Want to improve your academic self-care quotient? Try a hobby! Leisure-time activities improve our academics. #lifelonglearning #lifelonglearner #academicselfcare #SelfCareSunday #selfcarehacks #podcast #hobby #knitting #painting #photography #baking #stampcollecting #gardening #hiking #kayaking #autorepair

Want to improve your academic self-care quotient? Try a hobby! Leisure-time activities improve our academics.

Do You Need to Improve Your Academic Self-Care?

I gripped the handlebars and stood up, shifting my weight back to prevent the back tire from spinning out on the loose rocks as I reached the top of the hill.

“You cleaned it!” one of the students called out, “I had to push my bike up the last part.”

I smiled, too out of breath to respond. Glancing down at my bicycle, I noticed something for the first time. The manufacturer had imprinted an infinite sentence on the part of the bike where the headset meets the stem: All work and no play is no fun at (if read in a circle, the sentence reads, ‘All work and no play is not fun at all.’).

Not everyone considers huffing up narrow single-track and across narrow cliffs with a group of students in tow ‘fun.’ But we do. My husband and I have taken countless students mountain biking in the past ten years. It never seems like work. Instead, we consider it play. A hobby we love and love to share with students.

I used to joke about how exercise and having fun would make the kids smarter. Now research backs up my claims. Physical activities and hobbies both improve our ability to learn. This makes mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, running, skiing, and other active leisure-time activities extra potent at improving your academic self-care.

If you prefer less active hobbies, never fear. ANY hobby will help improve your academic self-care. Listen to today’s podcast to find out why.

I’d love to hear from you! Have you discovered a hobby that makes you feel smarter or clears your head for deep work better than others?

Show Notes

You can check out the article in The Arts in Psychotherapy here.

For more on the importance of art education, click here.

You can find J. S. Catterall’s study here.

Want to learn more about project-based leisure-time activities? Click here.

Check out the connection between art activities and critical thinking here.

Want to improve your academic self-care quotient? Try a hobby! Leisure-time activities improve our academics. #lifelonglearning #lifelonglearner #academicselfcare #SelfCareSunday #selfcarehacks #podcast #hobby #knitting #painting #photography #baking #stampcollecting #gardening #hiking #kayaking #autorepair
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  1. Oh I love this topic so much, Anita. Play is so important for us at all stages of life and I think many of us forget that. But we also tend to forget what can be classified as play, like physical activities, and that it is all self care. Thanks for always sharing such valuable topics!


  2. Anita, wonderful – I love all these points. Yes play is so important. My husband and I love biking too. My other hobbies include sewing gifts, baking at holidays, and sometimes painting. And I love reading!!!

  3. It’s always amazing to me how refreshed I feel after being outdoors doing something I don’t often do. And if there’s a camera in my hand? Even more so.

    Great information, Anita!

  4. I can relate to the exhilaration of mountain biking and the joy of sharing it with others. It’s fascinating how hobbies can enhance our academic self-care. Personally, writing has been my outlet for deep work and clarity of thought. It allows me to explore ideas and express myself. What hobbies have you found to be beneficial?

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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