What is your life like outside of being a mom? Have you tied your identity to just being a mom? While there’s nothing wrong with this, I would like to stress the importance of hobbies for stay at home moms.
Do you have any hobbies?
What about your time outside of momming? What do you do with that time?
If you’re like most stay at home moms, I can already hear you saying:
I don’t have time for a hobby. I don’t do anything outside of momming. I’m a mom 24/7…
Dear sweet mom… I get it, I really do get it.
But that needs to stop.
I would challenge you, in fact, to find time for yourself every day. Find time for a hobby!
Let’s talk about hobbies and doing something creative today. In fact, let’s talk about how they can help you stress less and relax more. In short, hobbies and other creative pursuits bring balance to your life. They are the perfect counterpoint to what you do at work and in your day-to-day life at home.
I don’t have to tell you that things can get stressful, or mind-numbingly boring and unfulfilling both at work and at home. There are plenty of chores to get through each week and it can feel like they suck the life right out of you. They are usually interspersed with periods of high pressure and stress. It’s easy to see that this isn’t the ideal environment to relax and distress. We need something else in our life that balances it out.
Having a hobby or doing something creative is the ideal way to do this. Do you have a hobby right now? If so, now is a good time to make sure you set aside some time for it each week. When we get busy with “have to do’s” it’s easy to get out of balance and let the fun and relaxing stuff slide. Our hobbies and pastimes are often the first thing to go.
If you don’t have any hobbies right now and your time and energy is completely absorbed by work and family, it’s time to change that. Start by thinking about the things you used to enjoy. Think back on a time when you had some hobbies and interests. Maybe it was before the kids were born. Maybe it was before you started working full-time, or maybe it was as far back as high-school. That’s ok.
Does anything that you used to do spark your interest?
If it does, now is a great time to rekindle your love for the hobby. Maybe you used to love painting with watercolors, or you had fun creating funky art with your welder and old scrap metal pieces. It doesn’t matter what it was, get out your old supplies, buy a few new ones and see if you still like it as much. If not, that’s ok.
If you don’t enjoy your old hobbies anymore, don’t fret. You’ve grown as a person over the past years and so have your interests. Don’t be afraid to look into something new. Browse the craft and home improvement store for inspiration. See what classes are available in your community. Find out what your friends are doing. Then just give as many of them a try as you’d like. Try everything that seems interesting and see what holds your attention. It may take a little trial and error, but I’m sure you’ll find at least one past time that’s perfect for you.
It will provide you with the creative outlet and relaxation that you need to balance out your busy life. Before you know it, it will be part of your life and you wouldn’t want to miss it. When you find it, let me know what you decided to do. I always love to hear what others find relaxing and inspiring… and who knows, you may give someone else an idea for the perfect hobby to try.
After a couple of quick stress busters that work well, but may not have been your favorite, I have something fun to share with you today. Do something indulgent just for yourself. It doesn’t matter how big or small, it just has to have meaning for you.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the stress busting power of doing something just for yourself in the past. Maybe it’s running a hot bath, or curling up with a new book. Maybe it’s going out and getting your hair and nails done, or heading out for an overnight fishing trip. Maybe it’s buying craft beer and an MMA pay per view.
No matter what it was, it felt good to do something selfish and you felt more relaxed and less stressed during and after.
If you’re the type of person who has a hard time doing something for themselves and would rather do something nice for others, I need you to take today’s tip to heart. It will have a huge impact on your life, your relationships, and it will work like a charm as a stress buster for you.
If you don’t take care of yourself and do something selfish every once in a while, you’ll get more worn out and more stressed as time goes by. Because of that you’re not the best mother, father, friend, coworker, business partner etc. that you could be. When we’re stressed out, we aren’t thinking clearly. We aren’t as patient as we could be. We aren’t always were kind. It’s easy to snap at the slightest provocation and regret it later. Don’t get to that point. Take care of yourself first and make sure to treat yourself every once in a while.
The people around you will benefit from it.
Your other worry may be financial. Some of these indulgences will cost money and you may be reluctant to spend it on yourself. There are two solutions to this problem. The first is to find things that cost nothing or very little. Carving out some “me-time” and spending that time on something you enjoy like a hobby doesn’t have to cost much or anything. Taking a hot bubble bath and listening to music doesn’t.
