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Note from Lisa: Having a hobby can help you reduce your stress and increase your productivity. It gives your brain something relaxing to focus on. But,trying to make time for a relaxing hobby as a busy mom isn’t always easy.
So I’m thrilled to share this guest post with you. Sabrina shares practical ways you can use your hobby to refresh, plus tips for finding time for one.
Also on a side note, Sabrina and I both have children with Angelman Syndrome. It’s so neat to connect with other parents who have children with this rare disorder.
Well, I better get back to the topic at hand before this post takes an entirely different direction…
Show us how to make time for a relaxing hobby Sabrina.
Did you know a hobby can help you reduce stress and be more productive?
Yes, you read that right, a hobby. New research has found that hobbies are just as important to our good health as exercise.
After monitoring the daily habits of 100 participants, scientists were able to prove that the participants who had leisure activities (e.g. hobbies) had 34% less stress.
We all know the benefits of exercise. Now, we know that taking the time to do something we enjoy is just as beneficial.
Why Do Hobbies Help You Relax?
Knitting needles, paintbrushes, and those crazy adult coloring books can all stave off the stress that ails you.
Researchers from the Zawadzki study proved that it didn’t matter what activity participants chose.
However, it did matter that it was something they deeply enjoyed.
Making time for something you enjoy helps to reduce stress.
If you’ve already planned your goals for this year, I’d like to encourage you to add one more. If you truly want to achieve all you hope this year, one of your most important goals should be continuing or starting a hobby.
Perhaps you’re aiming for more site traffic or more business. Goals and discipline are very important for work-at-home success. But, as rewarding as it can be, working hard for what you want to achieve can be stressful. Working from home with kids takes the stress up a notch.
Why not reduce your stress and get more done with a proven de-stressor?
Use a Hobby as Your Reset Button
Good habits give us the ability to accomplish all we need to in a day. Even with a fine-tuned routine, sometimes you just need a break.
Maintaining your stress and sanity helps you to keep going, and a hobby is a great way to keep it all balanced.
The enjoyment that a hobby brings will help you reduce your stress and increase your productivity.
Do you notice that things seem more trying and impossible when you are stressed or overworked?
Lisa said it well in this post about quitting. When her work and life balance was out of whack, she questioned her abilities. A hobby offers the opportunity for a re-charge and reset.
When your computer freezes, what do you do? You re-start it. But when your body freezes (headaches, high blood pressure, depression or poor performance) do you re-start?
Probably not. You’re busy with a lot to do.
The last thing you believe you have time for is a hobby.
However, it may be just the thing to strike the balance you’ve been missing. Make simple adjustments in your life to make your hobby a real possibility.
5 Ways to Make Time for a Relaxing Hobby in Your Busy Life
No matter what hobby you want to pursue, here are five ways to help make time for it.
1] Define Your Hobby
You won’t indulge in a hobby if you don’t know what you enjoy.
Years ago, I attended a very rewarding stress relief workshop. After the speaker finished his introduction, our first task was to write down the things we truly needed to refuel.
I am a regular hobbyist, but when I put those words in writing, it changed something. I kept the list and placed it on my bulletin board.
The list is a constant reminder that my hobbies are just as important as the other things on my to-do list.
Whatever your hobby might be, keep it simple. Years ago, I loved donating crocheted quilts.
It took me so long to complete even a small one. I would feel guilty that I was not getting the quilts done fast enough. It was so discouraging.
Hobbies should be fun, not something to add more stress. And the research proves that small amounts of time count. Just make sure it’s something you enjoy.
2] Quit Something for Your Hobby
To make room for something new, something must go.
Think of the 80-20 rule. Is there something that isn’t worth the time you give it? Then quit it.
Use the time you free up to dive into something that will bring you some peace and contentment.
3] Say No for Your Relaxing Hobby
If quitting doesn’t give you the wiggle room you need, saying no will. Don’t underestimate the power of saying no.
In her book, The Best Yes, Lysa Terkeurst guides the reader into saying yes only to things that matter. If you decide to start saying no, be ready to explain why.
It can be hard for your family and close friends to understand this. It took me a while to master this skill, but I no longer say yes to things I don’t value.
4] Plan Out Your Hobby
You need to plan your relaxing hobby. Yes, really, plan.
Think of all the things that happen in the day because they are planned:
- Getting your kids ready
- Helping with homework
- Making dinner
The list could go on and on. These are all planned events. Treat your hobby as a part of all the other “must-dos” in your life.
Put it on your schedule. Know when you’re going to do it.
5] Get Prepped for Your Hobby
What do you need to participate in your hobby?
Art supplies? Knitting needles? Wax for homemade candles?
Whatever you need, keep your supplies stocked and ready to go.
I love baking as a hobby. I really enjoy making vegan, gluten-free goodies for my family. So, my fridge and pantry stay stocked with the special ingredients that I need.
When I find a free moment, I can walk into the kitchen and bake; no heading to the store which may cause me to miss my window of relaxation.
Make Your Relaxing Hobby a Priority
As work-at-home moms, we will always juggle a lot and free time is not something that we have a lot of. But, by being intentional and focusing on those little things that help us relax, we can steal away a few moments to refuel.
There is nothing wrong with working hard. But, you’ll find yourself burned-out or stressed in the long run if you don’t take time to indulge in this carefree habit that is so good for you.
Take a moment to bake something, make something, read something, or sew something.
That reset will refuel you in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine.
What hobby are you pursuing? Please share in the comments and help us all get some more ideas!