Previously on our blog we’ve looked at what we mean by self-esteem, and some practical changes you can make to improve yours. Hopefully now you’re a bit more practised in being kinder to yourself, we thought we’d look at some self-esteem boosting hobbies you can add into your routine.

Taking up a new hobby or activity can feel a bit daunting, particularly if your schedule is already packed full. There’s no need to make a big commitment, but trying to allow yourself some time at least once a week to do something for you could be a real boost to your wellbeing. Doing something you enjoy each month or each week can be brilliant for confidence as you watch yourself improve, and most importantly have fun, each time.

Get active  

Going for a jog, doing a yoga class or even doing a quick workout at home is a great way to clear your head and have some time to switch off from everyday stresses. And as exercise releases endorphins, it’s a brilliant way to improve your mood too. We were lucky to be joined be personal trainer and boot camp teacher Johnny Stokes at our Health and Wellbeing Group last year who taught us some really simple exercises that you can do at home, and that will take just 10 minutes out of your day.

There are lots of videos on his Facebook page, and also on YouTube, that you can try at home. With a quick search you can find something to suit any ability or time available, and there’s so much choice you can keep your workouts really varied.

Be creative

If you're more of an arty person, taking some time to do something creative each week could be great for your wellbeing. Learning a new creative skill will give you something really positive to focus on, and will really improve your confidence when you see yourself improving or making something that you're proud of. At our Health and Wellbeing Group we've tried pottery painting with Blue Beetle Ceramics (definitely an activity for the more patient people among us!) and crochet. Most of us found it a really relaxing way to spend an hour or so and great fun, even if we weren't especially skilled. And it's even better when there's something to show at the end of it that you can show off at home or that will at least remind you of a really brilliant time spent with friends. 

In the kitchen

Baking or making tasty and nutritious things can be a really fun hobby or activity, and of course even more fun when you get to eat or drink it at the end! Marian Keyes has written one of our favourite baking books, Saved by Cake. Marian was a beginner when she first started baking while suffering with depression and found it was making cakes and writing down the recipes that really helped her. Don't be scared if you've never baked before - the book is perfect for first-time bakers with lots of truly delicious recipes.  

At our Health and Wellbeing Group we've also really enjoyed creating smoothies too. If all the weighing and measuring of baking isn't your thing, making smoothies is brilliant because you can chuck all your favourite ingredients in a blender to make a lovely and very nutritious drink. Below our some of our favourite recipes from the group, but there is definitely room to experiment and create something to suit you! 

Sunshine Smoothie

  • 500ml carrot juice, chilled
  • 200g pineapple (fresh or canned)
  • 2 bananas, broken into chunks
  • Small piece of ginger, peeled
  • 20g cashew nuts
  • Juice of 1 lime

Pop it all in a blender and whizz it up!

Strawberry Smoothie

  • 10 strawberries, hulled
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • 100ml orange juice, chilled

Whizz in a blender until smooth.

These are just a few ideas for self-esteem boosting hobbies, but there is so much you could do to find something that makes you feel good about yourself. You could start reading more, get green-fingered in the garden or learn the art of the perfect smoky eye - whatever you fancy! Do you have a hobby? How does it help with your self-esteem?