Hobbies are meant to be fun, right? I started this website as a hobby. I enjoy writing. Particularly, I like writing about topics which help both myself and others feel better about themselves.
But every now and again I sit at my computer and draw a blank. The cursor stares back at me, begging me to write ANYTHING. The result? A big pile of bugger all. The pressure mounts and mounts and I stop enjoying it. In fact, I end up actually feeling bitter about it all and start giving my laptop the stink-eye!
So this takes me back to my first sentence. Hobbies. Are. Meant. To. Be. Fun!
I have seen other people go through similar things. Stressing because they don’t have time to meet the schedule they have put upon themselves. Making their downtime into something just as tiresome as the job/housework/taxes they are trying to escape from. Why oh why do we do this to ourselves?
I have been taking the summer to think about this and working out what is important to me. Did I really enjoy writing? Maybe I should give up the website? Or should I force myself to continue. I had put years of effort into it after all, it would be a shame to let it go now.
And that’s when it hit me. We are all trying to lead such perfect lives that we forget we are human. We end up treating our hobbies like jobs so that they look perfect to others. I found myself setting all of these rules that I had to stick to, sucking all of the fun out of it in the process.
So the solution. Detox. I decided that I would do a trial period without my hobby to see if I missed it. This was also a perfect time to detox some of the other things I really didn’t enjoy doing. You might have noticed I have dropped Twitter and Pinterest. I have NEVER enjoyed Pinterest, and Twitter was becoming more and more of a negative part of the internet. Why keep these things just ‘because’?!
A few months later (about two weeks ago to be precise), I started to feel the pangs to start writing again. My question was answered. But before I started up again, it was important to me that I didn’t fall back into my old ways again. Forcing myself to write because I had a schedule to keep to, for example.
I also realised none of us have just one hobby any more. Aside from this website, I have a YouTube Channel, Instagram AND I volunteer with the Girl Guides. That doesn’t leave a lot of time spare to see friends or family. But as they say, if you want something done, ask a busy woman!
As it has been the summer, I haven’t been going to Guides, so I could detox from all of my hobbies at the same time to see what I wanted to prioritise. Turns out, I didn’t want to drop any of them (I think I stopped filming for about two weeks!). BUT. I could streamline my hobbies and just focus on the aspects I wanted to do and actually like doing, as opposed to trying to do it all because that’s what I feel I should be doing!
So I put it to you to take a step back from those so called hobbies which are stressing you out. Remind yourself what drew you to it in the first place, why you found it relaxing and enjoyable. Maybe even take a hobby detox yourself. See what it is you actually miss about it and focus on just those aspects.
I think the message I have from all of this is to make sure you are ENJOYING what you do in your free time! Hobbies are not meant to be another thing we dread doing. So if you are starting to feel this way, take a step back and reflect on why you took it up in the first place. If you don’t like it, DON’T DO IT!