Do you have time for hobbies or do you feel it is a guilty pleasure? We saw in “The Proverbs 31 woman today” that she took time out to sew for her own pleasure. So it would seem that God’s word is in favor of us enjoying an activity for relaxation and enjoyment, as long as it doesn’t cause us to neglect Christ and our responsibilities.
A hobby is an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. It is something that you do just for you. It can be anything we enjoy doing that gives us pleasure. The main requirement is that it be done for fun. So although housework may be a regular activity, it is not a hobby. Unless you find housework fun in which case we need to talk. ; )
I have always ben a hobby enthusiast, in fact my husband says I have so many hobbies and interests, Google doesn’t know what to spam me with.
Psychology of hobbies
Making time for hobbies is not something we should merely consider. At least two Psychology sites I follow, have published articles citing hobbies as absolutely crucial to public morale. The Psychology of hobbies can get quite involved so we won’t delve too deeply here other than to say it goes beyond the fun factor.
People have reasons, obvious and latent for taking up certain hobbies. It may reflect their innermost desires or fulfill an unmet need. A person’s choice of a hobby can give insight into their personality. I once had a manager who did cave diving in his spare time. That’s a hobby that is not for the faint-hearted. For him it was a means to overcome fear so that anything else he faced in his corporate job, paled in comparison. I’d say.
When I am counseling recently divorced women, I am amazed by how many look at me as if I am speaking Russian when I ask them if they have a hobby. In most cases, they have been so busy raising kids and being wives that they have lost sight of who they are and what they enjoy.
The social connection
A common benefit of hobbies is the social factor. We can include friends in our pursuit.
I have a very talented friend who makes beautiful teddy bears which is something I have wanted to do for a while. We got together so she could teach me and long story short, we now have a group of friends who get together every few weeks or so and make teddies. “Teddy club” came about. Some of our teddies have been given as gifts to nieces, grandchildren, friends and grannies. Not only have we been productive, we have spent valuable time together and built new friendships along the way. Our little group has now expanded to include other hobbies too, like a chocolate cake making course.
If you are not finding time for hobbies, you might want to consider forming a group to encourage you to set the time aside. If you start a walking or running group with friends you get to tick the health, hobby and social box all in one go. Voila!
Having a hobby can also be a great conversation starter because you have something of interest to talk about other than the state of the world.
More benefits if you aren’t convinced already
- Depending on what the hobby is it can be good for fine motor coordination
- Stimulates the brain
- Can be done with partner, kids or the whole family
- Releases feel-good endorphins. Proven to boost levels of well being.
- Health benefits particularly if it is fitness related
- Relieves stress because it takes our minds off other things.
- Prevents dementia
- Can be Charitable
- May produce gifts
You can read more about making time for hobbies and leisure in the post Embracing our hearts desires.
Gifts and Talents
Hobbies are often related to our God-given gift. We find enjoyment in things we are good at and fill the desires of our heart.
We need to know ourselves to uncover what we enjoy, perhaps even try out a few different hobbies. The Bible says God gives us gifts and talents to be used. It is not a guilty pleasure but something that can hold real value and purpose. God also tells us to rest and leisure activities are a form of rest and relaxation.
We need to mindfully plan and put time aside in our busy lives for our hobby. If we plan to fit it into our schedule, we are more likely to find the time. Without a plan, it is so easy to while away the hours frivolously.
Consider what you want to achieve with your hobby. You might want to combine it with charity work or develop it into a business like the Proverbs 31 woman. In which case you want to choose something worthwhile that has value.
Hobbies that involve learning and engaging our brains, like music and art, are especially beneficial. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls these flow activities. We become so lost in what we are doing that we forget everything else which is great for relieving stress.
We can all enjoy a bit of mindless entertainment from time to time but this is not the type of activity that gets you absorbed and stimulates your brain. Rather than vegitate watching TV or surfing the net, consider taking up a hobby instead. Discipline yourself with social media because in the end, it is really not productive and relaxing.
How to get started
The beauty of technology is that you can learn just about anything, anywhere, anytime. If you want to learn a new hobby, try looking for tutorials online, on Youtube or Pinterest. Create yourself a board on Pinterest and start pinning ideas. You may think you don’t have the time or that it will cost too much but this will likely change as you explore all the options out there. Once you start exploring ideas you may find something that suits exactly what you want. Taking that step is sometimes all you need to get going.
I love sewing but it has been a while since I last did anything. However, one evening when I had some time I started sorting out my sewing drawers. That in itself stimulated me so that I was motivated to begin. Sometimes our minds keep telling us we can’t because we are out of the habit.
When a hobby becomes a business
A hobby can develop into a business. My writing started out as a hobby which has now grown into a blog. Be careful though, a business often brings stress with it which defeats the purpose of having a hobby in the first place.
I can think of plenty of women who have turned their hobby into a business. One notable one was Marianne North, a Botanist who traveled the world. She painted hundreds of plants and flowers from all the places she visited. Today her paintings are displayed in a gallery in Kew Gardens for all to enjoy.
If you do make time for hobbies already, then enjoy. If you are starting out on a new journey, then I wish you all the best.
If you don’t already have a leisure activity or are thinking of trying something new, check out this hobby list on Wikepedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies. There are some unusual ideas that might interest you.
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