Do you ever feel bored in life? Maybe your daily routine has become a little too routine and you find yourself waking up, going to work, coming home, watching TV, then going to bed only to do it all over again the next day. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Or perhaps you have little ones at home depending upon you for EVERYTHING. And although you love your kids dearly, you feel as if a piece of you is missing. A tiny piece of passion and independence that somehow mysteriously vanished the minute you became a parent.
Maybe you even fall into a third category consisting of someone who describes themselves as “passionately curious” and are ever in search of that “one thing” you’re “supposed” to be doing with your life. You’ve bounced around between majors, careers, and interests throughout your life, never sticking with one thing for any length of time.
Regardless of which category you fall into, I’ve got a solution for you! A solution which brings happiness, curiosity, and fulfillment back into your life all while re-igniting that zest for life you once had.
And it all starts with hobbies.
Society today thrives on being busy. We bounce from task to task while constantly trying to stuff even more into our already packed planners. Entire websites and businesses are devoted to the concepts of “productivity” and “efficiency.”
But what does all this busy-ness really bring us? A sense of purpose?
Hardly. If anything, the constant activity in multiple directions leaves us with more questions than clarity.
It certainly doesn’t bring a sense of peace or calm. And neither does it always bring accomplishment because the minute one thing is crossed off your list, 5 more things pop up.
In our quest to gain more, do more, and be more, we have forgotten how to simply be. We have mastered the art of being “busy” but have, in many regards, lost the art of truly living.
But it wasn’t always this way. There was a time when slowing down was not only accepted but encouraged. We recognized the need to periodically stop and recharge. To pursue interests and activities simply for the sake of fun rather than money or fame.
And I’m here to say that pursuing multiple hobbies is not only beneficial for your mental health but also has far-reaching benefits for your friends, family, and even your physical health. In short, it’s time to stop being busy and to start adding meaning to your life!
You may be wondering why I advocate for the pursuit of multiple rather than a single hobby. And the short answer is that I’m multi-passionate. My interests range from a type of horseback riding called dressage to playing classical piano and anything in between.
I also love quilting and in recent years have taken up blogging.
Hobbies form an integral part of my self-care and my life would be incredibly dull without them. Even when I was in the midst of an incredibly demanding graduate nursing program while working and being mom to 3 young kiddos, I continued to actively pursue these hobbies.
And I know it sounds crazy but there are actually huge benefits to incorporating multiple hobbies into your life. Read on to find out exactly what those benefits are and for tips on how you can incorporate multiple hobbies into your own life.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s, there are few.”
One of the greatest benefits which comes from pursuing multiple hobbies comes from being a beginner. And as a beginner, you are completely free to make mistakes all in the name of learning.
You are free of any expectation to perform at a certain level because you’re simply trying to learn the rules of the game.
And there’s so much beauty which comes from being in the beginner’s mindset. You become unafraid to try new things. The tendency for perfectionism disappears because the only expectation is to try. You are also typically eager to learn as much as you can about the topic and therefore gain a great deal of new knowledge in a short amount of time.
As a beginner, anything seems possible and you’re not limited by information you don’t yet know. It’s easier to be at peace with yourself and the world.
Being in the beginner mindset opens you up to an infinite number of possibilities that you may otherwise never consider. It catapults you far from your comfort zone and into the vast unknown.
Taking up new hobbies not only propels you outside your comfort zone but it often also pushes you into a new social circle. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, connecting with others who have similar interests has never been easier.
Thanks to Facebook groups and all the other forms of social media, I can almost guarantee you can find your tribe out there despite social distancing and mask mandates.
You may be wondering what having multiple hobbies, happiness, and connecting with other people has to do with each other. It’s simple, really.
We need social interactions. It’s part of our genetic make-up and without socialization, rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions skyrocket.
Even if you tend to the introverted side, socializing with others who share your passions comes much more easily. Because let’s face it … most people are probably not as interested in knitting, painting, or blogging as you are. Wouldn’t it be amazing to connect with others who share your passions? Or to have the ability to ask in depth questions about your hobbies from someone else who has also been there?
And I have personally met some incredible people through my various hobbies. People I can’t imagine my life without.
Yet another benefit of pursuing multiple hobbies is that it simply adds interest to your life. I’m as much of a fan of Netflix as the next person but when have you honestly felt good about yourself after a binge session?
I can say with confidence that Netflix has not contributed to my life in any meaningful way. It does serve as a distraction at times but never gives me the same sense of accomplishment or purpose that my various endeavors do.
