Despite their appeal and promise of amazing pass-time, not everyone has or develops hobbies. Intense, exhaustive, yet definitely pleasurable hobbies are not for the lazy and require substantial inner power. They need that motor that gets you off the couch and into whatever action drives you. Bringing this into motion is far from simple because, more often than not, this motor has to kick in after a full, exhaustive day of work and chores, after being pulled every each way by others, at that very moment when you feel spent and when you would rather sit tight and take a break.
Demographically speaking, especially in the first world, we’re all exhausted. Mentally exhausted, to be precise. We just don’t want to deal with stuff after we’re done with our “duties.” These are the work, the chores, the obligations, sometimes even the mannerly pleasantries towards others, the tasks that, if you ask me, spend you all up.
Hobbies require you to step over all these, like walking through filth with your gold shoes and rinsing them at the end. It is irrelevant how dirty they get. A little hosing, and they’re back to looking like new. Your next task is to ensure you have the energy to pursue them.
The entertainment industry figured out something that many of us have not: how to best tap into “prime time.” That sweet moment in the day when most people are looking for a break, for others to “do” and them only “watch.” They figured out that moment when we’re all exhausted, not wanting to indulge in anything but just being presented with images of other people doing things.
Can we easily remember what we did at “prime time” before television? Many of us don’t even want to. Yet we teach children to not spend too much time on tv or “devices.” We teach that without teaching what to replace that time with, how to search for a passion, and how to encourage them to know when their minds and bodies are at their best on a regular day. That is prime time—every day.
This is the surest path to ensure you fit your habit into the day: give it your prime time.
Research shows that pursuing hobbies reduces stress and depression and lowers the frequency of low moods. It is probably best not to have the same prime time with your partner if you’re in a relationship, especially if kids need to be cared for. Then the care time can be split to allow each spouse to enjoy their own “thing.”
Singles don’t have some of these obstacles coupled people have, but they still have them; most work and have other responsibilities that drain them.
If I’ve learned one thing during the pandemic is that how you break your day can, in fact, be in your control. You can choose to elevate your hobbies, especially if they can take place in your home, to the same importance as work or chores. We often allocate too much energy to maintaining our homes and belongings, to making money, so much so that there is nothing left of us for us.
Recognizing that hobbies are a substantial part of our identity is only the beginning. Everyone enjoys something. That something is or can become a hobby. We all have one; we just don’t call it that. Some are better than others.
There are five categories of hobbies:
- the ones that are “pause” – mental, physical detachment, walks etc
- activities / sports
- activities of the mind
- entertaining kind
I believe that hobbies that create something are the most important, as they will, as science shows us, help us live longer. Will everyone be able to change and incorporate one of these? No. But if I had a choice, I would want to be part of the ones that do.