The busier your life is, the less time seems available to set aside for things you love to do. Whether you are an overachiever or simply overbooked, your pastimes and hobbies are usually the first to go when time is a scarce commodity.
Believe it or not, adding to your list of things to do can alleviate and prevent burnout – provided you are adding an activity you like and enjoy.
Giving yourself permission to do the things you enjoy replenishes your happiness and restores your sense of self. Being able to engage in an activity that you love builds confidence, centers your focus, and reminds you that your life isn’t just about work, family, or [insert-obligation-here].
How do you find time to do more of what you love when you feel like every minute of your day is booked solid?
Multi-task: Find a way to incorporate your hobbies into the activities you are already responsible for.
Here are some examples:
Activity you love:
Reading- Sync Audible and Kindle and listen to the newest best-seller as you commute to work. Pull out your Kindle as you wait at the DMV, and the book will sync up to your last page. Get some reading in while you wait for your turn.
Cooking- Set homework time to coordinate with dinner-prep time so that you can chop and sauté while your kids discuss their homework problems with you.
Bike riding- Consider riding your bike to appointments, light grocery shopping, or meetings whenever possible.
Walking- Park your car as far away from the store or business office as possible and get your steps in.
Collecting- Use an app like Pinterest to save articles, pictures, links, and other things related to your hobby. When you have snippets of free time, log in and explore the possibilities.
Travel- Extend your work travel to include some personal days. Plan short three-day extended weekends when you can. Try arriving to an out-of-town meeting destination early and find a local space to explore for lunch, or stay later for dinner. Take an alternative route home and see the sights along a new road.
If you don’t currently have a hobby but are wondering if starting one could help reduce fatigue and prevent overwhelm, try sampling some options and see how much better you feel.
Try these ideas to discover a new hobby:
✔ Meetup.com offers groups in your area that get together to share common interests. Simply submit your zip code to see a list of groups near you. You can filter groups by category, or simply browse and see what looks interesting.
✔ Community colleges offer classes that are free or low cost for single workshops and short-term classes. If you’ve always wanted to learn photography or stained glass, now’s the time to explore.
✔ Paint nights and “sip-n-art” classes are very popular. Use social media apps like Facebook to explore what classes may be near you. Local wineries, breweries, and nurseries also offer classes and activities for their local patrons.
Finding and experiencing a new hobby could be the ticket to help you blow off some steam and release some of the overwhelm and stress that is keeping you from feeling your best. Explore your options, take up a hobby, and make yourself a priority – all while reducing your stress!
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