With busy work lives and family commitments, it can be hard to find time for hobbies. However, getting the right balance between your career, your family and outside interests is vital for overall wellbeing, and it is shown that people with hobbies have better mental health. Here’s how to find a hobby you’ll love and stick to it.
If you feel you don’t have time for a hobby, look at how you currently relax. Do you binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix or spend hours each night scrolling through your Instagram feed? If you do, that’s fine so long as it brings you pleasure, but if you want to learn a new skill or rekindle a former passion, consider whether you could reduce the time you spend doing these. Small readjustments can make a big difference to how you prioritize your interests.
Finding the Right Hobby
You might already know the hobby you want to start – perhaps you have always wanted to learn to speak French or previously spent time performing in an amateur dramatics group and want to get back to it. That’s great! If you don’t know what hobby would best suit you, reflect on what makes you happy. If you enjoy watching films, seek out a critique group in your area. Think back to what you enjoyed during your childhood, too. Many people have hobbies they devoted time to as a child that has fallen by the wayside – this could be the perfect time to pick up your acrylic paints for the first time in years or go back to the ballet classes you adored in your teens.
If you are unsure, consider asking friends or relatives how they spend their free time. You may find yourself drawn to a brand-new hobby you’ve never even heard of before! Consider other implications too, such as the overall cost. You don’t want your hobby to cause you financial stress. Check out discounts online – you can find offers that help you get crafting supplies for less and online tutorials for free on YouTube that can make your hobby more affordable.
How to Stick at It
Changing routines is challenging and repetition is key. In the initial stages of starting your hobby, it can be helpful to block out time specifically to spend on your interest. Add it to your calendar or write in it your diary and don’t be tempted to change it. This is your time to focus on yourself!
Being part of a group can help you be accountable and stick with a new hobby. If you know you have buddies waiting for you at the gym, you are less likely to pull out at the last minute. Telling friends about your new hobby can also help – if you know they are going to ask how your knitting is progressing, the chances are you’ll pick up your needles more often, so you have plenty to report back on.
There may be days when you aren’t in the mood or when illness affects your ability to follow through on your plans. In these cases, be honest with yourself. If you are sick, running 10k in the rain isn’t the best idea, but if your hobby is reading you might still be able to do it. Don’t make excuses – if you find yourself looking for a get-out on a regular basis, it may be that it isn’t the right hobby for you after all (and don’t panic – you can always try something different instead. A hobby is supposed to bring you joy, not be a chore!) Enjoy finding new ways to spend your time, hone your skills and find happiness!