As I noted recently, I recently took up volunteering with the local community theater in Southwest Orange County–a broad area north of Walt Disney World called Horizon West. I haven’t done theater since high school, but I found myself really enjoying myself. And while I have a rather unfortunate habit of workaholism, this turned out to be an ideal break. Do you have a hobby? If not, it’s worth considering.
I Don’t Have Time for Hobbies!
It’s worth making some time to do an activity that is not work related. You could make a case for exercising being a hobby, I suppose. And while I do take near-daily walks, I don’t consider that a hobby because I’m not doing anything terribly different with my brain. Hobbies are an opportunity to do something that involves mind and body. Maybe I could try thinking different thoughts while on my walks, but that wasn’t quite as fulfilling as doing some sort of activity.
Also, being an introvert, I don’t necessarily want to engage in some activity that requires huge crowds. I do, however, need to get out of the apartment occasionally and meet new people outside of my work environment. I have some very dear friends in my life, but most of them live out of state, and there is something to be said for interacting with people face to face. Phone calls and emails don’t substitute for in-person reality.
And Now for Something Completely Different
I don’t know about you, but I can get bored or irritable if I’m only done one thing all the time. If I’m reading and writing in my day job and then reading and writing in my free time, eventually I get cranky.
Hobbies are also good for your morale. I read somewhere recently that if you’ve got an activity to look forward to in your free time, it can actually help you with your confidence in your day job, so there’s also that.
Regardless of your career path, it’s worth taking time for yourself.