Netflix also has never positively boosted my self-confidence or self-esteem. But learning to play that classical piano piece which gives me goosebumps every time I hear it?
Instant confidence booster.
Having multiple hobbies gives you an opportunity to focus on whatever interests you that day. It gives you the freedom to pursue whatever hobby fits into your day without necessarily leaving your other ones in the dust.
And when things get tough at home or at work, you still have the appeal of your incredibly fulfilling hobbies to get you through the day. I can’t tell you how many tough days I’ve gotten through simply by looking forward to picking up the reins or cracking open a book of music at the end of it.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Did you know that when you pursue a variety of interests, you actually become more creative? And that your ability to problem solve also becomes stronger?
As someone who is multi-passionate, I’ve always gotten looks of disbelief from people when I tell them I studied music in college before switching to nursing. It’s almost as if people can’t quite reconcile a fine arts degree with such a science based one.
But if anything, my background in the arts has given me creativity. And believe me when I say that there are times when science could use a little more creativity!
Even when you have multiple hobbies versus diverse college degrees, you are still gaining a knowledge and skill base unlike anyone else’s. Your approach to any problem, whether at work or at home will therefore also be unique.
Having multiple hobbies forces you to use your brain in completely different ways than you would at work or even at home. Regardless of the direction you take, expanding your thinking by getting outside your comfort zone and trying something new is a win!
One of the best things about having multiple hobbies is how much your life satisfaction improves when you pursue your unique interests. Although you may have goals at work and at home, pursuing something simply for the fun of it is exhilarating!
There are many days in which it’s my hobbies which get me out of bed in the morning. They give me a reason to get through the day and spark my inner curiosity and passion.
Hobbies are the icing on the cake of life.
Having interests outside work and home gives you something else to focus on when things get tough. It gives you motivation to get through those tough days and can even serve as a reward for doing so.
Hobbies improve your overall satisfaction in life by giving you the freedom to pursue whatever you’re interested in. They provide a break from the stress of everyday life.
And the best part? If you don’t like a particular hobby, you’re free to move on to the next one!
One of the greatest benefits of having multiple hobbies is the opportunity to involve your family.
No, your spouse may not be as eager as you are to get out there and ride a horse but talking about your interests with them helps you grow as a couple. Sharing your passions improves your intimacy. It also gives your spouse an opportunity to support you in different ways, even if as a spectator or sounding board.
Your choice to pursue multiple hobbies can open up your spouse to new opportunities and ideas as well.
Not only can you be a positive influence for your spouse but you have the opportunity to be one for your kids too. Exposing them to a range of interests has so many benefits in their learning and development. This exposure can inspire their own passion for a particular area and broaden their horizons.
It also shows them that adults can be beginners, learn new things, and even (dare I say it?!) have fun.
What better lesson can there be?
Now that you’re convinced having multiple hobbies has too many incredible benefits to pass up, you’re probably worried about time.
I’m guessing your schedule is already packed to the max and you don’t think you can fit one, much less multiple, things in.
My response is that where there’s a will, there’s a way. In other words, if you really want to make it happen, you will.
The biggest tip I can give you is to start small. Carve out a tiny chunk of time just to dip your toes in the water. Think 5 or 10 minutes of one activity a day.
I also recommend you think about fitting all your activities in on a weekly or even monthly basis versus a daily one. Speaking from personal experience, you’ll go crazy if you try to do it all every day.
And if you’re anything like me, you’ll find that your interests vary from day to day anyway. In other words, there will be days when you’re more excited to pursue one activity over the others. That’s ok! Go where your heart leads.
I truly hope this post has inspired you to branch out and explore a few new hobbies! The benefits which come from having multiple hobbies are too great to miss out on.
And although you may have concerns about limited time to pursue hobbies, having multiple hobbies can actually improve your time management skills. If you have something to look forward to, it can be much easier to efficiently plan out the “must do” activities of your day so you arrive at the “get to do” activities that much more quickly.
Amanda Bradley is a wife, mom, dressage rider, pianist, blogger, and nurse practitioner who is passionate about inspiring other women to overcome obstacles and become the best version of themselves. Her blog, Only Getting Better, covers topics including perfectionism, navigating life as a multipotentialite, and courage, among others. On any given day you can find her practicing Rachmaninoff, chasing after her kids, planning out a blog post, or covered in horse hair at the stable.