Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what you like to do for fun? Or what hobbies you have? We live in an era when work is no longer a fraction of our time but rather the majority of our day. Even if you’re at a job that enables you to leave at 5:00pm sharp (which many do not) you’re most likely answering emails or finishing up projects long after you’ve left the office. The beauty and curse of technology is that we’re constantly engaged with our work even when we’re not physically present at our jobs. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget about ourselves.
Merriam-Webster defines the word hobby as, “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation”. It’s wonderful when someone enjoys what they do for a living but the very definition of the word hobby reminds us the importance of finding activities that we get pleasure from outside of work. So much of our time is focused on someone else’s needs whether it be our children, partners, friends, parents, or colleagues. Engaging in a hobby should allow you time to do something solely for yourself. Focusing on oneself doesn’t necessarily mean thinking about what’s going on for you or trying to solve a problem. Rather, it can mean taking time to regroup and refresh.
It’s worth noting that there are a multitude of ways to relax. One person might find curling up in bed with a book relaxing while someone else might find a high intensity kickboxing class as the ultimate relaxation. We can see how drastically different these two things are from each other yet both activities provide a space for the individual.
Hobbies can either provide us with time to completely tune out from our daily lives or time to be introspective. Some hobbies might even have a way of doing both. Take running as an example. One person might listen to music or focus on their breathing and feet hitting the pavement while they run. They find a way to disengage from all the other “noise” of daily life. A different individual might use running as time away from email, phones, or other individuals so that they can process things going on in their life without extra “noise” surrounding them. Maybe a marathon runner alternates between both as they spend hours training.
As I’ve been thinking more about my own hobbies I started asking clients to think about ways that they escape from difficulties in their current lives. Some people had a challenging time coming up with things that they like to do so I thought it would be helpful to give some examples of potential hobbies:
- Playing the piano
- Building toy models
- Playing tennis
- Going to the gym
- Rock Climbing
The important thing to keep in mind when choosing a hobby is to enjoy what you’re doing. If you try something out and don’t like it then try something else. You want to find a hobby that excites and engages you. Your hobby doesn’t have to be done everyday and doesn’t have to be done for hours at a time. Even twenty minutes a day a couples times a week can help boost your overall mood. Having a hobby allows you time to focus on yourself and is a crucial part of self care.