I have always been one of those people who said, “if I had more time, I’d have a hobby.” When you’re busy all the time and don’t find much down time for yourself, it is hard to imagine having the time to learn a new skill or even do something regularly enough to consider it a hobby.
A while ago I decided- no more. I’m a mom now and if I don’t have some sort of hobby, I might completely lose having something that isn’t work or family oriented. That’s when I tasked myself to find some hobbies that work for people like us. The people always “too busy” to add anything fun or personal to the schedule.
Why should we have hobbies? Lots of reasons and at the end of the day, most of it is centered around your mental health. It’s important to have something that’s YOURS. Not your family’s, not your work. Something that helps give you a break from the world you spend most of your time in. People with hobbies have a better time coping with daily stress and overall say they are happier more than those who don’t.
In a life where there isn’t enough time, here are some things you can slip in to give yourself that space that is carved out for your enjoyment without it overwhelming your over scheduled days.
Do you enjoy the traditional Christmas time puzzle? Puzzling might be a good hobby for you! The best part about doing a puzzle is that it can be a long term project. Leave it on a table and work on it little bits at a time as you walk by the table. Do it at night before bed to help you unwind and fall asleep more easily. Do it in the morning to help wake you up.
If you like to keep your handy work, you can glue the puzzle afterwards and get it framed. I have several large puzzles we have completed over holidays around my house. Most people can’t tell they are puzzled and ask about the “painting” that’s hanging!
You are probably thinking, “writing?” I know. But hear me out. Writing isn’t something you need to have experience at or even be good at for it to be a beneficial hobby for you. You don’t need to be creative either.
Writing is a great hobby because of the variety it provides. You can journal. You can write short stories. You can write a memoir. Poems. Songs. It’s endless. It’s very structure-free which means it bends to your schedule. It can be put down and picked back up with ease. Whether you have five minutes or a night to yourself, you can do this hobby- and take it on the go! This kind of hobby is great for someone that is moving around all the time. Between the Notes app on your phone and keeping a notebook and pen on you, it’s easier than ever to start writing as soon as you’re inspired. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
If you read the first too and are still convinced you don’t have time for that… what about cooking? At some point in your week, you’re going to be preparing yourself a meal anyway. Put a little passion behind the meal next time and see if cooking could be a good fit. You have to eat, so this one can slide into your schedule with greater ease than most hobbies. It’s a great opportunity to try new foods and learn about what’s in some of your favorite meals. You might even find a niche and become an amazing sushi chef or bread baker! (I found out I’m pretty good at making sushi a couple years ago.)
4. Become a Google local guide
This is a unique hobby that sounds really cool when you tell people about it. Yeah, you can just become one of these. Start leaving reviews and photos on Google of all the places you go to! Eventually Google will name you a local guide. Your reviews will be what gets pushed for people to see. You can help people decide what they are doing that day. How cool is that? It’s a hobby that is centered around whatever you already do with your life so there IS enough time to try it out! Restaurants, hair salons, stores, plumbers. Leave a review to get started!
5. Listening to podcasts
Always popping in your headphones to listen to music in the background of work? Switch it up to podcasts. Not only is listening a hobby itself but it might help you discover something else you love! Like true crime, stand-up comedy, or meditation. No matter your interests, there is likely a podcast. We have some here on ALT AZ!
I was so into one podcast that I joined the Facebook group that the podcast hosts made for all the fans to join- and so many people are in the group they made sub-groups by state. So when I moved to Arizona, my first friends were girls I met on the Arizona sub page! So don’t be afraid to dive deep into the fandom of a podcasts because you can make some cool connections that way.
6. Random acts of kindness
More people should make this a hobby. This is a hobby you can do literally ANYWHERE! Kindness makes the world go round and there is not enough of it lately. From taking someone’s grocery cart back to where it goes, to paying for a strangers coffee it really isn’t that hard to participate.
Anyone can do this because it often doesn’t require money. Sometimes it’s just a smile at someone who needs it. When you are a busy person, taking the 2 minutes to think about someone else is a great reminder to slow down a little. It’s grounding. Click HERE to see some ways you can perform random acts of kindness within your routine!
7. Give yourself weekly challenges
Sometimes the reason you don’t have a hobby is less because of the time and more because of the fact that you get bored of things easily. Being busy all the time can often be a result of being easily bored. For the people who can’t stick to things very long- make your hobby weekly challenges. Make a goal for the week and go for it. The next week, reset and find a different challenge. Fitness challenges, creative assignments, meditation, or even just challenging yourself to clean the whole house are just some examples of how you can explore this as a hobby. You don’t have to pick just one thing- the art of trying new things is absolutely a hobby.
8. Be a collector
Many hobbies comes and go but collecting you can do forever. It’s a pick up and put down kind of hobby that you don’t have to actively do. It’s more of a “stumble upon” activity. I love to grab postcards or stickers from the places I go! I stick them all in a travel scrapbook. I think it’s best to pick things that are small and something you can’t buy too often so you don’t end up with a room of doll heads or something crazy- but your hobby so up to you!
Before picking up any hobby, my best pieces of advice are make sure you can afford it and make sure you have a place to store it.
Your household might hate you if your new hobby is scattered all over the house with no real place it belongs so make sure you have space to support your new activity.
It’s time we realize there IS time for a hobby- it just might be an unconventional one. But remember a hobby is just any activity done regularly in your free time for pleasure! As long as your enjoying what you do- it counts. Soak in those fleeting moments in your busy schedule. Take care of yourself and you will have more to give back to everything else in your life.