In January, we talked about honing your hobbies—making sure that you have go-to activities for the sake of relaxing and enjoying yourself, without regard for productivity. These are things that you do simply for the love of doing them!
As kids, we had no problem finding hobbies. Some of them came built in, others born out of exploring our interests: after school sports, music lessons, coloring books, reading for fun, collectable action figures, etc. etc. Now, years later, you might find yourself stopping and thinking, where did all those hobbies go?
They got squeezed out. Schoolwork started taking up more time, followed by career interests. Certain activities began to seem too childish or simplistic, as though the “age 3+” on crayon boxes mean you’re not allowed to color with them once you’re out of single digits.
Okay, not everyone’s crayon drawings are going to look like the picture to the right, no matter what age. But so what?
Who says that the activities that spark your interest have to be museum quality, Pulitzer Prize worthy, or something that will be written about in future Guinness Book of World Records? So what if you’ll never make it to the Olympics?
Your hobbies aren’t something you perform for other people, they’re for you—and it’s not really the destination that’s important, but the fun you have along the way.
You say ‘amateur’ as if it was a dirty word. ‘Amateur’ comes from the Latin word ‘amare,’ which means to love. To do things for the love of it.
– Mozart in the Jungle
As American musician Bill Malone once said, “Hobbies are great distractions from the worries and troubles that plague daily living.” We can all agree that we’ve had our fair share of both worries and troubles in the past year, and sometimes a little escapism is the best way to cope with that.
Take a break from the daily grind by diving into a guilty pleasure book for a while every night. Work out those pandemic blues by going out and putting your back into gardening for a while, or riding your bike, or kneading dough for your next loaf of sourdough bread. Expand your world by learning a new language, going on hikes to see new sights, or learning new knitting or crochet patterns.
What all of these activities provide is some breathing space, the same way getting a good night’s sleep leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to get up and tackle the new day.
A large body of research suggests that how you spend leisure time matters to your health. Having fun lowers your stress hormones, for one thing, which can make all sorts of differences in how you navigate making healthy choices, getting good sleep, and maintaining a positive outlook and self-image. Plus, hobbies are often great means to with others with similar interests, and socializing is always great—that’s why we love hosting communal wine events for our Pinot fans, virtual or otherwise!
Read more about the health and work-life benefits of having hobbies here.