What Brings You Joy?

What did you love to do as a child? Did you love to paint? Did you take dance classes? Finding a hobby that recharges you can help you overcome various obstacles in life. But what if you can’t think of one or aren’t sure where to start? 

In order to find the hobby that best suits you, consider how much time you have. Are you content with the amount of time you would have to dedicate to a pastime? Do you feel like you would need more time? These are some questions to consider before deciding how to spend your time of pleasure and leisure.

Think Back to Your Childhood Hobbies

Was there something you participated in when you were younger that you feel nostalgic about at times? For example, is there an intramural sport that you miss? Did you have an artistic side that you have left behind?

Now may be the time to re-explore that interest. Pleasurable moments from our youth can help us through our struggles in adulthood. Think back to when you felt the most joy as a child. What were you doing? Who were you with? Where were you? These can be important clues to decide where to put your energy as an adult.

Dip Your Toes in Something New

Open yourself up to the possibility of trying something new. Is there a topic that has fascinated you, but you have never taken the time to explore? Consider doing some investigative work to find ways to get involved. Albeit unconventional, just showing up in an unforeseen circumstance with no preconceived plan can make for some of the most fulfilling experiences.

Consider joining multiple groups until you find something that clicks. It takes time to find a group of like-minded individuals and you can expect a lot of trial and error. Notice the personalities of the people in the different spaces you occupy. Is there a particular group where you feel the most comfortable and safe? That may be the hobby best suited for you.

Notice When you Feel Recharged

When you have 30 minutes or an hour of time to spare, ask yourself — how would you most like to spend your time to recharge?

During this pandemic, we have all had more time around the house. People are spending more time gardening, cooking, grilling, baking, puzzling, playing instruments, crafting, walking, bonding with animals, and doing home improvement. Did you participate in any of these? Did you find one activity more stimulating than another? This may be something you want to continue to make time for in your life.

Identify Key Resources

Are there particular supplies you need to do your hobby? Do the background research and invest in yourself. Perhaps you need a new tool for home repair or a new utensil for cooking. If you choose to surf, for example, you will need to pay for classes and equipment. Also factor in any possible travel expenses. Going through this process will help reaffirm your desire to get started. Investing in yourself and a hobby can feel like a genuine treat after years of overlooking what matters most to you.

Find Friends to Partner With

Identify key people who also enjoy this hobby. You might have to join a club or start attending classes. Creating a community around a hobby helps you stay committed. Sharing an interest with someone else can amplify the impact it has on your life. For example, if you choose fly fishing as your hobby and find a group to pursue that activity with, you have more resources. You can exchange supplies and tips you learn for best practices. This can be a healthy way to let go and lean into the moment.

It Shouldn’t be a Job

A hobby is something you should be able to do for relaxation. If you find that your pastime is consuming you, it may be time to cut back or switch to other diversions. It should be a distraction from the stressors of daily life, not an additional stressor.

Pursue Your Passion

Give yourself permission to do something you are passionate about. If you love sports, spend your time on a sports-related activity. Prioritize yourself in the process and put everyone else’s interests aside for your own. Choose an activity that you can discuss for hours without growing tired of the topic. In choosing something you are passionate about, you will meet like-minded individuals and start creating a community. The process will make you a more interesting and multidimensional person.

Identifying a hobby that brings you joy is a process. Thinking back to what you enjoyed in your childhood or trying something new can lead you to something that adds joy to your life. Noticing what makes you feel rejuvenated or finding a long-neglected life pursuit — all of these can kickstart the process.

You are never too old to start something new. Taking the opportunity to work on a new part of your brain allows you to grow and expand your knowledge. Having additional talking points will help you feel more connected to other people in your community. Furthermore, you will feel more immersed in your environment as you engage in activities that matter to you.

Sometimes we get caught up with work or family and we forget our hobbies or what brings us joy. Never hesitate to do something you are passionate about. A favorite pastime can bring you relief from the stress of daily responsibilities and add a layer of fulfillment to your life. If you have never had a hobby, now is a wonderful time to capitalize on your interests and get started exploring what makes you happy. At Valiant Living, we treat addiction and any concurrent mental health disorders that make you suffer. We know having a happy diversion can help you cope in ways other than engaging in substance abuse or trudging through depression and anxiety. At our men-only facility in the Denver area, we provide you with the tools necessary to learn about yourself and what hobby you may prefer. Call us at (303) 952-5035 to learn more about how we can help.