How Having Hobbies Helps Me

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There was once a time when I could barely keep my head above water. I had two children who were ages two and under, my husband was full-time in a PhD program, and I worked from home. Money was tighter than tight. We were just doing what it took to survive.

I was also exhausted all the time. I would start a book and couldn’t read more than two pages without falling asleep. I kept having to re-read them because my brain had checked out and I couldn’t comprehend what I’d just read. 

Fast forward several years, and I am now out of the baby stage. My three children are much older, two of them are very independent, and I no longer have to spend my nights working late to make ends meet. Despite homeschooling and trying to keep our household running smoothly, I’ve FINALLY found time to pursue my hobbies. 

Call it self-care, me time, or whatever trendy thing you want. But I’ve found making time to pursue my hobbies leaves me feeling refreshed and more like myself. I thought I’d share some of my favorite hobbies here and encourage you to make time for yours.

Crafting

When COVID shut everything down last March, I found myself crafting most evenings as a way to stay distracted and keep calm during such an uncertain time. I’ve always enjoyed crafting, and throughout the years have done everything from rubber stamping to scrapbooking and embroidery.

Lately I’ve been most excited to craft with my Silhouette Cameo by my side. It is a vinyl and paper cutting machine, and the possibilities are endless. I even design and cut iron-ons to make themed shirts for my kids.

Reading

It took me way too many years of parenthood to finally be able to read an entire book in a timely manner. Yes, seriously! If you have a newborn and struggle to read even a page, have no fear! It will get better. One day you’ll sleep again and have the brainpower needed to read a book.

Last year I set a very attainable and lowball goal for myself to read at least two books a month. I tracked each title on my Instagram, mainly for my own benefit. But it was fun to look back and see what I’d read.

I met my goal and actually finished 28 books last year! Most of them I already owned or got from the library. (Our library system has so much to offer. If you don’t already, add the Hoopla and Libby apps to your devices and get reading.) Know what’s great about reading? It’s a hobby that truly doesn’t have to cost a cent.

Writing

You know what is truly lifegiving to me? Sitting down and writing a letter to a friend. There’s something about taking the time to pick out a card and pull out a pen and write down your thoughts. A letter lasts longer than a text and, let’s face it, a letter is super fun when you’re on the receiving end. It’s such a great, unexpected way to tell someone you’re thinking of them.  

What about you? What hobbies do you enjoy?

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Kate is a self proclaimed news geek who has worked in radio, on the air and behind the scenes, for the last 17 years. She and her husband moved to Columbia in 2011 with the intent of staying just five years...but they never ended up leaving. Originally from upstate NY, Kate has also lived in Chattanooga and Los Angeles. (Notice the theme? She moved away from the snow and never wants to deal with it again.) Kate stays home with her three children and homeschools the oldest two. Her work from home gig includes editing audio for a radio program that airs worldwide. She is active in her church, is passionate about orphan care and will never turn down chocolate. When stressed, you can find her baking or crafting while singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack.

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