how you’re going to stick with it.

When picking a new subject, create some learning objectives for yourself; for example, learning Spanish to travel to a country or studying fine dining. After you’ve established what you’re going to teach yourself, one of the best ways to digest this is by breaking up your objective into different sections, or chunking. As noted by the Nielsen Norman Group, chunking is when we break text or multimedia into smaller chunks to process, understand, and remember information. Make it a habit to not chunk more than you can chew while also giving yourself enough to stay intrigued.

Exercise

One of the most common wishes for many of us is to get back into shape, not only for the sheer goal of looking good but also to feel good as well. According to a study by the University of Nebraska, the benefits of exercise can include:

  1. Improved sleep
  2. Increased interest in sex
  3. Better endurance
  4. Stress relief
  5. Improved mood
  6. Increased energy levels
  7. Reduced tiredness
  8. Weight reduction
  9. Reduced cholesterol

While most of us are aware that this is the case, it can be a better motivator sometimes to get up and get out there. The most effective way to get this done? Schedule your exercise on when you need the biggest mental boost.

One of the hidden benefits of exercise is utilizing it as a means to make your day mentally better. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get up at 5 am to work out every day, it is important to pick a time conducive to your schedule and stick with it. Furthermore, make the exercises you choose something that’s useful to you, whether that means the peace you get from runner’s high or the hype you feel from lifting weights. Remember, if you want to get into exercise as a hobby, respect the mental aspect as much as the physical, honing in on what’s giving you the relaxation you need.

Meditation

Finally, if you haven’t tried it, meditation can be a great activity to consider for your mental health. According to Harvard Health, mindful meditation can ease anxiety and mental stress, giving you a mental break you need. This is a practice that can be especially helpful in a few different areas, as well as is relatively easy to pick up.

With meditation, the goal is to focus on your breathing, leaving all your thoughts and distractions elsewhere. It’s often recommended as a way to start your day (even for 10-15 minutes), giving yourself a better peace of mind, as well as time to reflect upon your day. Since meditation comes in several different forms, read through some mindfulness strategies you might consider, as this is one activity you’ll thank yourself for later on.

What are some activities you’ve been considering picking up this summer? Comment with your answers below!