I received free product from Winnie’s Picks but all opinions are my own.
We are all born creative. As a child, our artistic impulses and motivation were powered by curiosity. This curiosity was then encouraged.
But as we all grow older, we are somehow discouraged to continue creating and tapping into our artistic sides for two simple reasons:
First, we are not from a family who has enough connections to be the next da Vinci or Picasso and second by people’s different tastes and views in art and beauty.
We are encouraged to create if there’s a sure market or audience for our creations because our goal is to make a living.
Society made sure that we will fear uncertainty which killed our innate passion to create and express ourselves. We let our inner artists go, we finish school instead and aim for a good paying job.
In a way, this is also to strike a balance. A fully functional society should have both producers and consumers in respect to law of supply and demand.
Maybe not everybody is designed to be an entrepreneur but this shouldn’t be the reason for not having a creative hobby because next to breathing, the other most normal thing for a human to have is emotions. And to be as normal and healthy as we all want to be, we must be able to fully express these emotions.
Stop Wasting Time
If you’re like me whose time is more important than money, then a creative hobby is a very good way to conserve it.
Related Article: How to Stop Wasting Time and Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever!
Having a creative hobby helps in killing bad habits.
When I was still part of the corporate world, I only worked between eight to nine hours a day if there are days that I didn’t want to do overtime. I would party after as if I was a Hollywood star or binge watch my favorite series.
I would hang out and kill so much time until I needed to go to work again and until I woke up one day asking myself, if I am just working for eight hours, sleeping for eight, resting for an hour or two and working out for an hour, where do all my other hours go?
This is the time where I started trying other sports like tennis and Muay Thai. When I still was not happy with how I was using my time, I started teaching English to my Syrian and Pakistani neighbors. I started traveling alone.
Related Post: How Traveling Solo Stopped me from Sabotaging Myself.
Time became my most precious commodity and I couldn’t just stay on the couch and not find answers to my questions like “Is this all what there is in life?”
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I needed something more tangible. I needed something that will show me that I have more time for my life than what others have on mine.
I made it a point to have more experiences using my time than material things. Growth became my priority. I had more questions as I grew so no matter how sad and lonely it all felt, I continued searching. I continued asking.
Read also: What Motivates You?
I didn’t know that the time I thought I was wasting was the time I needed and the time I used to have an outlet to express myself in a way that have never done before.
If you feel stuck but change nothing in your old ways, then maybe getting started with being creative will help you to feel revived. Trust me, you’ll be amazed at how much time you really have.
Good for the Brain
We tend to become complacent over the time. We love our comfort zones so much that we forget that everything grows and evolves and this growth shouldn’t exclude us.
We continue to do what we are programmed to do and we tend to oversee that there’s no time left for self improvement.
We don’t realize that if we don’t do anything new, anything that challenges us, we are not training our brains to work differently. We are not allowing our brains to expand. When we stop challenging our brains in learning new things, we are stopping ourselves to reach our full potential.
Our bodies will age but our brains stop at the same point where we stopped trying something new for the fear of failure or being uncomfortable. We settle for what is comfortable and refuse to grow.
If we don’t allow ourselves to learn, we will feel stuck. New experiences make us feel refreshed.
According to studies, some hobbies have the ability to improve memory and brain’s cognitive functions because the brain is being put to use.
Picking up a new hobby also means picking up new skills, useful life hacks, tricks and insights.
Even people who are on the top of their games have hobbies that allows them to improve and innovate.
Mental Health Benefits
Related Post: 100 Little Things That Make Me Happy
Instead of overthinking, over analyzing, over dissecting and putting negative thoughts in constant repeat, the attention is being shifted to present.
At this point, I wish I can tell you that depression and anxiety attacks are myths but that is a lie because I wasn’t spared from it and this blog is the creative hobby that saved me from seeking professional help and the chances of being under medication.
Related Post: How Journaling Cured my Depression
I have forced all my negative emotions to come out by naming and writing them down. I listened to myself and even for those days that I needed to stay in bed, I grabbed my smartphone and used it to vent out.
