How I Make Time for Myself by Making Time for My Hobbies
According to Wikipedia, “A hobby is an activity, interest, or pastime undertaken for pleasure or relaxation, done during one’s own time.”
In this age in time, people, especially here in the U.S., are more stressed out, anxious, and depressed than ever. According to a CDC National Health Survey done in 2019, 4.7% of adults aged 18 and over experience regular feelings of depression, and that’s before the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020. The CDC also concluded that “during August 2020-February 2021, the percentage of adults with recent anxiety symptoms or a depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5%. The rate of those reporting unmet mental health care needs increasing from 9.2% to 11.7%”.
People have less and less time to spend with their families and friends, and even less time than that to spend on hobbies. After completing my daily tasks, I feel like 100 more things still need to get done. With so little time left over for family and friends, why do I still believe making time for your hobbies is super important? Before we get there, note how I said make time for your hobbies, and not when I get a chance.
I learned in church today that many parents get a divorce after their kids go off to college because they were too focused on their kids that they forgot about their partners and themselves. I love my husband and baby, but I know it is super essential never to lose touch with who I am as an individual. For the past couple of months, ever since I started my blog, I feel more like myself. That’s because I’m doing what I love to do. That’s why especially if you are a mom, I believe it is crucial to make time for your hobbies.
It Forces Me to Stop Multitasking
Multitasking may make you feel hyper-productive, but it is a quick way to become anxious. Our brain is like a machine, and it functions better when it completes one task at a time. Hobbies force you to focus on one task. One of my favorite hobbies is drawing. I’m not the best drawer, which helps me focus even more on what I’m doing. Right now, I am practicing drawing faces. I enjoy drawing cute little animated girls with blushed cheeks. It’s super fun and helps me distress. I like to practice drawing at the end of the day at home. I pull out my phone and doodle on my PENUP app using my stylus pen.
It Helps Me Distress
I do hobbies to bring myself enjoyment and pleasure. I feel so full of that warm fuzzy feeling when I bake my husband his favorite cupcakes. Seeing him enjoy my baked goods bring me a sense of fulfillment. Humans are not born to keep adding things to our to-do lists and not getting anything done. Baking helps me to distress. No, I didn’t email back that person or organize my baby’s room. Though those things are essential, they can wait. Making time for your hobbies will help you distress and give you a sense of fulfillment. When you do what you want to do instead of only what you need to do, you will be living, not just existing.
I’m Going to Leave a Mark in This World
Speaking on feeling fulfilled, making time for your hobbies builds character and may eventually leave a legacy behind. Also, your hobby depending on what they are, can help you acquire skills that fewer people know how to do nowadays, such as calligraphy, sewing, and cooking. If you have children, they will keep what you have made or collected, or even better, learn the art for themselves to pass along to their children someday. For example, I am trying to teach myself how to sew. I am lucky enough to have an aunt living near me who is fantastic at sewing. All the women on my dad’s side have a keen for sewing due to my grandma, but only one of my aunts lives here in the U.S. (the rest are in Brazil). She was generous enough to gift me her sewing machine. So I’ve been practicing with scraps on that machine. What a legacy she is leaving behind. She always hemmed my pant bottoms and dresses when I was growing up; now, I’m learning how to do them on my clothes and possibly get good at altering my own family’s clothing.
It Reminds Me of the Small Simple Joys of Life
Hobbies center me. Hobbies help me stop and enjoy life. I am getting to do what I love. It is such a precious privilege I have, and I don’t take it for granted. That’s why I am so grateful for the life I have. My hobby of collecting small travel soaps from hotel rooms helps me keep an eye out for them when I stay in hotel rooms. It makes me giggle a little because who collects small soap bars from hotel rooms? I do; it is something I started to do because I wanted to remember how blessed I am to travel to these new destinations. Photos were not enough; collecting these soaps is like a little secret game I play with myself. When my husband reminds me to save the hotel travel-sized soaps, it makes me feel so seen. What’s better than being known? Your collection can be as unique as who you are. In the book called A Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme, she collects Spoons. How cute is that! Inspiration can hit at any moment, and that’s why hobbies like collecting help me find joy in the small things.
Making time for the things you want to do can be done. Prioritize what matters to you. Having hobbies help you mentally. When you feel energized after doing something you love, then you can go out into the world and be a better you to those you love.
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-with love, Amanda