Hobbies for Busy Women
By Colleen Langenfeld
Everyone needs a hobby.
Do you believe this? It's true. In fact, the busier a person is, the more that person really needs a healthy, tension-relieving, fun way to relax.
For busy women in today's jam-packed society, the notion of a hobby can sound like a waste of time. Yet even though we may feel we are too busy to allow ourselves some well-deserved downtime, we still crave it on the inside.
Recently on my site, I polled my women visitors about their use of time. The question was “Time, time, time! There's never enough time to...”. The clear winner, at 26 percent among the choices offered, was “enjoy my hobby.” The next choice, at 21 percent, was “keep up with the housework.” All the other choices just trickled in after that.
Caring for the caregiver
As responsible women, we understand our obligations to others. My question is, do we understand our obligations to ourselves? How many of us fill all the cups around us only to find our own is bone dry?
Some symptoms of a lack of self-care may be:
snapping at the kids (or whoever else happens to intersect with us at that special moment)
experiencing undue worry or lethargy
just going through the motions
the nagging sense that we mustn't quit, because we know we might not get started again
a decrease in time spent on personal grooming
an increase in our personal appetites (smoking, drinking, eating, television viewing or other inappropriate/nonproductive behaviors or excesses)
Now, I can hear you already. You're saying, “Throwing a hobby into the fray isn't going to fix all those problems.”
You are right. Those challenges are as complex as the women struggling with them, and the solutions are probably going to be complex as well. However, according to the Hobby Industry Association (HIA), 60 percent of U.S. households participated in hobbies and crafts in 2002. All of those women can't be wrong!
Great reasons to get a hobby
Why should you indulge in a regular hobby that you love? Here are a few reasons to start you pondering.
• Share with your children. Teach what you enjoy to those you love.
• Spend quality time with friends -- or better yet, make some new friends by joining a hobby club.
• Reap personal renewal. Hobbyists often comment that they feel refreshed and revitalized after a hobby session. Could you be more efficient if you applied your brain to something else once in awhile?
• Get something productive back for the time you spend. Enjoy crafts? Make your own gifts. Like to read? Knowledge is yours for the taking. Love to garden? Feel the satisfaction of making things grow.
• Take ten. When the outside pressures turn up, taking a few minutes to turn to a hobby can help you diffuse the pressure inside of you and maintain the calm you desire.
• Nurture your creative side. No matter how you feel about your creativity (or perceived lack of it), allowing yourself the chance to practice your God-given creativity can really fill your cup -- you know, the cup you dip into to fill all those other cups around you.
Ready to do yourself a favor? Take a walk through a craft store. Or a library. Or ask a few friends what they enjoy doing for a break. Think about the things you loved doing as a kid. Give yourself the chance to stay on top by taking a break.
© Colleen Langenfeld
Colleen Langenfeld delivers useful tips and creative resources to working moms who want the best for their families and careers at www.paintedgold.com.