Tag Archives: me time

Hobbies to Try If You’re a Creative Soul

There is no denying that life is busy. And as we get older, the hobbies that we used to have can fall by the wayside. But isn’t it so wonderful when we can carve out a few hours here and there that can be used to explore hobbies and find fun creative outlets? 

Hobbies are therapeutic and great for happiness too. So here are a few creative hobbies that you can try. 

hobbies to try if you're a creative soul

Card Making

Handmade cards, with all their layers and personal touches, are really special. Using glue dots, you can build whole beautiful scenes. You can make a card whenever the mood takes you, or create a stash ready for Christmas or other significant events. If you really enjoy it, you might even be able to make a business out of it by selling your creations to friends for a few dollars or even setting up your own Etsy shop.

Writing

You might choose to start a blog, or you might just really want to keep a diary. Writing can be so therapeutic. You can write fiction and let your imagination run wild, or you might want to write about your daily life — talking about things you have enjoyed, what makes you happy, things you are grateful for and so much more. 

Calligraphy

There are tons of books out there centered around teaching yourself hand lettering. Not only does calligraphy look beautiful, but it is a skill that can grow over time. If you aren’t sold on the idea, you should take a look at some hand lettering videos. If you have decided to keep a journal, then you can use this skill to embellish it. Grab a pack of watercolor pens and see what happens!

Photography

Everyone has their own unique point of view. When you get to let loose with a camera, you might be surprised what you come up with. And it isn’t just DSLR. You can experiment with film, plates, instant and more. Picking up camera magazines will give you hints and tips about how to improve your style. You can work with the style that suits you best — some people love portraits, others black and white landscape. The joy of photography is being able to tell a story through images. There are many free courses online that can help you get to grips with some of the finer points of using your DLSR manually. But the main thing is to have fun. 

Soap

Soap making is a lovely and practical hobby. You can choose different scents and textures, and use molds too. There are so many tutorials on how to create natural soaps – which is excellent if you have sensitive skin or have family members who do. They make a great gift and can be infused with a lot of skin-loving ingredients. 

Baking

Baking for fun is fantastic. Not everyone can bake with ease, for some, it takes a lot of time to find out what they enjoy making. But if you enjoy eating scones and fresh bread, then learning to make it brings a new element of joy. Another bonus to learning to bake is having the smell of fresh bread wafting around your home. It is so cozy, and once you master a basic loaf, you can move on to more exciting bakes. 

Knitting

This is a real skill. Many people have tried and given up, but with a little persistence, you can knit tiny booties or scarves. You don’t need too much more than a set of knitting needles and some yarn to get started. If you’ve never knitted before, you are going to want to either pick up a knitting magazine with some basic patterns in or find some free online courses. Just think, by the time winter comes around, you will be able to gift everyone with something cozy and warm. 

Cross-stitch

You can buy mini kits that have everything in it. Or if you want to create something without a guide, you can pick up some cloth, cotton thread and get started. You can affix these to cards, or frame them and put them up as art. Because of the slow, repetitive motions, it is very therapeutic. 

Coloring

If you want to color in a Peppa Pig coloring book, then go for it, but if you want something more adult, check out this swear word coloring book (LOL) or coloring books featuring really intricate patterns. Coloring is something that millions of people are now including in their mindfulness and self-care routines. If you are a perfectionist, then you are going to take even longer – which is ideal if you want to while away the hours indulging in your hobbies. 

Quilting

Using clothing that you no longer wear, kids clothing that is too small, or even quilting squares, you can create a quilt for your bed, or give it as a gift when you are done. There is some mental work involved when you are piecing it together or deciding on what you want it to look like once it is done. There is something quite lovely about giving people a handmade quilt as the winter rolls around. 

Floral Crowns

Making floral crowns aren’t as tricky as they might look. You can buy plain headbands and hot-glue flowers all over it, or you might choose to use fake flowers with thin wires and twist them around to create a full crown. Have a chat with the local florist and see if you can collect flower heads that have fallen off and won’t be sold. You can offer to pay, but you might end up with a few bags at a time. 

 Letting your mind unwind and your hands work for a few hours a week is a great way to lower stress levels and have time for yourself. What do you think? Which one is your creative soul itching to try?!

My Perfect Lazy Day

Summertime is the perfect excuse for a little now and again laziness. I can totally remember, during Summer vacations in high school, ENTIRE days spent doing literally nothing. Well, besides heading to the basement as soon as I woke up (it was always so COLD…even in Summer) to watch hours and hours of MTV and maybe make a phone call or two on the landline.

