April 7th marked World Health Day. Most of the time when we think of health, we think physical. But mental health is just as important. We get so caught up in taking care of our families, branding ourselves or working to pay bills, that we forget about taking the time to do the little things we enjoy.
A hobby is an activity you do for fun in your free time. Working is not a hobby. What you do to escape from working is a hobby.
If you’ve ever joined a dating website, or had a MySpace page, you’ve been asked to list your hobbies. I used to say I liked dancing and going to the beach, which was partially true. First of all, I was always dancing. Second of all, I only went to the beach once or twice a year. But can we take a second to remember when surfing the Internet was an actual hobby?
Why do you need a hobby?
To treat yo’self:
Having a hobby is like going to happy hour for a $2 cocktail after a long work day. It’s something to look forward to! If every day is a lazy day, how will you spend 5 hours on your couch without feeling guilty? However, if you’re tired from working all the time, how will you take care of other responsibilities and most importantly, yourself?
To relieve stress:
I majored in creative writing in middle and high school. That’s 7 years of writing, reading, being critiqued and drafting,…everyday. As much as I loved that school, the thrill of sitting on the porch writing in my journal slowly went away. After a few months in college, that feeling was back. I needed something to take my mind off of tests, freshman dorm drama and missing my family/friends back home. So, I started writing again, but this time for myself. In my diary, private MySpace blogs, Post-It notes–wherever I could. Only now, I was writing to release my thoughts and emotions.
To be social: Not only can you meet new people, but a hobby gives you a new topic to talk about with the people already in your life. If all of your conversations revolve around your job and the family you go home to…YOU NEED A HOBBY!
11 Hobbies You Need in Your Life
Walking: Writing 2 posts a week requires more time sitting down than I thought it would. A change of scenery and fresh air is just what my brain needs after being trapped indoors for hours. Add my favorite songs, and I’m good to go! I will literally Milly Rock on any block.
Dancing: Not only can taking a dance class be a way to meet other people, but it’s a fun workout! If you’re not ready to take a class, host a private 30 minute dance party in room. Need music? Check out The Palmetto Peaches’ Playlists.
Writing: I bet your long distance friends would love a hand-written letter instead of an email or text. Another thing I like to do is write things I want to say, but have no plans on actually saying. Don’t laugh, it feels amazing!
Photography: (or iPhoneography in some cases) I wanted to be a professional photographer, but realized I just enjoyed capturing moments for myself. After taking that flawless selfie, turn the camera around and take in your surroundings. Wordless Wednesday is my new reason to take and share more pictures.
Scrapbooking your squad’s memories: Ah, the good ole days of printing pictures at Wal-Mart to add them to decorated scrapbook pages. Facebook albums are great, but are you going to leave your log-in info with your kids and grandkids? Nah. Make it a hobby to start printing those pictures again to save memories.
Watching documentaries: Binge watching tv shows is easily one of my favorite things to do, but if you’re looking for a way to get the brain cells bumpin–watch something informational/educational. Next week, I’m trading in Nurse Jackie for Misty Copeland’s A Ballerina’s Tale.
Meditating: The great thing about meditation is that it can last a few minutes or a few hours. If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you know I dabble in the meditation scene. After all this time, I still haven’t mastered it, but every Namaste takes me closer. All you need is a quiet space and a mantra.
Volunteering: One way to count your blessings and take a minute from your busy schedule is to give back. Find out which events are going on in your city that need extra hands. Also contact your local shelters or non-profit organizations to see what opportunities they have. I’ve volunteered at elementary schools, basketball tournaments and even festivals (yes for free entry!).
Studying Astrology: I can’t speak for everyone, but I read my horoscope daily. I’m also not afraid to ask, “Aye girl, what’s yo sign?” 5 minutes after meeting someone for the first time. So if you’re curious about zodiac risings and moons, learning about astrology maybe the hobby for you!
Listening: Audiobooks and Podcasts are the bee’s knees! Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to physically hold a book, or sit up to watch TV. I simply press play on my iPhone or Amazon Fire, and the fun begins. If it’s your first audiobook, start with something that takes about 4-5 hours to listen to.
Making sugar scrubs: This one is a little random, so I casually put it at the end of the list. I made sugar scrubs one year for Christmas gifts, and ended up keeping them all for myself. They’re quick and cheap to make, and your skin will love it. Here’s the recipe I used from Love Grows Wild.
This list could go on forever. Whatever you decide to do, set aside a few hours a week to do it! Having a hobby is good for you, and the people around you. What are your favorite hobbies, and how do you find time for them? Comment below or tweet me @PalmsInATL!