Most of us have two major activities in our lives: what we do for work and our true interests. For those of us who work with our passions – think of the librarian lit-nerd, or the mechanic gear-head – play can start to seem a lot like work, and this can quickly suck the fun out of our lives. That’s why I believe you need a hobby: to provide you with fun outside of your career and major interests.
If you want to become a more well-rounded person, find an outlet for stress when work and the rest of your life are closing in, be inspired more spontaneously, and keep your life entertaining when the going gets tough: read on! I’ve got four excellent reasons why…
You Need a Hobby
1. You Need a Hobby for Personal Development
Knock my liberal arts education all you want, but I believe I’m better equipped for the real world than my friends who went to ITT or any other technical college. Why? Because I got a well-rounded education. I studied English, sure, but I also studied mathematics, the hard sciences, and the humanities. I graduated with a bigger, bolder perspective than I had as a freshman.
Having a hobby works the same way. When you only have a career and a major interest or two, your world is fairly two-dimensional. If you are like I am, in that you combine your passions and your career, you need a hobby to keep your horizons from becoming too constrained.
2. You Need a Hobby to Keep Yourself Sane
I’m a writer and editor – that’s my job. I’m also a feminist, a book nerd, and a video game enthusiast, because those are my major interests. I combine these aspects of my life so that I can write about feminism, books, and video games. Because I involve them in my work, sometimes the things that bring me joy start to annoy me. I get frustrated with my TBR pile, and my attention span grows too short to play games when I’m under pressure at work. By the end of these cycles, I’m depressed and on the verge of giving up.
Like me, you need a hobby to keep your life from spiraling out of control when the going gets tough. When I need to exercise my hobby skills, I reach for a pen and a sketchbook. I used to draw a lot before I started college, and sketching for short sprints has a way of calming me down. If that doesn’t work, I fill out a page in my slambook or take a few German or Korean lessons online.
3. You Need a Hobby for Inspiration
A hobby doesn’t have to be something in which you invest significant amounts of time; in fact, sometimes it’s better if it isn’t. You see, we’re all looking for something that inspires us. But if you keep drawing from the same well – so to speak – you’ll soon find it all dried up. We have to let our inspiration sources recharge and replenish if we want to get any real, regular use out of them. When you’ve pumped all your career and major interest wells dry, you need a hobby to inspire you while they refill.
One of the best things about hobbies is that they inspire you when you least expect. Having a hobby takes you to new places, where you would never have gone before you expanded your horizons and began dabbling in the new.
4. You Need a Hobby to Keep Your Life Fun
When your major interests become too closely intertwined with your career, you need a hobby to bring joy back into your life. As we’ve already covered, the lack of diversity in your life has sucked the fun out of your existence and dried up the wells of your inspiration. There’s only one way to recover.
You need a hobby, and there’s nothing holding you back. So get out there: take a class, find something interesting at your local craft store, or try a small at-home DIY project. If the first hobby you pick doesn’t suit you, pick another! There’s no limit to what you can do, and, trust me, you’ll see it’s worth the effort of a few missed tries when you find the hobby that works for you.