Posts Tagged ‘managing stress’

Why Hobbies are Important!

Did you know it is good for your physical and mental health to have a hobby? Sometimes we get so busy with work or our family that we forget to have time for ourselves, which usually allows the stress in our lives to build. Hobbies provide physical and mental health benefits by giving us an alternative place to focus our time and mental energy, reinvigorating us. Other benefits from hobbies may include:

  • A Sense of Accomplishment – If you are having trouble finishing a difficult task at work, you may find satisfaction by completing a project on your own like a quilt, painting, finishing a book, or a 5K.
  • Social Support System – Often hobbies involve things you can do with others, be it volunteering with Relay for Life or Habitat for Humanity, or joining a just for fun sports league like softball.
  • Preventing Burnout – A hobby may provide fun and something to look forward to after a hard day at work or a stressful time taking care of family members.
  • Improved Physical Health – Studies show that when you engage in enjoyable free time activities you have lower blood pressure and a lower Body Mass Index (or BMI) even if the hobby isn’t necessarily active.
  • Better Work Performance – Studies also have found that employees who have creative hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and are often more creative with work projects.

Children benefit from hobbies by having a higher self-esteem, learning patience and social skills, and developing critical thinking skills and creativity. Encourage 

younger children to try several activities as hobbies – think something physical, creative, and mental (geocaching, crafting, music, cooking, or even magic). While some children may consider gaming to be a hobby, encourage them to have other hobbies that don’t use a computer or TV to limit screen time.

Hobbies provide both physical and mental health benefits to adults and children. A hidden benefit for adults may be that companies report looking for employees who have hobbies. They feel these employees are more balanced, less stressed, and more creative at work. What hobby is your favorite? Comment below. Personally I’m a reader, reading is food for my soul.


United States Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/


Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Lorrissa Dunfee, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Belmont County.


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Holiday spending can put a lot of stress on you and your wallet.  In this economy, you cannot possibly give your children or grandchildren everything they want.  Instead of adding more stress to your life by having bills pile up in the New Year, this holiday season can be made special by giving more of yourself, and your time.  Think of thoughtful gifts that do not have to cost a lot in money but are truly given from the heart.

Start by making a list of all the things that you want to do for the holidays.  This may include a list of names of those you will give gifts to, holiday decorations that you want to buy, and special events that you want to attend.  Then put dollar figures beside each of these activities.  Set realistic dollar figures for each of your budget items.  Make them reasonable and affordable for you family. For example you might have a budget of $15-$20 per person for gifts, $50 for special events, and $75-$100 for decorations.

Much of our holiday spending is impulsive.  Shop with a list and stick to it.   Avoid using credit cards if possible so as not to incur debt that will haunt you in the New Year.  Take advantage of sales by shopping early in the season.  Don’t be that last minute shopper.

As an alternative to purchasing gifts, consider giving gifts of items that you already have and give gifts from your heart.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Consider giving a special piece of jewelry or glassware that a daughter or granddaughter admires.
  • A start from a plant that a friend would like to have.  Buy a pretty pot and give this new plant to your friend.
  • Do you make jams and jellies or other canned items that friends and relatives would like?  Make decorative jar toppers and give canned items as gifts.
  • Old photos that relatives would like to have.  Make copies and put into an album as a holiday gift.

Don’t think you have to break the bank to make the holidays special.  These gifts from the heart can be the most treasured gifts to receive.

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, brinkman.93@osu.edu

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filing systemIs the fact that you receive so much information everyday stressful to you? Does the information needed to make a decision or remain informed about a topic flood in from too many sources/places? Is too much information filling your time and making it impossible to digest it all? How can you de-stress and avoid information overload?
Below are a few ideas of ways to help you avoid being overloaded:
Set up a filing system using only topics that are important and of interest to you. These will be topics that you care about. You might find that once you have this set up, if articles, pamphlets or booklets don’t fit the categories you have you will not save them.
Select your subscriptions carefully. If you delete or set aside newsletters every time they come and never get around to reading them you may want to be taken off the subscription list.
Combine items with like content into one document. Attach a reference list to the document.
Go through the newspapers, magazines and journals when they arrive. Tear out articles of interest and throw out the remaining items.
Keep a file or envelope of points of interest. This can include new books, websites, social media sites etc.. Once a month go through this file and obtain anything useful. Bookmark useful websites for quick locating.
Sometimes calling or stopping in to talk to someone is quicker and less work than e-mailing them. When e-mailing we spend a lot of time clarifying our message costing us more time and energy.
Unless the information is not likely to change, discard it at the 5 year point.
Divide the reading or research by joining or starting a book or journal club.
When you do read an article or book write an abstract so you do not have to re-read it the next time. This will save you time later.
These tips may not save you from information overload all the time, but hopefully at least one tip or more will be useful while decreasing your stress of overload!
Source: RD411.com
Author: Liz Smith, Family and Consumer Science Educator, Ohio State University Extension.

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