Make time for your hobbies

A daily routine without a creative outlet becomes repetitive. We wake up, go to work, go to class, finish assignments and go back to sleep only to repeat the same cycle the next day. 

In order to decrease burnout, it is important as students and as human beings to make time for hobbies we enjoy. Whether it is going for a walk, playing a sport, drawing, crocheting or even scrapbooking, including a portion of our creative outlets within our day will help boost our mental health. 

According to a study completed in New Zealand by psychologist Dr. Tamlin Conner, engaging in creative activities can lead to an improved sense of wellbeing with potential long lasting effects. Participants felt a higher positive affect or mood and a sense of flourishing days after they engaged in a creative activity. 

Regardless of learning the benefits, it can be difficult to get started with a change in routine. We may contradict plans to be adventurous because of time, and prioritize other obligations than our own interests. Breaking structure is intimidating, but we can arrange gaps in our day to coordinate with a hobby. 

If the time in a day is overwhelming, it may be helpful to look at a bigger picture: a week. For the more organized, writing down spare time and keeping it in a schedule gives a reminder to look for this healthy distraction. If a week’s worth of obligations lack a minute of time to self, it may be time to turn down tasks. It is okay to say no to things when we don’t have time to ourselves. 

As college students, being online is not only a part of our curriculum, but also our social lives. Social media can sometimes be an endless, unescapable hole and all of a sudden, all of our free time disappears. Being aware of the time we spend on our phones, television or tablet and switching it to a hobby will be more beneficial to our minds. 

If the most difficult part of finding time for a hobby is the hobby itself, a simple google search can make a big difference. There are quizzes online with recommendations based on interests we already have, or a deep dive into YouTube videos with people indulging in creative expression can spark a few ideas for how to get started. 

Hobbies give us a sense of self; they are spaces to enjoy life outside of pressure. Dedicating time for our hobbies will not only help our minds, but also help us get to know ourselves as people. 

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