Recently, the concept of self-care has been taking the proverbial market by storm. We see the term on social media feeds, during our online searches, maybe even google a few YouTube videos about it. But what does it mean? It means to take the time to replenish and do what is necessary to take care of our own personal health and well-being. While there are many ways of doing this (i.e., going to the doctor, getting exercise, taking a mental health day, etc.), there are still many ways of seeing to our needs that do not involve professional help. One of the best ways to see to self-care is developing a hobby.
Now many of you may be arching a brow and asking the question of, “How is that supposed to help at all?” Well, think about it. We can’t be focused on our work or responsibilities all the time. We must be willing to give our brains a regular break as well as giving them time to develop in other ways. Choosing to focus on a hobby can help us with developing other crucial functions of our brains that are often neglected because we tend to focus on work and our regular responsibilities. Now comes the age-old question, “How do I pick what to do as a hobby?”
- What is something that you can do for hours and really get invested in it? For some it’s video games. For others it’s painting or drawing. Ideally, a hobby taps into the part of ourselves that is childlike in nature and allows us to let our playful juices flow. I know that some young adults love playing the sport of Pickle Ball and they can do it for hours with their friends. Others love the idea of going for a hike and being out in nature. You can pick any activity that you want to do, but keep in mind that the overall goal is to release tension in your mind or body.
- What is something that allows your mind to rest and still be active? Many people might say that binging the latest Netflix Series helps them with resting their mind, but I would disagree slightly with that statement. Yes, watching a good series that keeps you occupied is one way of resting the mind, but it is not the only way. A good hobby will involve you using your mind productively and actively. Hobbies such as drawing, painting, or even quilting are an excellent example of using your mind productively. Additionally, there are other hobbies such as coding or even playing an instrument that involve using the mind to problem solve or learn patterns in a way that is relaxing. This keeps an essential component of our brains active and primed for even bigger problems that may come up in any stage in life.
- What is a fun skill that you have wanted to learn how to do, but have been putting on the back burner? If you are anything like me, I tend to put fun skills on the back burner because I’m focused on “more important things.” But we tend to lose something when we choose not to focus on developing a fun skill. We are so much more than our jobs, personal possessions, or even our relationships. We each have untapped gifts that are just waiting to be explored. Those gifts and talents can be used for something great and can benefit our fellow man in some way, but we must be willing to develop them. Not only that, but we can also learn more about ourselves in a way that allows us to grow even more as a person who is more aware of their inner self.
- What is something that truly gets you away from the rough parts of life but empowers you to face it again? Escapism may sound like a good idea in theory, and it is necessary for a brief amount of time but making it a regular habit is not a good idea. Having a hobby that empowers us to face difficult situations by giving us a temporary respite is something that we often don’t have. Most of the time we seek to escape reality instead of just simply taking a break from it. Our hobbies must encourage us to not run from problems. Instead, they must be a way for us to take a break from difficult situations and allow us to face them later.
Developing a hobby may seem like a small deal in comparison to our other responsibilities in life. I would say that they are really a necessary component in developing us as human beings. We do need to work but we also need to be able to take a break from that work to fully enjoy our lives as people.