How Hobbies Can Boost Nurse Mental Health, Even on a Busy Schedule

2 Min Read Published July 9, 2024
How Hobbies Can Boost Nurse Mental Health, Even on a Busy Schedule

Podcast Episode

>>Listen to "How Hobbies Can Boost Nurses Mental Health, Even on a Busy Schedule With Lily Madelyn, RN, BSN"


In the demanding world of nursing, where the responsibilities are high and the stakes even higher, nurses might find themselves searching for outlets to improve their overall well-being and mental health. While hobbies might sound like a fun way to pass the time, we might not see how beneficial a simple hobby might be to our mental health.  In a recent podcast episode of Nurse Converse, Lily, shares how her pottery hobby not only helps her recharge but also why she believes in the critical role hobbies can play in the mental well-being of nurses and other healthcare professionals. 

What The Science Says About Hobbies and Mental Health

Lily uses hobbies, particularly pottery, to recharge and detach from the often stressful nursing profession. Citing personal experience and professional insights, she explains how hobbies provide a valuable respite, allowing nurses to rejuvenate and return to their roles with renewed vigor and clarity.

Backing Lily's assertions are findings from a study on hospital-based leisure activities for nurses, revealing compelling evidence of reduced stress, anxiety, and depression among participants. This study speaks to the transformative impact hobbies can have on mental health, demonstrating a positive correlation between leisure activities and improved overall well-being for nurses. 

Key Themes of Hobby Benefits

Lily outlines five key themes associated with the benefits of hobbies: 

  • Detachment
  • Recovery
  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Meaning
  • Affiliation

These themes highlight how hobbies offer nurses not only a break from their professional responsibilities but also opportunities for personal growth, autonomy, and a sense of purpose. Moreover, hobbies facilitate social connections, fostering a supportive network that is crucial for maintaining resilience in challenging times.

Tip To Start a Hobby As a Busy Nurse

Despite the benefits, Lily acknowledges the barriers nurses may face in pursuing hobbies, such as time constraints and concerns about costs or skill levels. Addressing these challenges, she encourages nurses to prioritize self-care by starting with a small and achievable goal. She suggests,

  • Choosing an activity you either know you enjoy or are interested in.
  • Start by dedicating at least one hour per week to the activity. 
  • Before deciding on a hobby try testing a few to find the right fit.
  • Research activities that are less expensive or have the least time commitment. 
  • Look into your local community center to see what affordable classes might be offered there.

She champions accessible options and emphasizes that even small, regular engagements can yield significant benefits.

Prioritizing Self-Care

By dedicating time to activities that bring joy and fulfillment, nurses can enhance their resilience, reduce stress levels, and ultimately provide better care to their patients. Lily's advocacy for hobbies as a form of self-care resonates as a powerful reminder of the integral role personal fulfillment plays in sustaining healthcare professionals throughout their careers. Through this lens, hobbies emerge not just as pastimes, but as indispensable tools for nurturing the holistic well-being of those who dedicate their lives to caring for others.

Connect With Lily on social media:

Instagram: imlilymadelyn

TikTok: imlilymadelyn


Lily Madelyn
Lily Madelyn
Host, Nurse Converse Podcast

Lily Madelyn is a Los Angeles-based nurse who graduated with her BSN and a minor in Theatre Arts & Music in 2019. After working through the pandemic as an oncology nurse, she experienced a severe case of burnout which inspired her to temporarily leave the bedside and travel to Europe and learn about something completely different; organic farming! Now that she is back, she is extremely passionate about advocating for mental health awareness in medical professionals and uses her platforms on social media (Instagram and TikTok) to shed light on the destigmatization and normalization of mental health issues. She is excited to bridge the world of entertainment and nursing together in’s newest podcast Nurse Converse and to speak about everything that the nurses of today want to hear.

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