I’m the kind of girl that loves to stay busy, but gets burnout very easily. But I can’t sit around and do nothing. Even in my tiredness, I still have to be doing something. I’ve learned long ago to chalk it up to my superhero complex and short attention span. So when things get a little stressful, I like to unwind with various activities to take my mind off of things for a while. I’ve picked up a lot of skills from these activities and the more I stick to it, the stronger I get. Some of these skills have proven useful in my career, and some are just for me to enjoy. Today we're gonna talk about the private ones (which means the obvious ones like photography and baking need not be mentioned). The ones that make life better and help me to decompress at the end of a long day.
1. I’m not so secretly a Sims addict
My internship hasn’t left me with much time to play the sims, but as I’m nearing the end, I have more personal time again. One of the hobbies I’ve gone back to, is playing The Sims 4. Now when I say addict, I also mean collector. I have the Sims Complete Edition, every expansion pack made for Sims 2 – 4, as well as stuff packs and game packs. My custom content folder is 1.02 GB in size with 839 items. Not to mention the Sims 2 on PlayStation and the Sims 3 on Wii. I’m sure I’ve lost you somewhere in all of that bragging.
The point is, I enjoy playing the Sims because life is stressful and unpredictable, whereas in the Sims, it’s the only place I have complete control. I can create whatever fantasy life I want. I know it may sound a little sad, but this game really has its therapeutic aspects.
2. I love to dance
Shake your bom bom! Anyone who knows me, knows I love to dance. Even at work, whenever they play music I really like, I jokingly go into hiding because I don’t want to risk losing my job by dancing in front of the kids. A few years ago, I learned how to salsa, bachata, meringue, and tango. In my mind, I could totally be a contestant on Dancing with The Stars (you know if I were a celebrity). Dancing makes me feel sexy and as long as I’m on the dance floor, nothing bothers me. I even did pole dancing for about 3 months and was getting pretty good at it!
3. I’m trying to earn a green thumb
I’ll be the first to admit that everything I touch dies. Early this year, I was able to regrow rosemary and lettuce but they both died because I kept forgetting to water them. But this time, I plan on doing it right. I have planted Oregano, Sweet pepper and mint so far. I am also trying to regrow the rosemary. I bought Miracle Grow potting soil, I water once per day, keep my plants in the shade and wait. It’s really only been about a week, but I am hopeful this time around. I’ll feel so proud of myself if my veggies actually grow! My plan is to be self-sufficient for flowers, vegetables and herbs by the end of the year.
4. Painting is starting to become fun
I never thought of myself as a Picasso, but I’m starting to understand that this painting thing isn’t so hard. I don’t know why I was so afraid of it. I recently painted a wood pallet that I plan on turning into a bar for my patio. Up next is painting some more wood pallets that will then be the sofa. I’m also looking into ways to make my own wall art on a budget because canvases are so expensive. It’s so much fun to create my own work that would normally cost so much money.
5. I love fashion design but I’m not IN LOVE with it…
Once upon a time, I pursued fashion design. But once my Master’s degree began to consume my life, I just didn’t enjoy sewing any more. Even now, there are so many projects that inspire me but I’ll always find an excuse like the weather or I don’t want to ruin the fabric. I like being able to say, “I made this” but only time will tell if I ever return to this hobby.
Hobbies come and go over the years. I love the idea of always having a "current obsession". If you're in the market for a new hobby, here are a few tips to help you choose the right one for you…
1. How much money will this hobby cost you?
No matter what, hobbies will cost you money at some point. Whether it’s the initial investment or continuing fees, ask yourself this, “Can I afford to do this?” Some DIY hobbies look cheap and easy, but depending on where you live, supplies and other resources can run a hefty bill. My suggestion. Try before you buy. If you're thinking you might like to try rock climbing, go with a friend and use their equipment before you dive in and commit to joining a gym or buying supplies. Use your mom's sewing machine and see if you like sewing before you buy your own. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I've definitely been guilty of making those impulse buys only to watch it later collect dust. Giving yourself freedom to explore different options is a great way to feel like you don't have to stick with something you end up not loving. Then there’s the time it would take to complete each project.
2. Is this hobby more for down time or time consuming?
Just because the girl on YouTube said this is an hour long project doesn’t mean that it will take YOU an hour to complete. She’s an expert, you’re new to the game. With practice you’ll eventually be able to do this faster, but ask yourself, is this something you can learn quickly? And once you get the hang of it, is this a once in a while thing or something that has to be done on a consistent basis? Look at your schedule and figure out how much time you realistically have to dedicate to a new hobby. We are all busy, especially during certain seasons of life. So be honest with yourself about what kind of time you have to devote to a hobby and don't over-commit or try something that you just realistically can't accomplish. A hobby is something you should do for you and should make you feel good about yourself, not constantly sad that you aren't achieving as much as you think you should or are unable to really enjoy it.
3. Finally, “Do you, boo”
Your hobby should match your personality. If you know you’re lazy, who are kidding by suddenly investing in running gear? Your hobby is your “you time” to express yourself. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Your hobby should allow you to forget about that crappy day and give you a renewed feeling.
What about you? What hobbies are you in love with right now? What helps you relax?