By Jamie Rieger
Most of us have some activity we can turn to at the end of a stressful day to help us wind down and we look forward to our free time when we can spend time enjoying those things that help keep us on an even keel.
Hobbies have a calming, relaxing effect and can help erase all the clutter from the noggin at the end of a long day or week. Some people sew, some people garden in the summer and do crafts during the cold, winter months. Others like to fish, hunt, jog, or paint. The list of popular hobbies is almost endless.
I’ve had lots of different hobbies over the years, but most currently, I enjoy photography. Getting outdoors with the camera and snapping pictures of things not work-related is a great way to whittle away a few hours and get some fresh air while trying to capture a moment in time that would otherwise go unseen. Not to mention, it is peaceful, and is a pretty good stress-reliever.
Not only are hobbies relaxing, but most motivate us to strive to improve; whether it’s crocheting that perfect afghan, writing that inspirational poem, running that extra mile, or hunting that prize elk that keeps eluding you.
The most important thing about having a hobby is to actually enjoy it. If you are doing it because you think you have to or if you find that you are pushing yourself to do whatever that hobby is or get that project finished in record speed, then it is not really a hobby any more, is it? A hobby should never feel like work.
No matter how busy our lives get, it’s important to find something enjoyable to take up as a hobby. Go for a walk, a hike, a jog. Sit down in the evening with a good mystery novel or jigsaw puzzle. Get out into the fresh air with the camera and work on your photography skills. Join a club. Write it all down. It doesn’t matter what you do, just enjoy your ‘me time’.