With that memory in mind, I started daydreaming about an ideal lazy day in 2017. While I could still probably waste the better part of a day watching trashy reality TV, I’d like to think “My Perfect Lazy Day” would have a bit more to offer. Here’s how I see it going down…

lazy day reading in bed lazy day starbucks green tea

10 am – Reading in Bed. Put off getting dressed for as long as possible by staying wrapped in blankets with a good book. Here are a few I’m looking forward to reading soon!

11 am – Coffee Shop. Officially get the day started with a quick trip to Starbucks. I slowly nurse my iced tea or coffee while enjoying some good conversation, a perusal of my favorite websites, and a flick through the newspaper.

 

1 pm – Fish and Chips Al Fresco. To me, nothing beats dining in the great outdoors. Luckily I live in a place where the outdoors often involves an ocean (or at least some sort of waterfront view). This dish is my fave seaside fare.

3 pm – A Walk in the Park. A long, ambling walk is the perfect way to while away an afternoon. I love to bring along a camera to snap pics of the beautiful blooms. And I’ll pop in a podcast if I’m hiking stag.

 

6 pm – Pre-Dinner Cocktails on the Porch. Who wants to be indoors so soon? Not I! Time to enjoy something tropical tasting. Mason jars and stripey straws are non-negotiables.

9 pm – Binge Watch. Curl up on the couch with these handsome fellers! The Netflix queue awaits…

What’s your ideal lazy day? SHARE BELOW!!

Planner Tip: Prioritize Your Passions

planner

I’m totally obsessed with my Target Dollar Spot planner. While I keep a daily To-Do list, planning in this adorable binder has become more of a hobby (I can decorate it with washi and stickers! Weeee!) and a way to plan out my personal, less work-focused time. I plan on doing a more in-depth post about this planner in the future, but today I thought I’d share a little tip I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of! Here goes…

So, here’s the deal! If left to my own devices, I can waste a LOT of time on my computer. I love to read blogs, watch YouTube videos, and scroll endlessly through Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. When a pocket of free-time opens up I can have the best of intentions and then find myself, 2 hours later, still sitting with my laptop open. This habit is especially frustrating if you sit at a computer all day for work!

Recently, I did a little soul searching about ways I could encourage myself to turn off the screen and prioritize my passions instead. I came up with three areas of focus…

  • I’m passionate about exercising my mind through books.
  • I’m passionate about exercising my body through yoga.
  • I’m passionate about exercising my creativity through paper crafts.

Next, I took a look at my typical day. When was I getting unnecessarily sucked into the internet? When would it be easy to indulge in a little self-care instead? For me, it was occurring between dinner and later in the evening when Chet and I spend time together (usually watching TV, unwinding, etc).

So I started scheduling my “me-time” activities in my planner! I write in “Read” or “Yoga” or some sort of craft or planner spread….

planner inside

It may sound simple…but it works for me! Instead of staring at a screen into the night (when I’ve already stared at it for so long during the day), I pick up a book or make a pocket letter. I roll out my mat or I decorate my planner. Sometimes I might throw in a long walk with a podcast or a class of some sort.

Do I HAVE to stick to the schedule? Absolutely not. But I’ve found that, when mapping out my week to come, if I give my “future self” a little nudge in the right direction I’m less likely to take the easy way out. (You also may recall that I’m all about eliminating decision fatigue! Why not make the decision about how to spend your “me-time” ONCE A WEEK instead of every single day.)

Wanna implement this TIP? Here are some easy steps: 

  1. Reflect on your daily life and identify a common “time suck” activity that you’d like to eliminate.
  2. Brainstorm 2-4 passions or areas of your life you’d like to grow. Really dig deep about what makes you happy. Do you wish you spent more time outdoors? Maybe you would benefit from a weekly bike ride. Are you looking to grow your writing? Perhaps you need to set aside time for daily journaling.
  3. Next, figure out where your “me time” best fits into your schedule. This could be different each day or the same time throughout the week. I’ve found the best way to identify when you have the time is to look to Step #1. Is there a pocket of time when you typically sit staring at your phone for 30 minutes straight double tapping random IG pics? Or do you find yourself waking up early just to end up channel surfing for an hour?
  4. When you do your weekly planning, PRIORITIZE YOUR PASSIONS! Plan for those moments of free-time with a little ME-TIME!

