In your quest for a balanced life, have you neglected your hobbies?
As very young children, we are experts at finding hobbies. We play in the sandpit, dance, and sing around the playground, collect action figures, and spend our days learning everything we can. But somewhere on the path to being a teenager, we stop trying as many new things as possible and spend less time on our interests. It’s not too late.
Of course, sometimes it feels like you don’t have time for a hobby – with school, friends, extra-curricular activities, sport and trying to maintain a social sport. Yes, I know you are busy, but hear me out. There is time for a hobby. Most of us have been taught that when it comes to time, productivity is what matters most. As a result, we’ve structured our lives around school rather than play. But with a little thought, you should be able to find more time in your schedule to do the things you love. Most of us have free time, we just don’t always spend it wisely. One of the reasons we feel like we don’t have free time is because we can lose time doing mindless things like checking social media and clicking around the internet. And sometimes, we just do nothing.
At the end of a busy week, crashing in front of the television or the laptop might feel like relaxation, but often it’s not. Screens can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating, whether it’s action sequences on the television or the artificial blue light emitted by our devices. Another negative of screen time: It tends to be a solo pursuit that keeps us from engaging with our loved ones. Finding time for hobbies in your day means being more thoughtful about how you spend the time you have. When you do have downtime, do you crash and do nothing? Or do you use that time for things you love?
So how do I find a hobby I will enjoy? Let’s start with what a hobby actually is –
A hobby is usually defined as any enjoyable leisure activity that we engage in voluntarily and consistently when we are free from the demands of work or other responsibilities. A hobby may be inspired by an interest, but it typically requires more commitment and involves taking action, like learning a new skill, or collecting, building, or creating something. Hobbies are essentially the active pursuit of a personal interest.
What is that thing you’ve always wanted to do? Finding a hobby can mean taking the first step to actively pursue that thing you’ve always thought about doing. Have you ever started a sentence with the words “I’ve always wanted to…”? You can look to your childhood for inspiration or literally go on a quest for inspiration by taking a few extra steps around your local community to discover a potential hobby.
If something piqued your interest in the past, look for a class to learn more about it. A cooking class, a computer-design class, a painting outing with friends, a make-your-own ceramics store, a belly-dancing class — they can help you learn where your passions reside.
Pursuing a hobby when you’re young could have a hugely positive impact on your later life. Turn your spark of passion into a hobby and it could develop into a lifelong interest. Who knows, it could possibly be the starting point for your adult career – one that you actually love.
Critical Thinking Questions:
- What could be some of the benefits of turning your childhood passion into a hobby later in your life?
- What are some examples of things we do that fill up our spare time but aren’t actually hobbies?
- Why is it important to make time in your life for things you enjoy?
Practical Thinking Questions:
- What are some of the educational benefits of hobbies? How do these apply to you?
- Make a list of things you are passionate about (it could fill a whole page or only be one word, what matters is that you are passionate about it!).
- How can you turn this list of passions into hobbies?