Last night, I spent time practicing a few songs with a friend for an upcoming event that we're singing at together. We had both come off of a tiring weekend, and it was much needed to spend a few hours playing music together. After we'd gone through our set list, I realized how good I felt. I hadn't sat down and played in several weeks, and I didn't realize how much I needed the freedom and relaxation that comes with making music.
Music has been a hobby of mine for years. I never realize how much I need it until I'm in the moment with my guitar. I've had several conversations with my friends recently about how hard it is to have a hobby, to spend time on something just for yourself. We all agreed that it isn't easy, but that it's important to take time to do what brings us joy.
The best way to think about a hobby, in my mind, is something that brings you joy. It's crazy to think how hard it is for us to spend time doing things simply because we want to. In school and other parts of life, we spend so much time worrying about the end product. We're always working toward a goal of some sort. Taking time for a hobby allows us to not worry about an end goal. We spend time with our hobbies simply because we love doing them. Having a hobby allows us to find joy in the process.
For me, spending time writing or playing music feels so sweet because I'm not doing it for anyone else. There's nothing wrong with posting your painting or your hand-lettering on Instagram, but your hobby doesn't need to exist solely for social media. So many times I have to fight the urge to post on social media about how I'm reading in my hammock on the porch or playing guitar and drinking coffee. We need to learn how to be fully in the moment. This means deep breaths and gratitude for who the Father has made us to be.
One of the biggest ways I have learned who the Father has created me to be is through taking time to practice self-care. There are many different things I do to intentionally take care of myself, but spending time on my hobbies is one of the best things I do for my mental health. Sometimes it's easy to feel bad about saying no to friends or taking a break from studying, but you are a person worth taking care of. If there's something that brings you joy, set aside time to do it regularly. Even if you have to write it in your planner, give yourself time each week to do what you love.
Hobbies look different for everyone. I write and play music. My roommate reads. I have friends that run and workout and knit and cook. Spending time doing something that you love helps remind you of who you are. It's not easy, but it's a beautiful part of being human. Take time this week to do something that brings you joy. You deserve it.
amateur songwriter, painter, chef