Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Great Hobbies for Your Downtime.

May 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( For some weird reason, we have become a culture that only values productivity and passion when it is applied to our employment. When we aren’t at work, we’re supposed to relax and try to be as sedentary as possible. This causes many of us to feel a little bit like Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. We’re one person at work and when we’re home we’re someone else. The passion and the motivation still exist, but we feel like we have to put them on hold until we go to work the next morning.

Guess what: you don’t. There is no actual rule or even a societal norm that says you have to become a lump on your couch after work or risk being shunned by society. In fact, forcing yourself to do this can be harmful for your mental and emotional health. What you need to do is find a happy medium between the powerhouse you are at work and the sloth-like creature you feel like you need to be at home (once you’ve taken care of everybody else, of course–but BlackManAncestry-2016that’s a post for another time). What you need is a hobby.

Hobbies have gotten a bad rep since the new millennium. For whatever bizarro reason, hobbies are now something people get teased about. The truth is that hobbies are important. It’s good to have a hobby or to that you can focus on and use to help you relax and/or feel productive even in your off time.

Unfortunately, going out and getting a hobby isn’t as easy as it sounds. The hobby you choose is going to depend upon your personality, the amount of free time you have, your budget, etc. That said, here are some popular categories from which to choose.

Your Genealogy

Have you ever traced your family tree beyond your grandparents or great grandparents? Do you know where your distant relatives called home? Tracing your family history is something everybody should do at least once and it’s easier than ever now that you can get help from genealogists online.

Take Some Classes

Have you always wanted to learn about the ancient philosophers or how to code? There’s no time like the present to start learning. You can explore these ideas on your own using the internet and your local library. Or, if you learn better in a more structured environment you can enroll in classes at your local community center or college. You don’t have to be pursuing a degree, you can just take classes for the fun of it! If your schedule is already tight, you should explore the offerings through online learning portals like Coursera, EdX, MIT, Treehouse, etc.

Crafting and Art

Crafting isn’t just about fussy scrapbooks and tea cozies. There are lots of different types of crafting and knitting has come back into vogue! If fiber arts aren’t your thing, why not try drawing or painting? Maybe woodworking and carpentry is more your thing. Heck, even coloring your way through one of those adult coloring books that have become so trendy can be a great and relaxing hobby!


Yes, exercising is something many of us feel like we have to do for the sake of our health. That doesn’t mean we can’t find a fun way to do it. Instead of forcing yourself to go to the gym every day, why not take a dance class? Or start swimming? There are lots of ways to move your body that aren’t boring or repetitive. Do you have a lot of aggression to get out after work? Why not try kickboxing or even regular boxing? That absolutely counts as a workout!

Really, anything you love can be a hobby. Writing a blog, baking desserts, cooking, skiing, anything that you enjoy doing and that you want to work at doing regularly can be considered a hobby. What matters is that you take time for yourself to be happy and productive without that happiness and productivity being work related.

Staff Writer; Craig Norman

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