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Women, Hobbies, and the “G” Word

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Ladies. Be honest: How often do you take time to pursue your own passions? Daily? Weekly? Maybe, “I can’t remember the last time I crafted/sewed/blogged/took pictures/went to yoga/gardened/did whatever it was I used to do before getting married/buying a home/having kids?”
 
In our last blog post, we talked about being creative together as a family and the benefits that come from sharing the experiences. Projects aren’t the only thing created; the memories made are invaluable. So if we are going to take the time and energy to plan things for our families to do, what’s stopping us from doing those things for ourselves? Hmm, let me see: driving the kids all over creation, jobs (whether outside the home or in), housework, quality time with our significant others,  the list could go on and on. A general lack of time to ourselves, coupled with that pesky little thing call “GUILT” often keeps us from taking the necessary steps to carve out the time just for ourselves. 
We all know that independent time is important, but do we know the reasons why? No matter what kind of passion you have outside your family life, pursuing a hobby offers numerous advantages.
  1. Stress relief: According to Robert Reiner, Ph.D., a New York University psychologist,  “The act of performing a craft is incompatible with worry, anger, obsession, and anxiety,” he says. Seriously, less worry and anxiety? Brilliant!
  2. Soothing the soul: When you’ve had time to just relax and spend time doing something you truly enjoy, doesn’t it leave you feeling refreshed, both in body and mind? You are able to think clearer and remain calmer when you step back into the craziness that is life!
  3. Improved memory: If being creative can improve my ability to remember to pick up toothpaste the next time I go to the store without a list, sign me up!
  4. Remembering who we are: Maintaining a solid sense of self whether you’re a momma or not  can be a terrific challenge. However, when our children see us taking care of ourselves, we model healthy boundaries and goods habits to them.
So you’re convinced that a creative hobby would do you good. Now, what do we do about those feelings of guilt and the dilemma of time? Well, we have a few suggestions:
  1.  As far as the guilt goes, try to remember that when we take the time to take care of ourselves, our minds and bodies, and our friendships, we ARE doing good things for our families. It’s like pushing the refresh button on our souls. After time to ourselves, we feel like we can conquer that pile of laundry and have patience while keeping the peace between bickering siblings.
  2. We all keep some sort of schedule, right? Maybe yours isn’t written neatly in day planner or categorized in a calendar app (mine are in neither!), but we do have at least a mental plan of what needs to be done when. Put yourself on the calendar and don’t compromise that time.
  3. Make a date with a friend who has similar interests. Sometimes having an accountability partner is just the thing to keep us motivated and on task. Bonus?  Your hobby time doubles as friend time!
  4. Give yourself some space. Move the toys and games and books aside and create a “just for me” space. When you have someplace to go that is just yours, you’ll be more likely to actually get something done. No dragging supplies out from under the bed or digging through the closet to find your stash, everything will be in one place.
  5. Don’t feel intimidated by big projects and small amounts of time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with grand plans. Embrace your grand plans, just break them down into manageable pieces you can complete over time.
Are you inspired yet? We sure hope so! It’s time to call a few friends, make a date, and come to CREATE for a Ladies Night!

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