As educators, you are often creating new experiences for your students and trying to encourage them to try something new. But when was the last time YOU tried something new? Why not try and step outside of your comfort level and see where it takes you?
Look, there are a lot of reasons why you should try something new every now and then. Trying something new can actually lead you to enjoying something new. Who doesn’t want more things in their life that bring them enjoyment? Testing something new out forces you to grow. Self-challenge can keep your mind open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Research shows that challenging your brain to try something new is a great way to keep your brain working effectively and efficiently. New challenges both small and big can keep you from becoming bored. Routine is great, but becoming complacent and sitting in the comfort of one’s routine can keep you stagnant in life.
Yes, trying something new can often feel a little uncomfortable or even a little scary. That’s okay, it’s normal. Unfamiliarity often provokes an internal “alarm bell” as a signal that something is potentially unsafe. It’s built into our evolution; but once we try something, and discover that that fear isn’t actually warranted, the unknown becomes familiar. I remember when I started kiteboarding for the first time and it terrified me. What if I get hurt, what if I can’t get back to land, what if I forget what to do and I get stuck out in the middle of the ocean? What if I can’t figure it out and I look like a total complete fool. I had a slew of thoughts race through my head, but as soon as I tried it and felt that rush of excitement from trying something new, I knew it was worth it. With anything new — it all starts with taking that first step.
“In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” -Abraham Maslow, American Psychologist and creator of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Maybe you tried our calendar of 31 Different Ways to Unwind and discovered a new way to take a break from the everyday craze, or maybe you are simply looking to cross something off your bucket list or learn a new hobby. Well, we searched far and wide and found some … let’s just say … some of the more interesting and unique hobbies for you to test out.
Making Snow Globes: Want to evoke those childhood memories and bring out your inner elf? Try creating a homemade snow globe. It doesn’t take much and you would be surprised how fun it can be. Check out this easy DIY plan from PBS Kids.
Tree Shaping: Ready to wow your neighbors and mother nature? Tree shaping combines artistic shapes and nature to create some incredible living pieces of art. Not ready for the time it takes to train a living tree or plant? Get your feet wet with styling a bonsai tree.
Foraging: Think of it as a really cool treasure hunt out in the wild and a fun way to connect back with nature. Foraging is the process of going out and exploring the natural world in search of wild food. You don’t have to live in the deep wilderness to experience this ever-growing hobby. Many can reap the benefits as urban dwellers!
Sand Art: An ancient and beloved art form, sand art can be a fun and creative way to express yourself. It can also be a great way to unwind and relax. You don’t need an elaborate set up to get started. Simply, use an empty glass bottle, pick out your favorite colors, find a small funnel, and you create a colorful work of art. Rather use a kit to get started? Check out some of these.
Soap Carving: More than likely you have at least a couple bars of soap lying around right now. Soap carving is yet another fun way to create a little piece of art, and it doesn’t take much to get started. You can find all that you need in your house — check out this quick tutorial on how to get started creating the cleanest art form.
Tape Art: Bust out the duct/duck tape — now available in all the colors of the rainbow — and explore this urban art form. Stick with it and see where it takes you. Need some inspiration? Explore some of these beautiful murals made out of tape from students in Oakland, CA.
Toy Voyaging: Yep, this is a thing. Teachers and Flat Stanley aren’t the only ones that like exploring the world around them. Toys like to get out and see something new. They like it so much, there is a website where you can register your favorite toy and share all the new places that you and your little travel buddy have visited.
Geocaching: “Join the world’s largest treasure hunt.” Geocaching has been around for about 20 years and uses GPS-enabled devices to help participants locate various geocaches that are hidden in various locations. This fun outdoor activity has a global community and is something that anyone can participate in.
Ghost Hunting: This pastime has been noted to be around since the 18th century and still sparks curiosity around the world. If you are a history buff, this is a great way to explore some historical buildings and potentially run into some paranormal sightings. Ready to find your first ghost? Check out this Beginners Guide to Ghost Hunting.
Element Collecting: Calling all chemists and nonchemists alike. Join enthusiasts who are on a quest to gather all the periodic elements. This science based hobby can become an adventure in itself.
So whether it is creating a mural with duck tape or creating a miniature winter wonderland with a snow globe, try something new this summer and see what happens. Challenge yourself to try something different and new. Who knows, you might just find your new life’s passion!