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6 Side Benefits of Doing DIY Projects in Your Home

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Even if you’ve never helmed a DIY project, you’ve probably watched one unfold on TV. Things start out messy, and sometimes, there are snags along the way, but then, you see the result — and the project looks fantastic.

The finished product is the most significant benefit of doing DIY in your home, but there are other pros you may have yet to consider. Here are six of them.

1. DIY Improves Problem-Solving

When you were young, you probably had a set of building blocks or a Lego kit you’d use to create structures you dreamed up. And, when the envisioned creation didn’t entirely support itself, what did you do? You solved the problem with a different setup.

DIY — in the toy sense, anyway — is one of the best ways to help children improve their problem-solving skills. But the same remains true for grownups who partake in at-home projects.

You’re sure to reach at least one obstacle as you attempt to create or build something new. And this ability to coolly solve problems will translate well into all aspects of your life where problems pop up from time to time.

2. You’ll Feel More Creative

It can be hard to stoke creativity — business leaders try and do it for the sake of their employees’ output all the time. Research has shown some environments can stoke right-brain activity. It turns out positive emotions aren’t the only ones that should be present when trying to make someone feel more creative. When good and bad feelings combine, more creativity comes out. A strange or unexpected environment can do the same.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see how DIY, too, can help make participants more innovative than before. Helming an at-home project can be both frustrating and rewarding, thus creating the emotional ambivalence that stokes creativity.

Plus, DIY-ing a task will always present you with unexpected obstacles and speedbumps, as previously mentioned — you’ll probably have to think outside the box to overcome them, which will boost your overall creativity, too.

3. It Can Become a Hobby — Which Has Its Benefits, Too

Once you start DIY-ing, you might find yourself taking to it like a duck to water. Your one-off weekend task could turn into a roster of things you want to do. It turns out merely having a hobby will make your life better.

Google knows the value of such side projects. They enacted their well-known 20 percent rule, which allows employees to spend 20 percent of their time at work pursuing a hobby or special interest, rather than doing their actual job.

The result? The workforce became more productive, more creative and more engaged, even though they spent a portion of their time off-topic. Other studies have shown colleagues with hobbies became more collaborative and helpful, too.

Your side hobbies and projects can give you the same benefits. Finding something that challenges and interests you will keep your brain working even when you’re not. So, when you return to the office on Monday, you’ll be recharged and ready to be productive, thanks to your weekend DIY hobby.

4. Your Time-Management Skills Will Improve

What’s your to-do list looking like for the weekend? If you’re DIY-ing on Saturday and Sunday, you’ll have to figure out how to fit your project in with the rest of the things you have to get done over the weekend.

Plus, you’ll want to get some relaxation in, too — you’ll have to pencil that in along with your checklist of things you want to accomplish.

As weekends go by and you’re devoting more and more time to DIY projects, you’ll find your time management skills improve — they have to if you expect to get everything done in the span of a few days. And, if you need a little help at the beginning, you can download time-management apps to guide you through both work and personal projects.

5. DIY Keeps You on Your Feet

Chances are, you spend at least 40 hours a week working, which means you’re sedentary most of the time. A seated lifestyle has a slew of adverse side effects. For one thing, it can affect your brain function — one UCLA study found an inactive way of life can cause the medial temporal lobe to thin, which affects a person’s ability to hold onto and access their memories.

On top of that, remaining sedentary increases your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety and more. But getting up and moving on the weekends can help negate the negative side effects sitting down all day can cause. So, keep a robust to-do list, finish it yourself and let your body reap the benefits.

6. Stress Levels Decrease

A 2017 Gallup poll revealed nearly 80 percent of Americans “feel stress sometimes or frequently during their day.” Odds are good you, too, probably feel overwhelmed by your day’s happenings in some way.

But a hobby can significantly decrease the stress you feel. A 2015 study aimed to uncover the real value of leisure activities, since the previously purported benefits did little to examine what happens within hobbyists.

The researchers found hobbies helped participants decrease stress. They had more positive moods than negative ones while partaking in their chosen side project. Plus, their heart rates slowed, another sign stress had fizzled. Although your DIY project will likely cause moments of frustration, you’re sure to feel better and de-stressed once you’ve checked the task off your list.

Get Started

Now that you know the benefits you’ll experience by DIY-ing, it’s time to choose the first project you’ll tackle. Every handy hobbyist will have a different task in mind — but the top projects of 2019 could inspire your first to-do. Painting the walls, replacing flooring, repairing a leaky sink, hanging artwork… all of these count as DIYs, and they’re all simple enough for first-timers. Plus, they’ll make a huge difference in the look and feel of your home, another benefit of picking up a new hobby.

But, most importantly, you’ll feel so much better for having a hobby that allows you to think creatively, solve problems and de-stress — the benefits of DIY are so worth the hard work you put in.

Kayla Matthews is a green tech and smart energy writer. Her work has appeared on VICE, Electrical Contractor Mag., The Week and others.

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