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Hobbies: A Source of Wellness

Sep 9, 2015

By Roberto Figueroa

Hobbies are much more than activities we do for fun or things we engage in because we like them. They can be channels through which we can experience personal growth, expand our social circle, and receive physical and emotional benefits. Here are some reasons why having a hobby is a good investment of time and energy.

Reboots The Brain
Today, many of us live busy, rushed lives, struggling to balance our time between work, home, and family. As a result, our minds constantly tackle multiple problems at the same time, overwhelming our brains in the process. Because hobbies are single tasks that require concentration (like reading a book, woodworking, or playing soccer) they give our minds the opportunity to shut off the multitude of thoughts by focusing our minds on the task at hand. This streamlines our thoughts and allows our brain to take a break and relax, leaving us refreshed and renewed.

Opportunity To Be Ourselves
Hobbies can also give us a way to express ourselves and explore parts of our personality that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Arts, crafts, sports, and even collecting can be great channels for self-­‐expression. This can be especially healthy for those of us that spend most of our days doing something that doesn’t permit us to show who we are. So in many ways, hobbies help us define ourselves, and can give us a since of purpose.

They Connect Us With People With Similar Interests
It is true that hobbies can help us find a place of solitude, but even those that prefer to engage in solitary activities can’t hide their excitement when interacting with someone that likes to do the same activities as they do. Solitary gardeners can spend hours talking with the floor associate at their local gardening shop, and even book enthusiasts find it hard to contain their glee when they meet another avid reader.
It’s in our nature to want to connect with people that share our same interests, and hobbies can be a great way of entering new social circles and making friends.

Strengthens Our Self-­‐Esteem And Releases Stress
Developing and mastering a skill fills us with a sense of accomplishment that boosts our confidence and self-­‐esteem, both of which positively impact how we lead other areas of our lives. Hobbies also allow us to put our worries aside, and the mental focus h enlthey provide help us release accumulated stress, which makes us feel happier and helps us be more productive at work and at home.

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Image Source:­‐resting-­‐on-­‐green-­‐ grass-­‐with-­‐cookies-­‐and-­‐camera

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3 Steps To Help Manage Our Money

Jul 30, 2015

By Roberto Figueroa

Everywhere we go we hear about the importance of managing our money, and as we venture further into the complexities and routine of adult life, we discover that it is an important discipline to learn and master. Here are three steps we can take to set us on the right track.

Establish Goals
Goals help us focus our energy and effort. They give us an incentive to sacrifice certain things in order to achieve what we have set out to obtain. If we think about it, we are more likely to use those extra 50 dollars wisely if we are saving up or looking to invest it in something that will help us reach a goal. Goals could be anything from a new car, remodeling your home, paying off loans, to going on a vacation you normally wouldn’t be able to afford.
We begin doing this by first making a list of our goals and jot down where we would like to be or what we would like to acquire a month, a year, or five years from now. Then, let’s think about what are the most important things on our list and think about how to get there.

Now, let’s try to think about the ways we are using our money. Are we being wise? Are there ways we can cut back some of our expenses? Something as simple as eating at home more often instead of eating out can make a significant difference.

Though it can be tiring to hear about budgeting, it’s an effective way to insure we have enough money to pay the bills. But too many of us stop there. Once the bills are paid and we have dealt with our obligations, we stop managing our money and spend (or sometimes waste) the rest. Now, everyone has the right to enjoy what he or she earns, but creating a budget for the left over money, and placing a limit on how much to spend, is a good way to make sure we are not overspending. It also keeps us from living from paycheck to paycheck, a life style that can generate unwanted stress and insecurity.


Roberto Figueroa is Graduate of Full Sail College
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

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