Enjoy yourself: Choose a good hobby | Sunday Observer

Enjoy yourself: Choose a good hobby

At a leisurely get-together, I once asked a group of middle-aged ladies what their hobbies were. Some were taken aback. Hobbies?! What a frivolous thing! Who has the time?

They’re not alone. Nowadays, we are just unbearably, painfully, overwhelmingly busy! Between running the kids from soccer to swimming to math tutoring, keeping a tidy house, and staying on top of a constant influx of phone calls, emails and visitors, how can there be time for anything fun?

In the past two decades we notice a sweeping decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to temple/church committee to, YMBA/YMCA. Over a couple of generations, we have somehow misplaced our free time.

Various things contribute to this, but for many of us, being legitimately busy simply isn’t one of them. Instead, we habitually waste time, creating the illusion of being busy. Facebook, email, gossip sites – pick your poison.

If you’re like me, you don’t stay awake at night with the goal of squandering couple of hours on social media, but it often happens, and this is unaccounted for time that can be better spent elsewhere.

Find a hobby

I believe that “I’m too busy” has become a badge of honour, a sign of virtue and importance. We have done a bang-up job of convincing ourselves that we’re super-busy.

If you are a smart person, you wouldn’t buy into it. You have time for a hobby…or maybe two! Believe me you do.

Trying to figure out what to do during your free time could be some tough stuff, especially when one doesn’t include TV watching or chatting with friends on the net. When you don’t know what to choose, all the excuses seem kind of lame: Walking is for old people, sports have never been your thing, and if you pick up something like biking or gaming, you’ll feel like a little kid.

But having a hobby doesn’t just have to be a time-filler you do in between hangouts and work. It can develop into a passion that gets you excited, helps you recover from a long day, or gets your mind working. It helps you boost the quality of your life, and that’s why they’re so important to have.

But what if you’re not particularly passionate about anything? Where do you start? Well, first of all, everyone has a passion - you just haven’t discovered yours yet, probably. But don’t worry, there are painless ways to find out just what it is.

The best way is to go back to your childhood. Think back what you loved doing as a kid. Those were the times you were wild and free, and you didn’t do something unless you really, really loved it. Chances are, you still have a lot of those same core interests.

If something from your past doesn’t immediately jump out at you, it might be useful to hit the crafts store, the sporting goods store or the nearest music emporium or book store.

Browse around and see what captures your attention. Maybe you find yourself drawn to the gardening, aquarium or the scrap-book section; this can give you a clue as to what you might be interested in.

Start Small

If you’re adding something new to your life, you have to take time and focus away from something else. See if you can carve out a half hour or so every day or every other day to explore your interest.

If there’s a way, start small, such as starting with a small fish tank or planting a handful of vegetable seeds.

Of course, everyone is different and your personality does play a role in what sorts of hobbies you like. If you don’t have a lot of patience you might feel like quilting might be too much for you, but exploring projects with quick results might be a better choice for a beginning to get you motivated for continued operation.

Maybe you really like hanging out with friends. Then you need to take a class or have an interest that you can do with a group.

If you travel a lot, something portable which you can do anywhere is helpful.

There was a period when I travelled a lot. I developed a hobby of solving crosswords and other similar puzzles. With my laptop and internet connection, it was really fun.

Think about the things you already like and how they might expand. If you love outside dining experience, maybe you could learn to make the foodstuff at home and entertain your friends. If you can’t resist the colours in the paintings at your favourite restaurant, perhaps you should pick up some paint or a camera and explore colour in your own way.

You can see the number of choices available to you, if you really care to look around.

The truth is you may not hit the perfect activity in the first shot itself but you can have a lot of fun trying out new things and exploring what’s out there.

Don’t be afraid to try new things, and soon you’ll have a hobby that provides you with real enjoyment and stress relief, too.

There are many health benefits to having a hobby and it is also good for making friends, building confidence and cultivating other skills that you may not get to work on as much at work.

Let me give you 4 reasons why you should have a hobby.

Creativity: Most hobbies require creativity and developing creativity through a hobby can transfer directly into creativity at work.

Confidence: Hobbies build confidence because being good at something and learning something new is very rewarding.

Reduce Negative Stress: Getting caught up in something you enjoy doing is great for relieving stress because it refocuses your mind on something that you enjoy.

Socialize: This is a great opportunity to meet new people, discuss your hobby and get more involved with bigger groups.

So,develop a hobby. Forget your troubles and enjoy your life.

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