Hobbies are what keep me sane. This is absolutely the truth. For me, it’s watching basketball. I love watching games, and it’s a great way to keep my mind off of whatever is going on in my life for a couple of hours. I also often read novels before I go to bed and on the weekends. These activities allow me to relax and enjoy my free time without stressing about anything. And since I do them regularly and with some degree of frequency, I would call them hobbies.

Hobbies can vary greatly in type of activity and in the regularity with which people participate in them. Many retirees like to make their hobbies more of a full time effort, while some younger people might only participate in their hobby once a week. The point is that a hobby should be whatever works best for you; after all, that’s the point! If you need more convincing, here are 5 reasons to take up a hobby you enjoy.

1. It’s a much-needed break.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but listening to music while you’re doing work is not considered a hobby. Hobbies allow us to take a break from our responsibilities and focus entirely on one thing we like doing. That doesn’t mean you don’t like your job or your other commitments, but sometimes they become overwhelming or repetitive. Hobbies give you a change of scenery.

2. Hobbies are fun.

That might seem like an incredibly obvious statement, so allow me to clarify: hobbies should not feel like work. Yes, some hobbies do require some work, whether that be mulching a garden or traveling to an antique auction. But that doesn’t mean that they necessarily feel like work. You should be having fun, or else you’re defeating the purpose.

3. They can give you a new outlook.

Hobbies can change your perspective on things, especially if your hobby involves some sort of learning aspect. For example, stamp collectors might learn a lot about history given that stamps are often dedicated to various historical figures.

4. You might consider making big life changes.

Some people have found that their hobbies led them to new career paths. Say, for example, your passion for baking leads you to open a bakery and quit your day job. That’s great! Hobbies are often glimpses into what we’re really passionate about, so your hobby might turn into more than just a weekend activity.

5. You deserve an awesome hobby.

Why? Because you work hard and should feel rewarded by your leisure time activities, that’s why! Explore your interests and find something you think you would enjoy.