I told myself that it is only me who can fight it and I also told myself that I don’t want to feel like sh!t anymore so I got up and find something that I am comfortable doing.
I didn’t want to be around a lot of people so I tried to find a way to do something which will not make me be surrounded by people. All it required was me and my journal and later on, me, my journal and this laptop.
It might not look like I am doing a lot of different things but actually, everyday is a different learning day. Imagine running a magazine publication just without the printing part of it and I am the only one running everything.
Everyday, I have reasons to get up and set my inner demons aside.
My heart feels lighter, my head is clearer and now more focused on my daily tasks and my new hopes for my writing.
When depression hit me hard, I thought my life is over but actually, it is just the start to dream a new dream even in my thirties.
I thought chocolates, sweets and fries are the only fix to my sour mood but I was wrong. There’s actually a better way to be in a very good mood. I just needed to dig deeper to the root of this foul mood then remove and change it.
Related Post: How to Change Your Mood Instantly
Stress is normal and it is a major part of our life because of all our responsibilities but why not find a better way to stress?
I found a healthy kind of stress. A stress that I look forward to every time I will wake up and feel a different sense of fulfillment before I go to bed. The stress that I will not cringe just by thinking of it like the banking and customer service job that I used to have.
This creative hobby made quitting smoking not hard at all.
As my relationship with my creative hobby got stronger, my self confidence improved too.
The more that I allowed myself to be a beginner, make mistakes and be open to criticism, the more that I learned to trust myself and what I could be capable of if I will go further with my creative journey.
My creative hobby did wonders to my self esteem. I cared lesser about critics and naysayers. I also developed a different kind of patience for myself. It taught me how to master a thing before moving to the next when before I would just drop anything at the first sign of hardship.
My insecurities started to melt away.
I was so scared to be called out for my poor web designing ability and daring to write this blog in English. I was scared that nobody would want to read and that my sanity would be questioned for even trying to tell the world that I couldn’t keep up anymore and that I am showing my weakness to everyone but no. I pushed past them and continued to publish an article after the other.
I set my fears of not having a popular blog aside and just focused on writing for my recovery. Whenever I feel that the progress is to slow and that I can’t seem to be achieving the financial goals I set for this blog, I go back to the reason why I wanted to have this blog so bad.
Who would have known that this will lead me to talking to brands, marketing executives and collaborating with other content creators who wanted to work with me.
Money is not the sole intention in starting this creative hobby. The goal is to heal, to grow and help others find their way to recovery too.
Every article I dare to publish adds to the strength I’ve gained.
Every emotion I openly talk about is every wound I allow to heal.
When I openly talk about every new dream I have and every goal I wish to achieve is already a step closer to it.
Perform better at Work
This article is a product of my other creative hobbies.
Let me explain. I have been wholeheartedly blogging for a year now and this is the first time that I skipped publishing a new article for nearly two weeks.
I have driven myself to burn out. Honest reason? I have been working so hard since I found out that blogs can be monetized and I made myself believe that it is so easy and my limited technical prowess didn’t help expedite it.
I thought just being able to write articles are enough. I forgot that I don’t have a famous name or a team to make promoting it easier. Imagine how ashamed I was for even thinking of it.
Even my bones screamed exhaustion. I honestly thought of quitting, selling this or hiring help only to realize that my love for this little page is enough to hold on it.
Related Post: Things to Remember When You are About to Give Up
I took time off.
Instead of obsessing on which of my other articles I should work on, I gave it a full stop.
The time I usually devote to this blog was used to going to stores and finally deciding to make time for all the other little hobbies that I have promised to try.
In this two weeks, I switched from painting, to finally trying calligraphy to making my first pizza from scratch ever, to baking, to reading more, to pampering myself and to starting Winnie’s Picks’ Paint by Numbers for Adults.
(Follow me on Instagram for #everydaymagic and tag @thisvillagegirl for your daily mindfulness practice for a chance to be featured. )
I finished two books on the first week and binge watched Netflix.