What do you think? Do you keep a planner? Would you consider scheduling specific activities for your free-time? Or do you prefer a more free flowing approach? I’d love to know your thoughts! xoxo 

Santa Monica

6 Ways to Find More Free Time

6434 (9003179) Natalie WOOD (re., *20.07.1938 - 29.11.1981), amerikanische Schauspielerin, mit einem Pudel springend, vermutlich während Dreharbeiten. Links ein Crewmitglied des Drehteams. Ort unbekannt, undatiert ca. Ende der 60er Jahre. [SPERRVERMERKE BEACHTEN | PLEASE CHECK RESTRICTIONS! Nutzung nur mit Genehmigung und gegen Honorar, Beleg, Namensnennung und zu unseren AGB. Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung. Honorare an: KEYSTONE Pressedienst, HASPA, BLZ 20050550, Kto. 1235130877];, Außenaufnahme, color, 20. Jahrhundert, 1960er Jahre, Personen, Schauspielerin, brünett, Brünette, rot, rotes, Kleid, Sommerkleid, Schuhe, rote, Kopftuch, Pudel, Hund, weißer, springen, springend, springt, lacht, lachen, lachend, Dreharbeiten, Stagehand, Crew, Crewmitglied, Name= Wood, Natalie, a00669

A few months ago I conducted a reader survey to find out more about the folks dropping by. I asked a myriad of questions but the one which garnered answers I found the most illuminating was, “What challenges are you currently facing in your life?” There were certainly some trends. Overwhelmingly, answers discussed difficulties with carving out spaces for self-care, new interests/passions, and hobbies. This is a tough one. It’s tough to create time for yourself amidst a busy schedule.

A couple weeks ago I talked about how and why to invest in yourself, but how do we create those little pockets of time in our day to do so? How do we make time to do it all? While my answers to these difficult questions are certainly a matter of “practice what you preach,” I hope they’ll still prove helpful.

1. Track your time

Spend a few days with a pen and paper (or the Notes app on your phone) by your side and keep tabs on yourself. This is a great way to visualize your day from a new perspective and find moments that went unused, under-used, or used in a way that didn’t necessarily serve you. Pockets of time may rise to the surface once you actually have to write down “Scrolled through Instagram feed from 7:46pm-8:17pm” or when you notice you cooked really elaborate meals 5 days in a row instead of eating up the multitude of leftovers in your fridge (and you don’t even like cooking!)

2. Find things that fill you up

It’s a lot easier to make time for or prioritize your passions. If you’re having trouble identifying things you’re passionate about then definitely check out this post. Still at a loss? Pay attention to what others are passionate about and see if it sparks a little joy in you, too. When a friend beams when discussing a dance class, and you love to dance, see if you can tag along. Once you’ve identified a few loves, schedule them! Pencil them into your planner each week and stick to it.

3. Stop making comparisons

One of the quickest ways to guarantee a “full plate” is by looking to other’s lives and drawing comparisons. We see someone else doing x, y, and z and suddenly we feel the need to pile those things on our To Do list along with a, b, and c. I find this especially prevalent in the social media age. Friends who post about jet-setting to another country, keeping up a fabulously decorated house, and doing wonderfully creative things litter my newsfeed. And that’s fantastic! But as soon as my feelings go from “How awesome for them!” to “Shouldn’t I be doing these things too?!?” — I need to click that unfollow button. You can’t compare what someone else is doing if it’s their passion and not yours. Don’t pile a bunch of unnecessary crap onto your life for the sake of keeping up with the Jones’s.

6. Multi-task!

On average a person spends 45 to 62 minutes waiting every single day. Waiting in traffic, waiting in line at the grocery, waiting on hold, etc., etc. Add to that some of the more mindless activities we have to do to live our lives (Think: walking from Point A to Point B, blowdrying hair, chopping vegetables, folding laundry.) and you’ve just stumbled upon a whole bunch of untapped potential. Are there things you could be doing in these extra minutes that might bring you some joy? Could you multi-task in a more fruitful way than just pulling out your phone? How about bringing a podcast along for that morning commute or how about always having a book on hand in case you have to wait in line!

7. Say “No!”

I talked about saying “no” in this post but there are more than just financial reasons for doing so. Doing it all and saying “yes” to all sorts of invitations and obligations can cut into much needed free time, too. The same principles apply though. If you’re worried that saying no means you’ll never get asked to do anything EVER again!!! I think the best way to combat this is with honesty. Tell whomever extended the invite what circumstances are causing you to pass on this particular invitation. Giving them context lets them know that your answer is “No, not right now.” and not “No, NEVER!”

8. Ask for help from loved ones

Let those you hold near and dear know that you’re working toward a more balanced, joy-filled life. They can help hold you accountable by encouraging you to take time for the things you love once and awhile instead of just holing up with your work for hours on end. When someone else is asking you to go for a walk with them or encouraging you to spend some time scrapbooking instead of scraping dishes, these things will feel a lot more like a luxury than an item on a To Do list. An item that can easily get pushed to the bottom of the page or even eliminated completely.

Have any tips for carving out some free time in a full-to-bursting schedule? What’s your favorite way to spend your hard-earned, well-deserved time? Share below!

(Photo of Natalie Wood and her dog, circa 1950s)