“Live your best life” is easier said than done, but having hobbies is a step in the right direction! As a mom of four, having hobbies doesn't come easily. I know every parent can relate to this! It's something I've had to prioritize and intentionally work into my life. And the effort has been worth it – they have been so good for my mental and physical health – to reduce stress, to remind me to enjoy life, to connect back to myself, and have something to lose myself in that is healthy and fun!
1 – Hobbies Pour into OUR Cups
For those of us who are caring for kids, grandkids, elderly parents or have jobs as caretakers, we really need hobbies. We need that time to pour into our own cups as we've been giving, giving, giving all day long. We need that special time to give back to ourselves – and that is our own responsibility. It's not the job of our husbands or friends, or parents to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. Because they also have to take on that responsibility for themselves! We must take charge of pouring into our own cups. Find little pockets throughout your day or week where you can do something that makes you feel relaxed, uplifted, and connected to yourself.
It can be something as simple as drinking a cup of tea in the afternoon while you've made the kids have quiet time or nap time in their rooms. Or reading your favorite book, or crafting, crocheting, knitting, gardening. Or telling your husband that you'll be going to get a pedicure that weekend, or a haircut. It doesn't have to be big, but do it on a regular basis and it'll help you to be able to take care of your kids later on with less stress.
2 – Hobbies Reduce Stress
The older I get, the more I see the negative effects of stress. It's nearly impossible to live your best life with overwhelming stress. It affects everything – our health, emotions, relationships, mental state, productivity, success, weight, beauty. I used to believe that pretty much every disease was caused by poor diet, lack of exercise and toxins in our environments. However, I believe more and more that stress is the number one cause of disease. When we are choosing to be joyful, grateful, and making the most of what we have, we make better decisions. We choose to eat better, be more active, hang out with healthier people, and so much more. So I feel like our mental health is the number one priority if we want to be healthy, successful and live long lives.
Hobbies help to reduce that stress. When I've had a long day with the kids, I love escaping to my ballroom dance classes or choir practice at church. I'm reminded that I have talents outside of being a mom or running a business. I can connect back to myself again, fill up my own cup. I feel more relaxed because I'm doing something I really love and enjoy!
3 – Hobbies are Similar to Meditation
When you choose a hobby that you truly love, you can lose yourself in it. All sense of time and space is lost, and your brain can stop the never-ending cycle of negative thinking and worrying, and surrender to the present moment.
I feel like that when I'm dancing and singing. I forget about problems back home, and live completely in the present. It makes me feel like a kid again! And kids are our best teachers when it comes to living in the present and living with joy.
Meditation has some very powerful health benefits – like lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, thinking more clearly, raising confidence, reducing pain, boosting the immune system, and so much more. I believe it's because we are connecting with the larger part of ourselves – our souls, our spirits – which is connecting with God. And hobbies can help do that!
4 – Hobbies Can Help You Succeed in Your Career
My advice is to get serious and live your best life. I hired a business coach at the beginning of 2018 and one of his many suggestions to me was to have a hobby or moments throughout my day and week where I could totally relax and surrender to the moment. I told him I'd been wanting to get back into ballroom dancing for a long time, and he held me accountable to call them and go do my first class. He believes that hobbies, or anything that we truly love to do, should be part of our regular routines. It helps us to come back to our jobs and responsibilities refreshed and renewed, thinking more clearly and efficiently.
I've now performed in several shows, done several competitions, and have made some wonderful friends at the ballroom dance studio I called. It has been the perfect fit for me and has been just what I needed to feel like a beautiful woman again. Having kids can really take its toll on a woman's body and I had begun to feel really frumpy and not feel like myself. It even gave me the confidence to start my podcast and an Instagram account just for Curly Girls. It's also given me the confidence to pursue things that truly are right for me and bring out my best qualities and talents.
5 – Hobbies Improve Self-Esteem
Making the decision that you are worth taking care of and pouring into raises your feelings of self-esteem. To live your best life, you must intentionally setting aside time to do something for yourself and that helps you to feel more valuable and worthy. And we are all valuable no matter what we have accomplished or contribute! (Read more about that in my post – Why We are More than Our Labels).
If you feel like you are often taken advantage of, I encourage you to become aware of how you view your own worth and value. When you feel you are worthy and important, it causes others to treat you as worthy and important. Setting boundaries aren't as necessary because people around you will know you mean business about yourself as they see you taking care of yourself.
6 – Hobbies Improve our Relationships
You know how they say absence makes the heart grow fonder? I think it might be because when we have that space from others to connect back to ourselves, we come away from that time filled up, refreshed and excited to see our kids, spouses, co-workers, etc. more. And they need to also know that no one is more important to us than ourselves. That helps them to respect us more when they know we will put our own happiness and contentment first. It helps them to be responsible for their own mental health as no one can be that for another person. It is a decision we each make individually to choose to be grateful, content and happy. Happiness is not an emotion, but a CHOICE.
We can also make new relationships through hobbies by meeting new people who like to do what we do! It's the perfect way to bring people together in a non-stressful, fun environment.
See More of My Inspirational Articles Here to Help You Live Your Best Life!
- Why We Are More than Our Labels
- How to Let Go and Surrender
- How Not to Take Things Personally
- How to Stop Beating Yourself Up
- How I Stopped Striving and Found Peace
- The Power of Knowing Yourself
- Seven Powerful Statements and Oils to Use to Crush Negative Thinking
- How to Break Free of Comparison and Find Peace
- How I Found Emotional Freedom
- How I Broke Free of Complaining and Found Joy