At some point, we’ve all been stuck in a routine. This can be helpful, but often it can be hard to break out and try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Everyone has dreams we hope to reach one day, or even random hobbies that we want to try. Starting is the hardest part, but it’s all about taking the first steps to do something out of your bubble. In fact, many things that you might be considering trying may have even more benefits than you think. Wherever you are, consider these ideas to find ways to broaden your horizons.
Learn a new language
If you’ve ever been interested in learning a new language, this is your sign to start! There are so many advantages to this skill. If you have somewhere you’ve always wanted to travel to, this is a great incentive to take that step. Learning a language can be a great gateway into a new culture. You not only learn how to communicate with the people around you, but also get an immersive experience that expands your worldview. Whatever language you decide to learn, it will make you a better communicator.
This skill requires you to listen and pay attention to many things that you may not be used to when communicating in your first language. Start by watching a show in a different language, or downloading a language learning app. This is a perfect hobby to try when you have extra free-time! Find small ways to engage with the language and set time to study the culture. Languages are like lenses through which we see the world.
Teach yourself how to cook
Learning how to cook improves multiple parts of life. Eating meals that you’ve made by yourself is a great, healthy alternative to eating out or restaurant delivery. According to Healthline, “Studies also show that restaurant meals typically contain higher amounts of sodium, saturated fat, total fat, and overall calories than home-cooked meals.” Choose fresh ingredients, seek new recipes, and control what you’re putting inside your body. We’ve heard it many times, but we really are what we eat! Our longevity, energy, and daily functioning depends on balanced, nutritious meals.
On top of the health benefits, cooking is another way to expand your knowledge of the world. Every culture has its own cuisine and culinary practices, so learning about different types of food will give you great insight into different cultures. Explore places through food traditions — you might even find some new spices and flavors you love. Start by cooking one new meal a week and go from there! As mentioned in the winter ’21 issue, we also love Kitchn Cooking School: 20 days, 20 lessons, and you’re off to cooking the way you want to! Celebrate your “graduation” by making a meal for family or friends.
Whether you have natural artistic talent or have never picked up a paintbrush in your life, doing something creative is a great way to exercise your brain, reduce stress, and get in touch with your emotions. Art can be an intimidating task to start no matter what you’re doing, but it doesn’t have to be professional. According to Business Insider, “Researchers found that after just 45 minutes of art-making, levels of the hormone cortisol — which is associated with stress — were reduced in participants’ saliva, regardless of their prior art skills.” Creating art of any type is proven to connect with a side of your brain that you don’t always connect with on a daily basis. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make something perfect — just have fun with it!