Pick a few things that relax and distress you but don’t cost anything.
The second solution is to use spending money as a motivation to make more. Get a side hustle, work on your business, put in an hour or two of overtime, or find a few extra savings in your budget to make up for the money you’re spending on yourself. Whatever you decide to do, don’t feel guilty about treating yourself every once in a while.
If on the other hand you’re someone who has no problem treating themselves you may want to use this with caution. You want to treat yourself when you’re stressed and you’ve worked hard. Think of it as a treat that you have to earn first. Don’t use it as an excuse to go out shopping and max out those credit cards. That’s not the idea behind this quick stress buster.
Fidget spinners, cubes and the likes are the latest trend when it comes to keeping your hands busy. While they are the latest and greatest trend, fidgeting is nothing new. We all do it. We fidget with pens, buttons, keys, and anything else we can get our hands on. When we’re not fidgeting with our pens and pencils, we’re using them to doodle. I’m sure you’ve found yourself doing this during a meeting, a class, or a phone conversation.
Fidgeting helps you focus and it is a great stress reliever. If you’re not in the habit of fidgeting or doodling right now, give it a try. Handcrafts like knitting are another great option. The rhythmic motion of playing with any type of doodle device tends to slow down your heart rate and makes your blood pressure go down… all signs that fidgeting helps you relax.
Now that we’ve established that fidgeting works, it’s time for you to give it a try. Keep a pen and scratch pad close by so you can doodle while you wait, listen, or think. This works great in meetings, at conferences, or while you’re on the phone. Of course doodling for a few minutes just to give yourself a mental break and relax is always a good idea.
Next, look around the house or office and see what kinds of fidgeting devices you already have and are carrying with you. Pens and keys will work, as will stress balls for example. Make a small pile of everything that looks like a good fidgeting device and give it a try while you’re sitting around having conversations, watching TV, or just resting for a few minutes. Figure out what works well for you. Some devices will work great and feel like a lot of fun, while others may frustrate you to no end. Make a short list of the fun and relaxing ones.
Then simply make sure you have them easily accessible wherever you may need them. You can also try some of the inexpensive devices made specifically for fidgeting. Fidget spinners are the hot new trend right now, but they can get a bit annoying and distracting to others. Fidget cubes may be a better alternative. Trial and error will show you what works well for you and what doesn’t.
Then simply get in the habit of using them as de-stress and relaxation devices
Much of what we talked about throughout this challenge, and particular the quick stress busting tips, seem small. When you’re feeling very stressed out and aren’t in love with how your life is shaping up to be right now, they seem like a tiny drop in the bucket.
You may be tempted to embrace some radical change.
While selling your house, quitting your job, and moving across the country is certainly an option, it isn’t your only one. All the small changes and tweaks we’ve talked about throughout this blog post series add up to a big change in your lifestyle. Taking by themselves they are small and their impact is just as small. But repeated over 30, 50, and 100 time, they add up quickly to bring about some real change.
The key is to implement them one at a time and have a little bit of patience. You’ll get a little bit of stress relief every time you put something to work and make a small change. Even if it’s only getting an extra 20 minutes of sleep per night or starting to doodle when you feel stressed. It will start to make you feel a little bit better. The next small change will move you another step in the right direction. Before you know it, you’ve made great strides towards a more relaxed and fulfilling life.
The first part is always the toughest. Yes, it would be nice to have an easy button that makes all your stress and worries go away. It doesn’t exist. Instead, you have the capability in you to change your life for the better, one little or big step at a time. In the end, that’s much more valuable than a quick fix. You’ll feel accomplished with what you’ve done. You’ve earned the fun and relaxing lifestyle you’ve created for yourself and your family. I can tell you from experience that’s a thrilling feeling and it makes the journey that much sweeter.
Go out there and start making some small lifestyle changes. Go back to that list of things you made that stress you out and keep working through them. As time goes by you’ll start to see more and more opportunities to for little tweaks and changes that will improve your quality of life. You just have to look for them and then implement them.
Do this, and it won’t take long to make some big changes in your life. It also helps to remember that you’re not only changing your own life and how you’re feeling, but also the lives of your loved ones.
A more relaxed and less stressed partner, parent, and friend is a lot more fun to be around than someone who is under constant pressure.