In an age when women are encouraged to do it all, setting aside time to engage in a hobby that you enjoy may seem like quite the indulgence. But regularly spending an hour or two with an activity that makes you happy is essential to well-being, boosting both emotional and physical health. And when you are taking the best care of yourself by making sure you feel fulfilled and rested, you are better equipped to share the best version of yourself with everyone else in your life.
In contrast, being chronically stressed can weaken your immune system, increase your likelihood of making mistakes and strain your relationships with others—real risks that illustrate why taking time for yourself with a hobby is not a luxury. It is a must.
Whether you enjoy a meditative pastime, such as gardening or knitting, or a more physically challenging activity like rock climbing or running, you can reap the rewards of spending time doing something you love. Mentally engaging pastimes such as playing chess or reading may help improve brain function, while physically demanding hobbies such as cycling or hiking may help you manage weight and improve your energy levels.
Either way, you are taking active steps toward reducing stress and improving your overall quality of life. Plus, many hobbies offer the opportunity to spend time with like-minded individuals and cultivate a sense of community that is critical to emotional and spiritual well-being.
When it comes to hobbies, you may choose to revisit familiar activities that you know well. Perhaps you made crafts or played softball or tennis during your childhood. Devoting time to these hobbies can be comforting and fun, calling to mind memories of a simpler time of life.
If you are more in the mood for something challenging and new, talk with friends about trying out something new together, like yoga, horseback riding or even hang gliding. Find something that inspires you and invites you to get lost for a little while. Anything that encourages you to go off the grid for a little while and forget responsibilities and to-do lists for a time is ideal. You do so much for everyone else. Rest easy in the confidence that you have earned this.