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Balance Your Life...

Do you have a hobby? Some of you are reading this like, “Who the heck has time to do something fun?” 🙄 I know Life can really wear you out, but everyone needs an outlet to get their mind off the everyday hustle and bustle of work, taking care of the family, making sure the house is clean, etc. Psychology Today says there are six reasons to get a hobby, which are:

  • Hobbies help you structure your time.

  • Hobbies promote flow.

  • Hobbies can foster new social connections.

  • Hobbies make you interesting.

  • Hobbies help you cope with stress.

  • The benefits can spill over into other aspects of your life.

You can read about all of that in the linked article but today’s blog will discuss just a few hobbies you can try out if you haven't done so already.

 

🖍Coloring. I travel often for work and I have a habit of visiting airport bookstores just to see which Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Connelly, or James Grippando books I can find. I love murder-suspense-lawyer-unsolved mystery type novels. Anyway, probably around 2013 or so, I started noticing more and more coloring books for adults on the shelves. I was curious so of course I bought one. I hadn’t colored in God knows when but I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed I felt coloring after a long workday.

I read somewhere that coloring is the same as meditation. When you color, your mind isn’t spiraling with thoughts. It’s quiet and its resting. It’s focused on the task of choosing the right colors for certain sections and coloring within the lines. There are even coloring books out there with stress relieving patterns. In 2017, I stayed with a friend for a few months waiting for my house to be finished. I opened the drawer of the nightstand in her guest room and to my surprise there were coloring books, crayons, color pencils, and markers. Well I’ll be damned. She colors too. Ha! And then…I find out that my daughter’s favorite teacher also loves to color. So, this is truly a thing. Get you a good coloring book. Pick a time of the week to pause your mind for while. Find a quiet space out of the way of everyone and color…without the children. I just so happened to have a friend, Nancy Scaife, who created her own coloring books. You can find them here: Artistic Rootz. There are so many others you can search for under that link as well. Let me know if it relaxes you as it does me.

 

🌼Gardening. I wish I had my mother’s green thumb. My thumb is the least bit green. In fact, it’s brown, the color green plants turn after I get ahold of it. 🤦🏾‍♀️ I’m determined not to give up on gardening though. I love seeing things flourish. This is a hobby I’d like to explore more because there is nothing like seeing something you’ve nurtured turn into something lush and plentiful. For us beginners, gardening doesn’t have to be something elaborate and expensive AND you don’t have to have a large outdoor space to start. Let’s start small.


I don’t have a yard where I currently live, but I do have a lanai (patio/balcony) so I purposed by lanai as my outdoor sanctuary. It’s where I go to read, have my coffee, and morning talks with God and the ancestors. It has my favorite calming colors of greens, blues, and yellows. It includes pictures of my family and ancestors. It has candles and stringed lights overhead for nighttime lighting. But it was missing greenery. I wanted to beautify this space with a little bit

of wanted to beautify this space with a little bit of nature as well, so my mom and I set off to the thrift store. Starting a new hobby doesn’t mean you have to go broke doing it. We racked up at the thrift with the cutest planters and a few pieces my mom and I turned into planters. She’s so creative! Check out the slideshow: 👉🏾




You can do the same. If you want to start gardening, transform your outdoor space, no matter the size, into a mini garden. Go to your local thrift store and get you some odd pots and plant stands. Go to your local garden shop or hardware store and get some dirt and seed packets.

Gardening is said to be therapeutic. Even if you do it just to be the envy of your neighbors, give it a go. 😄 Make sure you research which plants are best for your area and what they require as far as sunlight. There are tons of gardening tips online. Now your outdoor space can be the place you go to color. Ha!


 

📸Photography. If you love taking pictures or just memorializing the beauty around you, this is a great hobby to get into. You really don’t need fancy, expensive camera equipment to do it…unless you realize you’re pretty good at it. Your phone will do the trick. If you plan this hobby out, you can photograph by theme.


Get your cellphone and get outside. We're not always able to afford a professional photo shoot every single year. I am determined to have family photos taken every year so I set them up myself. First, I look on Pinterest for family photo shoot ideas. Then I choose a location, grab some props and of course my phone, and I get to work. Some of my best pictures came from my phone. Take a look below. We were able to create Back-to-School pictures with the first set and Christmas cards with the second set, all done from my iPhone. and we had so much fun in the process.


Photography is fascinating. It’s so much more than just taking a picture. It’s the framing, the scene around your subject, the lighting, the cropping, the background noise. Speaking of background, what’s it doing? Should it be in focus or blurry? Does that give the picture a different meaning? Do you place your subject in the middle of the frame? What difference does it make if you off-set the subject to the right or left? Where is your light coming from? Do you want shadows in your picture? There’s so much to convey with photography that you can really get lost in this hobby. Think about it. You can establish a scrapbook for yourself based on different themes like below.

