How to Find Time to Pursue a Hobby You’re Passionate AboutBy Steve Calechman
Hobbies can have a wonderful effect on our lives. They can relieve stress, boost confidence, increase social connections, and give us the chance to become fully immersed in an activity and easily slip into a state of flow. They can also become a way we define who we are—"I’m an avid skier,” “I’m a great cook,” “I love to work with my hands.” But too often, we put them on the back burner and then tell ourselves we’ll pick them back up again when we have more free time—only to fill every spare moment.
If you had a hobby you loved in the past, you can pick it up again, no matter how long it’s been since you let it slide. Although it may take some work to carve out some personal time in your busy schedule, the benefits are well worth the effort. Here’s how you can get back to doing something just for yourself.
Make an Attitude Adjustment
The things that have made you busy, like a career, marriage, kids, or caregiving, mean you have a fuller life. But also that the days when you had seemingly unlimited time and resources are over. For most, that’s a wake-up call. “You don’t get to do what you used to in the way you did it,” says Jeff Brown, Psy.D., sports psychologist and author of The Winner’s Brain.
You could complain about your lack of “me” time, but that’s not the best use of your limited energy. Instead, recognize that what’s happening is both natural and far from exceptional—you’re not the only one who’s dealing with this. “We have to accept that change is part of the process and life is about bending to change,” says Nina K. Thomas, Ph.D., New York-area psychologist. Put more bluntly, she asks, “What’s the alternative?”
Create a Passion Plan
The next step is to become the master of your own clock—that means figuring out just how much free time you actually have in a day, week, and month. When work, errands, and family obligations h