Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Importance of Hobbies

While I was working in the corporate world, my hobby was fiber arts and basket weaving.  Now that I'm weaving "full time", my hobby is beading (and hopefully soon to be woodcarving).  It's what I do when I need time off from my work, even if my work is in itself creative.  It's my time-out, my play, and necessary for my sanity.  (And yes, it certainly doesn't hurt that my hobby actually became my work.)

Sadly, many people that I know don't have a hobby nor have they found a creative outlet.  I can only continue to encourage them to dabble, take a class, try new things, until something "grabs" them. Our health depends on it!

Research has shown that people who have hobbies are generally healthier, and have a lower risk of depression and dementia.

Defining a hobby. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as a pursuit outside of one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation. It’s not something you “have to do,” but rather something you “want to do”— because you love to do it.

Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto. --Dale Carnegie

The Power of Hobbies

--by Carolyn Gregoire, syndicated from, Aug 19, 2014

Children naturally love to play and explore and use their imaginations -- but as adults, we often get so sucked into work and the demands of daily life that hobbies and creative outlets completely fall by the wayside. When you ask the average working adult what their hobbies are, there's a good chance they'll say "none." But in forgoing hobbies and personal creative projects, we may be doing ourselves a major disservice.
"Finding time for ourselves is key to our own sanity," Joyce E. A. Russell writes in a "Career Coach" article in the Washington Post. "It can actually improve all the other aspects of our lives. Having a hobby may be even more important to people who lead very full and busy lives."
Creative hobbies or side projects -- whether it's gardening, journaling, taking up a new instrument, or experimenting with French cooking -- can help us to tap into a sense of play and boost our powers of creative thinking. And regardless of whether your day job is creatively fulfilling or not, a creative side hobby that's fun but challenging can be beneficial in a number of ways.
Having an outside-work hobby you enjoy (and that also challenges you and keeps you feeling engaged) can relieve stress and give you a new way of thinking -- and it's a good reminder that work isn't everything. Some of your best ideas for a new business plan may not come while you're sitting in front of the computer with the cursor blinking, but instead when you're in a completely different headspace while engaging in a fun creative activity.
A creative side project could one day even turn into your full-time job or a project that you share with others. Enterpreneur Gaurabh Mathure, an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, turned a fun hobby into fulfilling work, a digital collection of his note-takings and journalings to share with others in creative industries.
"As we get sucked more and more into our day to day jobs and chores, it is highly important to find creative outlets that keep your creativity alive and kicking," Mathure wrote in a Medium blog post. Mathure has also said that his creative side project helped him to restore a sense of wonder to his day job.

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