As healthcare professionals, you spend long hours at your workplace. At times, you simply want to get your mind off work. Hobbies are a great way for one to pass the time and relieve stress. It is also one way to pursue other interests outside of your job, and sometimes, you may even gain new skills. If reading a book or taking a walk does not appeal to you, or you are looking for something more unconventional, here are five hobbies that you can consider.

1. Calligraphy

Calligraphy is a great way to relax your mind as you focus single-mindedly on crafting the piece of work. Modern calligraphy has deviated from the traditional Chinese calligraphy, and there is a wealth of techniques and style to explore. Creating your own unique font can be an enjoyable process. When you have a certain mastery over the techniques, you can even create beautiful pieces as gifts for friends and colleges alike. For those who are looking to improve their handwriting, calligraphy is one of the best ways to do so – your colleges, at the very least, will appreciate your efforts to make your notes more decipherable.

2. Photography

Due to the nature of your profession, you have to sacrifice some of your time with your friends and family. You may have missed out several precious moments and milestones in their lives, so one way to make up for it are to engage in photography. With the proliferation of smartphones, capturing those moments you have with your friends and families can be done easily. It may be a walk down to the grocery store or a lunch date that took two weeks to arrange. However, these photos of your simple, daily life with them can get you through those tough times when you have to turn down a dinner to care for a patient. Further, you can also share these photos with your patients to show a more personal side of yourself, and it will be sure to bring a smile to their face.

3. Blogging

Time passes much faster than one can imagine, and before you realised it, you have grown from a medical student to an experienced healthcare professional. Blogging regularly, such as on a weekly basis, can help to track your journey as a healthcare professional. You can browse past entries and see how you have grown from a nurse or a trainee doctor nervous on your first shift to a confident mentor for your younger colleges. Writing regularly can help to polish your writing skills, and who knows, your entries might be read by other aspiring young medical students and inspire them to persevere in their dreams to become a healthcare professional.

4. Web Design

Technology has become an integral part of life, and it is vital to stay in touch with the latest trend regardless of which industry you are in. Coding, for example, will be one of the most important skills in the digital era. A fun way to learn to code is to take on web design as a hobby. Hiring someone to build a website can cost $3,000 to $5,000, so learning to do it yourself can save costs. You will be able to apply your knowledge by designing your own website, and the appeal of customising it to your own liking can motivate you to further your skills in this area. While healthcare professionals may not need much coding skills in their line of work, having it on your resume can help you stand out. It also shows that you can venture out of your comfort zone and try new things, an important attitude in a constantly changing world.

This list is not exhaustive, and there are many other activities that you can choose to pursue as a hobby. While they may not necessarily be linked to your job as a healthcare professional, it is worth pursuing other interests outside of your work. Hobbies help to take your mind off work and relieve some of your stress. Sometimes, the skills that you have developed through these hobbies can even benefit you in unexpected ways. MIMS

Read more:
Healthcare professionals: Alternatives to medical books for leisure reading
Nurse bloggers: 6 ways blogging can help nurses reduce stress
Healthcare professionals: Useful courses outside of healthcare to consider for further development

Sources:
1) “8 creative hobbies to take up in 2017”. https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/creative- hobbies-to-try?utm_term=.pvvgO3zwv#.hdxY0aRzD
2) “17 hobbies to try if you suck at hobbies”. https://www.buzzfeed.com/augustafalletta/hell-yeah-
hobbies-for-adults?utm_term=.neN0D8Rp2#.piBLBl19X
3) “100 cheap hobbies — spend time, not money”. http://freeintenyears.com/frugal-tips/100- cheap-hobbies/
4) “Why Coding Is Still The Most Important Job Skill Of The Future”. https://www.fastcompany.com/3060883/the-future-of-work/why-coding-is-the-job-skill-of-the-future-for-everyone