Bring Back Hobbies!
It’s time for our final #TryItTuesday of the month!
This month I challenged you to prioritize self-love in a real way. We harnessed the power of positive affirmations, made time for everyday acts of self-care, wrote mood-boosting letters of gratitude, and today I want to challenge you with one final, powerful reflection.
I want you to consider how much time you’re spending doing the things you love.
5 Things You Love
Start by writing down the five actions, hobbies, behaviors, or pastimes that bring you the most joy. What are five things you absolutely love doing?
My list might look something like this:
- Playing music
- Traveling somewhere new with awesome people
- Cooking and eating delicious food
- Hiking and camping
Then, next to that list, write down the last time you did that action, like this:
- Climbing – It’s been two years!
- Playing music – Yesterday.
- Traveling somewhere new with awesome people – I’m actually doing this today for the first time in 6 months!
- Cooking and eating delicious food – This past weekend.
- Hiking and camping – This past fall.
The final list you end up with can be hard to reconcile, especially when it comes to the things we love doing but aren’t doing. Instead of allowing that tension to bring on shame, guilt, or sadness, let it serve as a roadmap for your month ahead.
After all, hobbies aren’t just nice to have, they’re critical to your long-term wellbeing.
Bring Back Hobbies!
Parkinson’s law says “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” So if you’ve got nothing on the agenda after work, it’s easy to catch yourself just continuing to take work home with you into the evening.
In this way, creating designated time to do thing you love can actually encourage efficiency in your work day. If you’ve got to finish off that report in the next 15 minutes or you’ll be late to your league volleyball game, you’re not going to waste time at the office.
Hobbies also help get your brain in flow. When left to our own devices, most folks end up passively surfing the web or watching tv. But active forms of leisure – which psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow activities – help you stretch your skills and get fully immersed in your pursuit. Time flies, self-consciousness disappears, and you’re left with an increasingly elusive state.
Finally, many hobbies not only strengthen social bonds, but can also reduce stress. Think of it this way – even when you’re having a rough day at work, coming home and learning to play a new song on the ukulele can give you a confidence-boosting sense of progress and a reminder that you’re capable of growth and improvement.
What’s On Your List?
Take a moment today to write out the 5 activities that bring you the most joy – and then finish the exercise by taking note of the last time you did those things.
I want to see you check in with me on Twitter, Instagram, and the Courage Community on Facebook to let me know how this exercise made you feel – and how you can bring back hobbies in your life, too.
For me, I’ve made practicing music a priority by taking drum lessons over the past few months, and the sense of sheer joy and accomplishment that follows each lesson is a wonderful way to bust stress and get in flow:
Now I wanna see your list and hear how you’re bringing back hobbies in your life, too.
Thank you to all of you for taking part in this month’s self-love challenge. Next month, we’re replacing our #TryItTuesday series with the brand-new Bossed Up podcast – which premieres this Thursday! I cannot WAIT to hear what you think!