Did you have a favorite hobby growing up? I don’t think many people collect postage stamps or baseball cards anymore, but maybe you’re a collector of something. One of my brothers collected Snapple bottles once he was finished with them – and learned the hard way about what happens when you leave a lot of unrinsed Snapple bottles in your room. (What happens is you get ants. Lots of ants.) I collected Bone comic books and, for a while, comic book trading cards. (It helped that my brother worked at a comic book store.)
Did you know that it’s okay to have a hobby as an adult – and not only that, but it’s actually really good for you? Whether you’re into working with your hands (knitting, crocheting, woodcarving), using technology (HAM radio operating, creating a computer program), or getting artistic (painting, drawing, firing up the pottery wheel), you’ll be reaping the benefits.
Doing a hobby can be relaxing and meditative, and can take your mind off of worries and anxieties for a time. (It’s hard to both obsess about that embarrassing text you sent and count stitches on a knitting needle at the same time!) You also can cultivate skills that may be useful later in life. (I’m not saying that knowing how to operate a HAM radio would really be useful in a zombie apocalypse, but I’m also not not saying it, either.) It’s also helpful to know and use skills that have been -or are in danger of – being lost to time.
And now that Spring is here, it’s also a great time of year to take up an outdoor hobby. Hiking is a great one, as is birdwatching. Gardening is also therapeutic – there is no little value in simply stepping outside of your door and breathing in fresh air!
But maybe you’re thinking, “I’ve heard all of this already. I don’t have time for hobbies – I only have time to drive my kids to their hobbies.” Fair enough. But the encouragement I can give you is to know that if you don’t make at least a little time for yourself, doing what you like just for you, it can really come back to bite you in the end.
Your hobby doesn’t need to be perfect, or even a complete project. My mother-in-law, a master crocheter, recently gifted us a blanket that took nearly thirty years to complete. I have one that took me over a year to finish because I would only pick it up to work on it in small little snippets of time on the weekends. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes, or even if you’re any good at it. If you’re not, who cares? It’s a hobby for you, not for anyone else!
No matter what you end up choosing, remember to just have fun with it!
Until next time, be well!
About the author: Christy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two children. Christy also blogs at asinglehour.wordpress.com and tweets @agapeflower117. You can follow her here on eTalkTherapy for inspirational articles and different perspectives as they relate to good mental health.