We are big proponents of taking a little time to slow down and focus on you. Between work, family and friends, it can be difficult to carve out time for ourselves. Even if we do somehow find a couple of hours here are there, a lot of us have the same question: What do I do now? Slowing down is about more than simply not working, it’s about engaging your other interests and developing them into passions of their own. Enter: the hobby.
Slowing down is about more than simply not working; it’s about engaging your other interests and developing them into passions of their own. Enter…the hobby.
More than just an additional black hole for time and money, having a hobby, and outlet if you will, for our creative energies can be instrumental in our personal development. Simply put, a hobby helps with…
Creative Cross Pollination
Working in a creative field, it can be hard to stay actively inspired in your chosen outlet. I’ll take writing as an example since it’s what I do most often for work. As much as writing is my first and foremost creative love, there are times when I simply cannot string three words together to save my life. My brain needs a break from the written word from time to time and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
By exercising a different mental muscle, it helps to strengthen our talents, overall. It doesn’t really matter what outlet you choose, or how many (I have seven hobbies that I can list offhand and I am by no means great at any of them), all that matters is that your hobby is not what you do for work. A lot of creative professionals that I have met seem to share a love of cooking, which makes sense really. It’s the same part of the brain, just a different way of using it. Finding unique combinations of textures and flavors can inspire us to branch out in other areas. Which contributes directly to…
As human beings, we are constantly changing and growing; it’s part of what makes us so fascinating. The trouble comes in when we get stuck in too much of a routine, which can often lead to a rut, which stagnates growth. Exploring new interests and as-yet-to-be developed skills helps us stretch out mentally, and even emotionally. When we explore those deep, dark recesses of talent that we didn’t know we had, we give ourselves the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves on a completely different level.
Many great artists started out in a different field, with their creative outlet as a hobby. It was only by continuing to practice and develop their skills in that area that they were able to let their natural talent breathe enough to mature, naturally. The world will never meet its very best cellist if they never pick up a bow. Which is just a roundabout way of saying, you never know what you can be great at until you’ve tried a little bit of everything.
One of the best aspects of hobbies is that they tend to be something that we love, right (I mean, that’s really the whole point here), and when we discover something that we love, we tend to want to find out everything that we possibly can about it. Believe it or not, many things that we learn in one area can be applied in others, so without even realizing it, our hobby is now contributing to continuing our education.
You never quite know what you will truly learn until you start educating yourself. For instance, taking up painting can help us better understand light and color harmonies. Sculpture helps us better understand form and structure. Playing an instrument helps us to listen and find new ways of expressing emotion. Each of these skills can come into play in multiple areas of our lives.
Nothing learned is ever useless.
Largely considered to be the Mac Daddy of all reasons to do anything, in our constantly “on” world, stress release has become the wellness buzz term of the moment. We’ve covered the dangers of stress at length, both in how it can affect you mentally and physically (and even how to relieve stress without spending any money at all), but the main takeaway is that too much stress is bad news. The really dangerous part is that we don’t always realize that we are overly stressed. It can seep in and build up slowly over time, until one day we wake up to a slew of symptoms and no idea where they came from.
Stress, the silent killer.
Think of a hobby as your pause button. When we practice a hobby regularly, it’s as if we are pressing pause on the rest of our lives and simply existing in the moment. This helps us to release our stress by degrees and in regular intervals. Like a pressure valve, the stress is able to escape slowly, without us even realizing it and as a result, our needle never reaches the red.
Certainly not the least of the reasons why we should take up a new activity—as a matter of fact, I should have put this one first—having a hobby is fun. We don’t need to start a whole existential debate here, but what is the point of life if not to enjoy it? If you’re not having, at least, a little bit of fun on a daily basis, then it’s time to seriously reevaluate how you are spending your time.
There is a lot in life to be serious about—work, relationships, responsibilities—these are the things we need to tend to in order to live well. But the reason we put that effort in, and the reason we get up each morning, and the barometer by which the majority of us measure our success, is by how much fun we are having. Anything that we can do to increase the amount of enjoyment that we experience on a day-to-day basis is time well spent.
So if you’re looking for a new hobby, may we recommend some adult coloring?
Seriously, you can try it, HERE.