How you can find time for a hobby
“You really need a hobby.” Have you heard that before?
According to recent surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics signs of anxiety or depression have nearly quadrupled compared to results obtained before the pandemic. Women especially have struggled to balance careers, parenting, and household responsibilities during this time.
As important as a creative hobby is though, the thought of introducing one into the mix could add to feelings of stress or overwhelm.
Maybe you buy supplies or project kits that sit unopened because you don’t know how to start. Or, you’re struggling to find time for a hobby.
You might be intimidated by the creative supplies you’ve bought and every time you look at them, you feel ashamed that a cardboard shipping box could make you feel so small.
It can be damn hard to just start. And, that’s where micro-creativity comes in.
Micro-creativity can help even the busiest people incorporate creative hobbies into their lives which in turn can help manage stress and anxiety.
Here are 4 essential benefits of micro-creativity and how they can help you find time for a hobby:
1. It’s easy to incorporate into daily life
We all make excuses for not having a creative hobby and they might even be valid ones like “I don’t have time,” “My family won’t let me get to my creativity,” or “I don’t know what I’m doing.” When you hear your excuses, try saying to yourself, “So what, I’m going to do it anyway.”
I used all of those excuses for years. When I first started on my creative journey and wanted to find time for a hobby I challenged myself to start with just 5 minutes of creative play. I let my intuition guide me on whether or not to play longer than 5 minutes.
As an example, what could have been a mindless night in front of the tv turned into a fun dose of micro-creativity. It wasn’t a big to-do, I used my kids’ art supplies to doodle and play with colour and it took me about 3 minutes to clean up. Your micro-creativity challenge for the week: find what you can from around the house – no buying anything new – and spend 5 minutes creating something. If you feel like doing more than 5 minutes, bonus!
2. It’s about small entry points into creativity
Using small steps in a kind and gentle manner disarms the brain’s fear response so you can experience small creative wins. The key to moving forward and breaking through creative blocks? Taking small, even tiny, steps over and over and over again. Think so small, the fear response that usually holds us back is barely triggered, if at all. What’s a small step you could take today towards your creative endeavour?
For example, instead of getting overwhelmed thinking you don’t have time for a hobby, your micro-step could be just browsing for supplies, looking at inspiration online, or taking out the supplies you have for 5 minutes and seeing what happens;
I used to balk at starting anything unless I had at least an hour to do it. Now I slip in creativity whenever I can in my day, even if it’s 1 minute of imagination time. And, I don’t let myself feel guilty or ashamed for not doing more.
Micro-creativity = small creative wins and will definitely make your life more fun and interesting.
3. It’s a daily-ish or weekly-ish habit you can build on
Do whatever helps you make daily-ish, weekly-ish, or even monthly-ish changes, and over time you will begin to embody what you want more of in your life. You’re in control. The gas pedal and the brake are both yours to manage.
Sure, sometimes we need a nudge – that’s where coaching can provide support – but remember, the direction and the speed are yours to manage. Even the tiniest momentum will lead to big changes in your habits over time and you will find time for a hobby.
Creativity IS contagious. And creativity breeds more creativity like rabbits in heat. The more you do, the more you get even when it’s little snippets at a time.
Now go make some bunnies.
4. There are no expectations
Perfectionism crushes creativity. Good enough is enough. Mistakes are lessons, or as James Joyce said, “portals of discovery”.
It’s a tough one to let go of. But, as you do, I’ll bet you will suddenly find time for a hobby and that your creativity kicks up a few notches. I find I can catch myself now when I start to favour the end product over process. I’ll be like, “Hey perfectionism. Thanks for checking in but I’m good today.” Works better than fighting it.
Think about how you can start to let go of perfectionism. Maybe give it a persona – like snooty Princess Prig-bottom – and laugh at how uptight she is when she shows up.
Don’t hesitate to get to your creative work because you worry you’re wasting your time or expensive supplies unless you’re creating a masterpiece. Time to stop that.
When it comes to creativity too much good sense leads to guilt and shame on the flip side because you’re not getting to your work. Creativity is a practice and a process that needs to unfold. Do whatever you need to let it.
When I let myself just 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗳𝘂𝗻 and be okay with making something 𝘀𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗿𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆, that’s when the joy and balance flood back. So…what’s your good enough?
Tapping into your creativity is about more than painting pictures or writing a book. Or, to just find time for a hobby. Creativity is a fundamental state that helps brings meaning into your life. As you untangle from your creative blocks, other areas of your life will also start to untangle. This untangling leads to more creativity and more creativity leads to more untangling. It’s a lifelong path and journey and micro-creativity can help anyone struggling to find time for a hobby.
As a coach, I’m here to be your creative accomplice and help you make those gradual changes that will get you where you want to be. Art is freedom. But, it can be hard to embrace freedom. It’s kind of scary, isn’t it? We can do 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 and be 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦. Many of us don’t have the courage to do this though.
Creativity coaching helps bolster that courage so you can try all of those things you’ve been afraid of. It can move you closer to freedom and help you find time for a hobby. I also know how hard it can be to figure out what you love to do or how to express yourself. You might be tired of feeling like you should be able to figure this out on your own, but can’t seem to move forward.
Self-confidence and self-esteem are the building blocks of creativity. A coach can help you gently learn to trust yourself and your intuition to move you forward creatively. Reach out here to book your free consult if you’d like to chat about how I can help you with that.
For more on learning new creative habits check out:
The Importance of Beginner’s Mind in Life and Art