When you were a child you were probably involved in all sorts of clubs and activities. As you get older, which we all do, priorities shift and these tend to fall by the wayside as we focus on other aspects of our lives that we need to concentrate on. We can lose our passion for hobbies and interests and discovering new ones in favour of the old excuse ‘I just don’t have the time’. However, the benefits of discovering, and in some cases, rediscovering interests cannot be underestimated.
January is known for many feeling blue after Christmas celebrations. When we are feeling down it can be even harder to motivate ourselves to do anything other than the necessary tasks such as going to work, family commitments etc. Feeling like you’re in a rut and lacking the energy to pull yourself out of it is common with so many of us. Forcing yourself to get out there and find a hobby or simply try something new can be the catalyst to improve your mood and is proven to increase positivity.
As well as breaking your mundane daily routine, the social implications of joining something new will have many great benefits – you can never have too many friends! Or if you want to escape from people for some ‘me’ time, then explore hobbies that allow some alone time away from everyday expectations. It’s important to find a way to express yourself that really works for you. If you are struggling to find ideas, check out our news section on our website as we will continue to reveal hobbies, interests and clubs in both Swords and the city centre. We will also be hosting pop up events this year that you will be welcome to join in. Watch our social media for updates!
If you’re struggling to get started, think about setting mini-goals and targets to encourage you to focus and this alone can help reduce anxiety. If you want to get fit but gym membership is intimidating (most of us find this!) why not begin with something you can control yourself and join a running club for beginners or use a free app such as C25K (couch to 5km running app) that is designed to help non-runners hit small goals on a regular basis. This can be done by yourself allowing some ‘me’ time or get a friend to start with you! Hitting these targets is a great achievement and will help with your overall fitness goal. Exercise helps with both your physical and mental health so it’s a double winner in our eyes.
If exercise is not your thing, there are plenty more choices out there and here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you with finding a new passion this year:
- What did you enjoy doing as a child?
- What are your favourite TV programs to watch? Crime- join murder mystery events? Cooking – join a cooking class? Music programs – join a choir or learn to play the guitar yourself?
- Do you enjoy being around others? Do you prefer alone time?
- When is the last time you did an activity and thought to yourself afterward ‘I really enjoyed that'?
Asking yourself those questions should get your juices flowing and you may even be surprised by what you learn about yourself!
Some helpful websites to get you discovering your passion include
There are so many great projects and causes out there that would really benefit from your experience and energy so why not try something new and help a great cause by volunteering.
Aware focuses on positive mental health and provides support, education and information services on this. They fully train all their volunteers so no experience required and they appreciate the unique and valuable perspective of each volunteer.
Assists people in realising hobbies and interests in their location and definitely worth a look to discover ways to express yourself this year. It focuses on connecting people with the same interests and creating real events that people meet at.
A women-only social network that hosts events and connects like-minded women. The app is free to download as is using it and it will give you a nudge to meet new friends and find new hobbies as they host a vast array of events including (but not limited to!) rock climbing, book clubs, coffee meet ups, fitness buddies, weekends away, overseas holidays, dinners and many more.
Make this year the year that you shake up your routine and express yourself through creativity. Remember, that if you really enjoyed an experience make sure to rinse and repeat – make the time to continue and build it into your daily routine as a priority. There is something for everyone in your locality, it’s just a case of finding what works for you and over the coming months, we hope to help you discover the perfect fit for you.
We welcome you sharing clubs and activities you know of on our social media using #ExpressYourself – let 2019 be the year we inspire each other!