  • Nature

  • Rural

  • City

  • Black and Whites

  • Portraits

By creating a scrapbook, you’ll be cataloging your progress and how your photography changes over time. It’ll say a lot about what you were feeling at that moment and could possibly serve as visual diary of what you were going through in life during those sessions. As you develop your skill in this hobby, you can start searching for new places to shoot and exploring different vantage points. How different is the picture when taken from different angels? And if you get really good at it, you can turn this hobby into a lucrative business.


Shoot, I may start this as a hobby of my own. 😉

 

🧩Puzzles. Oh how I love a good puzzle. In fact, I received my first 1,000 piece puzzle as a gift 22 years ago and I have it hung in my house RIGHT now! Completing puzzles is much like coloring. It's a form of meditation and allows you to quiet your mind to only think about the task at hand. My best friend LOVES Annie Lee artwork. He got so obsessed with her artwork in puzzle form that once he completed the first one he just couldn't stop. Everyday he came home from work, sat at his table, and worked on a puzzle. It was so therapeutic for him and allowed him time to recharge after a long day at work. This man now has 14 completed Annie Lee puzzles that he plans to frame and display as an art gallery in his new home. Here's a collage of all the Annie Lee puzzles he's done. And now he has to find another hobby because he doesn't have the wall space for more Annie Lee puzzles. 🤣 Look at these. Wouldn't these make an awesome gallery? Also, imagine how much time this took to piece together. These puzzles were so satisfying to piece together over nearly a three year time period.

My parents are in their 60s and also loves to do puzzles. Well...actually my mom does 85% of the puzzle and leaves my dad sections for him to do just so he can say he helped. LOL! My mom doesn't have a particular theme. She loves just about any puzzle with lots of colors. When they come in from gardening, some of their quiet time is spent doing puzzles. They sit quietly, working away. My mom even has a special table to do her puzzles on; something like the one found here on Amazon.


Maybe you can start doing puzzles by yourself or with your significant other. You can do any puzzle like my parents for peace and relaxation or you can start a theme, glue them together, and frame them as artwork. Let me know which you decide and share pictures with us when you start!

 

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦Family Time. I included Family Time as a hobby because while we all need moments of downtime away from our responsibilities, your family needs a little enjoyment with you as well. When I was a child, my family had mandatory Family Nights. My teenage siblings would rather be out with their friends but once we got started, we had the best time playing board games and laughing at my mom being upset for losing. The game of monopoly usually involved a board flip at some point. To keep the whole family balanced, we must find things we can enjoy together. It can be as simple as Board Game Night, Pizza and Movie Night, having a gathering in a park once a month with outdoor games, etc.

Recently, my daughter and I flew kites for the first time ever. It was a challenge as we had no idea how to get the kite in the air and then to keep it up. Once we figured it out, we really had fun with it. I was amazed at how something so simple could be so much fun. We were outside in beautiful weather. We worked together to figure it out and I learned that my 10-year-old is better at flying kites than me. Wanna see joy on your kid’s face? Be worse at something than they are. Pure joy let me tell you. It’s ridiculous! LOL! Anyway…..

Have fun with your family on purpose.

Create dedicated days that they know they will get all of you, uninterrupted. A great mentor of mine tells me often to make time for my child. She tells me to continue to spend this quality time with her and reminds me how important it is to do while she’s young. She says it will come back in amazing ways when she's older.


I’m always trying to find ways to do Life with my minion. I don’t want to be the Mom who is only always trying to keep her in order. I want to be the Mom that she wants to spend time with now, so she’ll want to spend time with me when she’s older. After all, she’s a pretty cool chick to hang with.


Here are some other hobbies and activities to get into solo or with your family.

  • Fishing

  • Sewing/knitting/crocheting/needlepoint

  • Painting

  • Dancing

  • Cook together

  • Play sports together

  • Workout together

  • Schedule video game tournaments

  • Do arts and crafts

  • Build something

Please share with us the activities you do with your family so that we all can try them.

 

Life. 🙄 It requires so much of our time and energy. In order to balance our life, we have to find ways to replenish that energy. Purpose time in your day, week, and month to a hobby. Do something that will quiet and still your mind. Do something that will give you time to recharge so you can get back to the grind. And we all know…the Grind. Never. Stops.

Please feel free to share in the comments the hobbies you and your family enjoy together and apart. Until next time family….Peace and Blessings.

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