Balancing work and leisure can be hard, especially with the stress of university, so our hobbies often end up on the backburner. A lot of the time it can feel as if all our time is divided between working and sleeping so at the end of the day there really isn’t any time to do the things we used to enjoy. Art is something that I’ve always done, whenever I wasn’t doing schoolwork or playing video games I was drawing and painting. Ultimately art has become a key part of my identity that I enjoy and treasure, but recently it’s become less of a priority. University is a huge commitment and it takes up a lot of our time. At times I’ve found myself feeling guilty if I wasn’t doing something work related, and even when I had a moment to myself, drawing was the last thing on my mind. It took some time but I finally sat down and realised that I hadn’t drawn anything in months, it’s crazy how time flies by when you’re stressed out. I was suddenly reminded of how happy and relaxed art used to make me feel, how it allowed me to vent out my worries and express my imagination, but I had completely neglected this part of me.
It’s a common thing to put off or even forget about your hobby during times like these but don’t worry, I’m going to give you five tips on how to consistently make time for your hobbies.
1. Set aside an hour for your hobby at least once a week.
This might seem like an obvious solution, but it can be very effective. Once you have decided on which hobby you’d like to pursue, it’s important that you work this into your weekly timetable. Building a habit is a very important step to consistently making time for your hobbies, even if it is just once a week, but you must commit to it. If you do happen to put off your session or just miss it, then that’s okay but you need to make sure you set aside a different hour to make up for it. Think of it like an appointment, you wouldn’t miss a session with your Doctor so you shouldn’t miss a session of your hobby (unless you reschedule). Once you have got into a routine, making time for your hobby will come naturally to you and as long as you keep it up.
2. Join a society.
If you struggle to manage your own time it might be useful to join a society that involves your hobby. Not only will you be obligated to take part in the sessions, since you signed up for them, you will also be given the opportunity to meet like-minded people with the same passion as you. Not to mention there are so many societies which cater to many different hobbies. If you can’t find a society or club that do what you enjoy you could consider starting your own society or joining a group that shares your interest on Facebook.
3. Be mindful of your stress.
It’s important to keep tabs on ourselves every now and then and being mindful or “living in the moment” can be very useful in this regard. If you notice yourself getting overwhelmed by stress, up to the point of no longer being productive, you may want to use this time to indulge in your hobbies. Not only do our hobbies allow us to escape from our worries, they’re also a great way to release stress. This means that after you have taken this time for yourself you will be left feeling refreshed and ready to deal with your next task.
4. Check if you are wasting time that you could be spending on your hobby.
As a student it can be very easy to find yourself procrastinating, but instead of sitting on your phone, try taking time for your hobby. Since you can consider your hobby as a productive use of your time, instead of feeling guilty for spending the last hour watching YouTube videos you can now feel slightly less guilty for taking time for yourself. The main point being if you’re going to put off work so that you can spend your time doing nothing you might as well spend it doing something you enjoy.
5. Try multitasking.
If you’ve tried all the above but still can’t seem to make time for your hobby, you may want to try multitasking. This can be harder or easier depending on what your hobby is, but in my case, I might try using my art as a form of revision. For example, back in college I started making comics to revise for my psychology exams. Feel free to get creative if it means that you can multitask.
Overall, hobbies are a form of self-care and it’s important that we make time for them no matter what they are.