Scenic Erie Station Village

Why You Need a Hobby

Photo of woman taking a photo with a DSLR camera in a forest. Photo credit: David Bartus

January 2021

Having a hobby isn’t just about filling your time to keep from getting bored. It can provide a brief “vacation” for your mind to help deal with the pressures of work and family.  It can provide a valuable creative outlet; especially if your career doesn’t do that. Life coaches also say a hobby can boost your confidence, increase your self-worth, and add momentum and control to your life. Based on all of that, the best way think of a hobby is as self-care. And that also means it’s worth finding a hobby and making yours a priority.

If you don’t already have a hobby, choosing one can be daunting. But there are a few things that can help steer you in the right direction.

  • Think about your personality and what you need. Do you need alone time? A more solitary hobby like drawing or running could be a good fit. If you crave connection with others, joining a knitting club or card club makes sense.
  • Think about your childhood. Did you have any passions as a kid that made you feel excited and free? Many times, the things we’re naturally passionate about as children are forgotten with the responsibilities of adulthood. Were you an avid tree climber as a kid? Maybe you should take up parkour, or an outside activity like hiking or geocaching.
  • Think about what makes time disappear. Have you ever done something so consuming that 2 hours feels like 2 minutes? Any hobby that can cause that to happen for you is a good one. It means you’ll fully disconnect from the stresses of life and recharge your batteries.

Once you’ve found a hobby that fits you, getting the most out of it depends on a few important things.

  • Prioritize it. Be sure to schedule time for your hobby and hold yourself accountable. You can’t reap the benefits of having a hobby if you don’t devote yourself to it.
  • Watch out for guilt. If you successfully devote the time to your hobby, you could end up feeling guilty about the other things you’re not getting done. Reframe it and know that by immersing yourself in your hobby you’ll improve your relationships and your performance in other aspects of life.
  • Enjoy the process, not the product. Don’t be a perfectionist about your hobby. In the end, the benefit comes from the time you devote to it. Whatever it is that your produce from your hobby is just icing on the cake.
  • Don’t treat it like a side hustle. Sometimes when people become very good at their hobby a friend will say “you could sell those.” Don’t get caught in the trap of trying to make money from your hobby. The true benefits are those things money can’t buy. If you start to feel the lure of quick cash, remember that your hobby is self-care, not a job.