The Benefits of Hobbies on Mental Health this Pandemic

Updated: Jan 13

The Benefits of Hobbies on Mental Health this Pandemic

Source: Pexels

We often neglect the importance of hobbies in our quest for a more balanced life. However, hobbies play an essential role in our physical and mental wellbeing. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO)* recommends we regularly engage in hobbies as a way to preserve our mental wellbeing. Here are a few reasons why engaging in activities we enjoy helps with our mental health:

Hobbies reduce stress and anxiety

A growing body of research* shows that leisure activities significantly reduce stress. Especially when everything feels like chaos right now, carving out time for hobbies can give us a calm sense of control. Allocating a slice of worry-free leisure time is key to improving our mood and anxiety levels. This can be seen in our physical response as well, with lower heart rates and reduced blood pressure*.

Hobbies reduce stress and anxiety

Source: Pexels

Hobbies improve productivity

The sense of accomplishment hobbies provide is extremely beneficial during times of uncertainty. When we engage in hobbies we enjoy, our brain produces feel-good chemicals called dopamine. And dopamine helps us be more motivated, creative, and productive. Researchers at San Francisco State University* demonstrated that off-work creative outlets improved employees' problem-solving during work. Hobbies also challenge people to learn new skills that can be transferred to work.

Hobbies increase social support

Studies* have shown that a strong social network is a key factor to mental wellness and healthy aging. Notably, hobbies that connect you with others help you cultivate a diverse social network. You can also make time for social hobbies during quarantine such as joining a weekly Zoom yoga class, or watching a movie with your family. These activities keep you socially engaged by bringing you closer to your community and connecting you with people who share like-minded interests.

Hobbies increase social support

Source: Pexels

Hobbies help prevent burnout

The pandemic has escalated the prevalence and severity of burnout. Luckily, engaging in simple leisure activities can minimize the impact of chronic stress*. Anyone experiencing pandemic fatigue can and should reap the benefits of hobbies on a regular basis. Regularly doing something you enjoy rejuvenates your mind and builds resilience to face challenges ahead.


Whether it's learning to cook, trying a new workout video, or joining an online reading community – commit to something you enjoy a few times a week. It is a difficult time for all of us, and there are no easy answers. But carving out bits of time for hobbies and self-care make a big difference in our mental health and in turn help us live more fulfilled lives.

Read other Pandemic & Mental Health Related Resources:

We’re Here to Help!

Build healthier and more resilient organisations with ThoughtFullChat’s bite-sized coaching and science-based tools. Our employee mental wellbeing programs help foster a healthier and more productive workplace, both physical and virtual.

Our ThoughtFull Professionals are credentialed mental health professionals. Email us at to get a free assessment and demo. Be sure to download our app on the App Store here and Google Play here to try out some of our features.

Don’t forget to also connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and our other social channels to get more tips on mental and emotional wellbeing.

Reference Links:

  1. WHO article about looking after mental health

  2. Research about measuring the similarity among leisure activities based on a perceived stress-reduction benefit

  3. Real-time associations between engaging in leisure and daily health and well-being

  4. Research about how creative activities outside work can improve job performance

  5. How to find a hobby by The New York Times

  6. A study about chronic stress

Related Posts

See All