Julie Morris is a Life and Career Coach. At 53 Julie started learning how to play guitar, saying that "It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but despite constantly telling my clients not to get in their own way, I’d been getting in mine for years. Telling myself that I was too old to learn an instrument and that I’d be terrible at it anyway. Well, I’m still pretty terrible, but with each new chord learned, I feel a sense of achievement."
Thank you Julie for offering to write a guest blog. If anybody else has ideas for a guest blog post please do not hesitate to drop me a line.
Julie can be found at iuliemorris.org
Here is Julie's post on the benefits of learning a new skill. Enjoy!
For many people, learning a new skill can be intimidating; we tend to put pressure on ourselves to do well at everything, which can make it hard to try something new. However, getting creative and building upon a hobby can help you get social, boost your self-esteem, and even assist in rebuilding your life after a period of substance abuse. Finding a new skill that you enjoy doing can even help you make a career move.
Because of all the advances in technology, it’s easier than ever these days to learn a new hobby from the comfort of your own home. Do some research to figure out where you’d like to begin, and don’t be afraid to branch out and try a class or join a group. Sometimes, forming a bond with others over something you enjoy can help you in more ways than one.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started and why learning something new is such a benefit.
Learning a new skill or taking up a hobby gives you the opportunity to make new connections, both online and in-person. This is highly useful for seniors, who may have a limited social network and are experiencing isolation. The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing a hobby. For example, dancing is a great hobby to try, and one of the benefits of dancing is that you can do it in a classroom setting, which promotes socialization. It’s also a great way to get in shape and learn about your body’s abilities and limits in a healthy way. Painting or drawing are other great options for group learning. Considered to be some of the many facets of art therapy, dancing and painting can help you both physically and mentally. Not to mention that they can prove highly beneficial for anyone in addiction recovery as they promote self-awareness and help reduce anxiety.
Learn something new
Learning something new can boost your self-confidence and allows you to broaden your horizons. Whether you want to take a sculpting class or try out a new language, expanding upon your skillset can help you overcome anxiety and stress and might even help you forge a new career path or earn extra money.
Boost your brain function
When you learn a new skill, your brain benefits greatly; not just from the new knowledge, but from the stimulation of brain cells and neural pathways, which help you learn faster and can even help prevent dementia and other memory-related issues. If it’s an activity that will get your heart rate up, your new hobby can also help ease the symptoms of depression and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and the risk of a stroke.
Make some extra cash
While learning a new skill takes time, it can eventually help you earn extra cash if you find a way to monetize it. If you’re making something tangible -- such as artwork, clothing, jewelry, or furniture -- you can sell it in an online shop of your choosing. If your creativity finds you exploring photography, cooking or baking, or decorating, you can start a side gig devoted to offering your services to couples who are getting married, party planning services, or homeowners in need of someone with a good eye.
Finding and fostering a new hobby can help you in so many ways, from making new connections to learning how to become an entrepreneur. If you don’t own a computer, consider spending time on one at your local library and do some research on the skills you’re interested in. The internet can really come in handy when it’s time to explore new skills, so don’t be afraid to do a little digging. With a good plan and an open mind, you can start practicing a new hobby as soon as possible.