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Thomas Maples

I want to personally thank Melissa Howard for submitting this informative article on new hobbies and skills that we can undertake to expand your mind and advance our personal growth. (Dr. Tom)

When it comes to learning new things to expand your mind, a new hobby or skill is a great place to start. Not only does learning keep your mind sharp, but it allows you to follow your curiosity to a wealth of knowledge. Many people are able to jump right in when it comes to learning a new skill, but for others, it doesn’t come as easily. That’s why it’s okay to start with small, achievable goals, which will help you build the confidence to keep going and keep learning. 

Here are a few activities to help you launch your new hobby.

Try Photography

One excellent new skill and hobby to experiment with is photography. Learning to take great pictures can be a wonderful way to document your life, family and friends. These treasures can be passed down through the family for generations, especially now in the digital age. Photography is also a wonderful way to de-stress. Not only that, but also gives you the chance to play around and see new perspectives in the world around you.

Embrace Fitness

Working out can seem like a chore, but if you find a physical activity you love, it can instantly become a favorite pastime. Exercising benefits both the body and mind by keeping you fit and sharp, and you can squeeze it into your schedule any time of the day. 

If you’re not sure where to start looking for a fun physical activity, how about trying out a sport? Search online for recreational programs near you that let you join a soccer team or other type of league. Aside from burning calories and having fun, playing a sport with others is a great way to make friends. If you’re a senior looking to try out a sport or other activity, you might be able to sign up through SilverSneakers if you have an eligible Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan with the SilverSneakers benefit. There are thousands of associated fitness programs around the country, so you have a ton of options when it comes to finding out a workout that fits your needs and lifestyle.

If sports aren’t your thing, even going for regular walks in nature can be enjoyable. You’ll still get in a good workout, and it can be a great way to bust stress and boost stepsl. If you have a pet, why not bring them along with you? You can leash up your pup and hit the trails together. Have a cat instead of a dog? Not to worry! Cats can (it’s true!) join their owners for some exploring with the help of a stroller or harness. It’s a safe way to let your cat experience the great outdoors since you’ll be able to watch them closely.

Learn a Language

If you want to improve your memory and be a better communicator, try learning a new language. A hobby like learning a new language can help with multitasking and problem-solving thanks to increased activity in the brain. Plus, you may even develop an appreciation for other cultures, or have a chance to prepare for an upcoming trip overseas. It’s easiest to learn if you have someone with whom to practice, so grab some friends and look at Duolingo, a website and app that offers free lessons, or even the BBC, which offers courses, videos and lessons to help you learn. It’s easy to practice daily and does not need more than 20 minutes to see progress over time.

Brush Up on Writing Skills

Writing can be practical or creative. No matter what, it’s a good skill to have. Like many artistic and personal endeavors, it can be a form of catharsis. Journaling regularly can help to sort emotions and purge negativity from being bottled up inside of us. This can also help us document our lives and remind us of things we might have forgotten by stimulating our memories. Using your mind and challenging it is a great way to stay sharp as you get older. It is a valuable skill that you could even turn profitable by working freelance writing gigs, or by starting a blog online. You could get a group of friends together and write stories to share every other week. If you want some guidance, there are many resources available online.

Learn to Cook 

Cooking is a skill we all should have. Not only can it be fun, especially if you have a group involved, but it’s good to know what you are putting into your body. By learning to cook or cook better, you can understand what goes into your meals and find ways to make them healthier, or modify them to suit your lifestyle.

If you’re a novice, start with simple dishes that do not require many tools. Focus on using fresh ingredients. To master anything, one needs to practice frequently. Try cooking every day or every other day for a month and see what progress you make. Invite friends over, and rotate who picks the recipe you make. To share costs, either split up the ingredients for purchase or have one person buy and then divide the bill evenly for each cook.

Learning a new skill or hobby might be challenging, but it’s worth the effort, and there’s so much to gain. After all, it’s the journey of learning that’s half the fun, especially when you involve friends.

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