When the term burnout was first coined, people associated it with senior executives at corporations. It was some time before it began to be associated with entry-level employees who, unlike senior executives, couldn’t delegate unpleasant tasks to subordinates and then take credit when they were completed.
Today, burnout is impacting millions of people all over the world across all industries. That reason alone is why so many people are turning to their hobbies as a way to destress after a long day of work, and in most cases, it’s work that stresses them out and they’re not passionate about it anyway… But what if your hobby could be your “out?” What if the very thing you enjoy doing could be the very thing that gets your out of your unhappy job rut?
Allow Yourself Time for Your Hobby
Allowing yourself some time after work to indulge in a hobby can benefit not only your health but your work, too. If your job is not challenging or stimulating for you, letting yourself take time for a hobby can help you experience eustress. Eustress is something you do to stimulate your mind and provide you with the challenges you’re lacking at work.
If, on the other hand, you’re in a high-stress job where you feel like the pressure never lets up, a hobby can provide you with some much-needed downtime. Hobbies offer relief from both physical and mental stress. They give you some time away from the responsibilities and burdens of work.
Physical Side Effects of Stress
Excessive stress can cause a whole list of physical ailments, from headaches and difficulty sleeping to anger and irritability, and a lack of motivation. Some people respond to stress by overeating. They must always have something to eat in their hands. Others go in the opposite direction and stop eating.
Hobbies as a Social Activity
Depending on the hobby, they can also provide you with a social outlet. You might go play a round of golf with friends, join a knitting circle, or a creative writing group, for example. A new social activity is people getting together to work on jewelry projects and exchange knowledge. These all help you benefit from what is being called positive psychology, which is the study of how we need to bring pleasurable emotions and sensations into our lives.
Even a hobby like miniature trains can have a social outlet. You could attend a miniature train show or start up a conversation with someone who’s also shopping at the hobby store.
When People Start Taking Notice of Your Items
You may become skilled enough at your hobby that you start giving away the items you make to other people…a shawl to a younger relative or a painting to a friend. Other people notice how nice your items are and start asking if they can have one. You may need to start selling your items.
Once you start giving away or selling items you’ve hand-made, you realize that you need to create a brand and label to let potential customers know who made it, and there is a myriad of options for how to label your items.
If you make clothing items, a great way to show off your brand and your talents without messing up your actual garment are to use iron-on labels, so that it doesn’t stick out or irritate the skin.
Designing your label can involve choosing a color, a texture, adding a logo, etc. There are so many options. But this is a hobby, so take your time making your decision. There’s no boss here demanding you have a report to him in two hours.
This hobby could be your way out of an unhappy work situation and be the stress reliever you’ve always needed. Consider profiting off your hobby for a healthy work-life balance.
*Photos by Charles Parker