In this episode, I am sharing 3 reasons it’s important to have a hobby. You can listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the blog post.
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3 reasons it’s important to have your own hobby
1. It reduces stress
Cronic stress can lead to so many things from digestive issues to negative mental health.
When you are stressed long term it can cause your body to hold onto fat and stop you from losing weight because it thinks your survival is in danger. You are in constant “fight” mode. This is actually amazing that the body knows how to do this. But it does not know the difference of stress with work for example, and stress from actual danger.
And in our minds, long term stress can lead to anxiety and moodiness and general low feeling.
It’s so important to reduce the stress we feel in our mind and body and having a hobby can really help with that. Even if your hobby can seem stressful for example sky diving, or driving fast cars, if you love it then it will reduce your stress levels. In the moment you are putting your body in a high stress situation but long term it can help reduce your stress overall.
This is because having a hobby allows you to get out of your own head for a little bit and escape the everyday pressures of day to day life which we all need sometimes.
Escapism isn’t always great if you’re hiding from your problems but we do all need to decompress and get out of our heads. If you are constantly stressed and never having fun in your day then that impacts your mental and physical health negatively.
There are many ways to de-stress (journalling, meditation etc) but having a hobby is a great one because it’s fun as well!
2. It recharges you
We live in an age where we do more things than ever before and were expected to do more than ever before. Gone are the days of having a village of support around you; now we are expected to be able to do it all and do it without complaining.
I think back to my grandmothers having their babies and although it wasn’t perfect back then, many of the women were all at home helping each other.
And now women can go to work (and hooray for that!) but both men and women are still expected to do ALL things.
If this is how you are living, trying to wear all the hats (mum, wife, employee, teacher, cook, cleaner, carer, all of the above etc) and you give to everyone else then you HAVE to find a way to fill your batteries back up again. You have to find a way to recharge. You can’t expect to be giving and giving and giving all the time and never recharge yourself.
A hobby can play a part in this; this is how I fill myself up each day. I do a lot of self-care activities each day but nothing energises me more than my hobby.
This should not be a maybe; you cannot run from an empty well. When batteries run out they have to be recharged (or thrown out, but don’t do that). And if doing a bit of cross stitch or reading each day means that you have more energy for everything else you do, then it is essential.
Just like an oxygen mask on a plane, you cannot help others if you are struggling. It is not selfish to make sure that you have enough energy to do all the things that you need to do.
An important part of this is knowing if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. If you get your energy being alone then you’re an introvert. I expect many of you are introverted because cross stitch is quite a solitary hobby. I’m a massive introvert.
If you get more energy from being around people then you’re an extrovert.
It’s important to know this because then you know what kind of environment will best fill you up when you come to do your hobby.
If you’re an introvert then locking yourself in a room for half an hour with your cross stitch project will fill you up so well. You will come back from that break with so much more energy and refreshed for the rest of your day.
And if you’re an extrovert then you may want to find a craft class where you can meet other like-minded people and stitch together. This is more likely to fill you up more than sitting and stitching alone.
Please note, you will all be more introverted at some points and more extroverted at other times, especially if you have a monthly cycle. This is just in general how your energy works.
Either way, be sure you are taking the time to recharge!
3. It engages your inner child
“Joy, the expression of pure happiness, is a mere memory for most of us. We’ve forgotten the happy freedom of doing something for the mere delight of doing it. Not for any secondary gain, requirement or external motivation. When we were children we did stuff just because we wanted to … this joy is healing in and of itself”.Dr Nicole LePera
I mean I don’t think I need to say much more; it’s just so true! The older I have gotten the more I have reverted back to things I loved to do as a child. And the more I question why I ever stopped.
And the more I’ve gone back to these things like cross stitch and reading (and reading “childish” books), roller skating, astrology the more joy and patience and happiness and healing I have in my life.
We repress so much of what we really want to be doing. If you allow just a little bit of that into your day will change your life so much, trust me. Just think back to those things you loved to do as a child and try and bring some of those things into your adult life.
If you need help with this I have a fun “Find Your Hobby” quiz that you can download to get your mind ticking over.
- How to Do the Work by Dr Nicole LePera*
- The Holistic Psychologist Instagram account
- Find Your Hobby Quiz
Extra cross stitch episodes and posts
- 5 tips to find time to cross stitch
- Cross stitch and motivation
- Making cross stitch a habit
- My cross stitch and reading routine
- 12 tips for daily well-being