In less than two weeks, the wish to quit vanished and I am back with few more topics and drafts. My other creative hobbies allowed me to perform better at work that I do and imagine what it can do for you too.
After trying something new, I went back to my old routines with fresher outlook and more energy to continue slaying my goals.
Being creative connects us to higher power.
Every time I will go back to reading my old posts, a part of me still couldn’t believe that I have written them.
I still say that there’s no way in this lifetime that I could have come up with that. I am just a poor village girl who wished to stop myself from asking the Universe thousands of questions that seemed no one is interested to ask, to answer or even talk about.
I never knew that these questions will lead me to a different way of life. A life that material and physical stuff don’t matter.
I didn’t know that my bizarre life questions will lead me to ask the Universe if I have gifts and how can I use them in exchange of my peace of mind.
I never knew that tapping to my creative side will allow me to listen to the purest whispers of my soul which will allow me to express myself better.
A Different kind of Connection
Creative hobbies pave way for a different kind of relationship. You just don’t meet colleagues, hangout with friends or get together with families.
Creative hobbies are a great way to meet like-minded people which can lead to a different kind of connection because one knows what the other goes deeply feels about something.
Aside from making you more interesting because it changes your perspective, it also gives you a very good topic to start conversations apart from what you do for a living.
When you talk about what you are truly passionate about, you give away a hidden or even the buried part of yourself that no other can see which makes you more attractive, authentic and unique.
Side Hustle to Dream Job
Most of the business books I have read are about how the authors turned their creative hobbies to side hustle to their full bloom businesses.
They have successfully monetized their passion.
Had I read that earlier, I wouldn’t have wasted a lot of my time hanging out. I would have forced myself to find something I love creating and turned it into a product people would love to buy then I wouldn’t have to experience midlife or quarter life crisis.
However, I still see my depression and my struggles as the best things that happened to me because without them, I wouldn’t be able to learn important life lessons.
My struggles are worth it. Without them, I will still be the person I was before I had them. I would have aged but not grow.
And without these struggles I wouldn’t be able to have a creative hobby that I now call my side hustle, dream job and my heart’s every desire.
Blogging and writing may not be for you but there are other possibilities and avenues where you can be paid doing what you truly love.
All you have to do is start.
You don’t even have to quit your job. All you have to do is ask yourself what you want to try and who knows where it will lead you like when I started converting my intrusive thoughts to a blog.
There is no better time to start but now because tomorrow is not a guarantee.
There are so many free information on the internet and all you have to do is explore your interests and take little actions close to it everyday.
Allow yourself to wonder and look for the answers.
Your dream job and your dream life are waiting for you outside your comfort zone.
Make Retirement at Ease
What will I be doing if I am lucky to reach retirement age? How will I spend every single day of my life then?
My mom used to wonder why my grandmother loves to cut empty bags of chips after washing and drying them. My grandmother makes pillows from them which my mother or any member of my family asks for whenever they need new pillows.
My grandmother is old. There is nothing that she does to kill time. This is all that she cares for. It may look nonsense to others but to her, it is being productive and creative. It helps her with her retirement which not a lot of old people where I am from does.
This is why I’m so impressed when my host mother brought me to join her painting class. She’s 76 and she started painting after she retired. She used to teach Biology in French and being used to a lot of things going before the retirement, she’d have a lot of time in her hands. She needed to do something worth her time for sure.
In my country, this is something unheard of old people stay at home and do literally nothing.
In that same painting class, I met another lady who used to teach Mathematics and picked up painting and writing poems after retirement. She said that writing found her in her 60s and I feel so lucky to have attended one of her art exhibits in her garden.
Creative hobby favors no certain age. Anyone can start anytime and not just when time to retire comes however, it makes the transition smoother. Our lives or careers shouldn’t end at retirement.
We can find something outside our day jobs that truly sets our souls on fire. Something that will rewire our brains to help us be the person we want to be. Besides, there’s no better time to start than the adult years where we have a different understanding of things.
Nothing beats the wisdom and the knowledge acquired through the years. Who knows, this could be the start of a new career. The one that you truly love.
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(Photo Credit: unsplash.com)