Creative passion projects. Who has time for those?
You're busy. I get it. We all are. Between crazy work deadlines, raising kids, and managing a home, how can one fit any time for leisure, right?
But did you know that dedicating at least two hours a week to engaging in arts and hobbies is all you need to improve your mental well-being?
Researched-based benefits of picking up a creative hobby.
Research done in Australia found that those who dedicated 100+ hours a year engaging in arts and hobbies had significantly better mental health than those who dedicated less than 100 hours a year to their hobbies.
There's also other scientifically proven research on the benefits of making time for hobbies or pursuing creative projects. Here are some of the findings:
- Journal of Occupational and Organizational Recovery - Creative activity was positively associated with recovery, promoting relaxation, control and mastery, and improved work performance.
- Journal of Leisure Research - Employees with hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to burn out.
- Association of Enjoyable Leisure Activities With Psychological and Physical Well-Being - People who engage in enjoyable leisure activities help to improve physical health with lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index.
But I don't have time.
You may think that picking up a hobby may add to your stress as it means finding time in your hectic schedule.
Somehow we have it in our minds that we will be less busy in the future and have more time for a creative project, maybe once the kids are older or when we're retired. So we push aside our wishes to practise or learn a new craft to make way for the responsibilities in life. I always hear people say they want to pursue something they are passionate about when they have more time.
Here's the reality, there is never enough time.
Many career coaches and successful business leaders recommend committing to a hobby to handle work-life stress better and promote creative thinking. If two hours a week is all you need to commit to a creative pursuit to enhance your well-being, maybe it's worth it to make time.
There are a total of 168 hours a week.
That's right; there are 168 hours in a week. So in this perspective, two hours a week engaging in an activity that brings you joy and can potentially improve your well-being is worth committing to.
"Yes, but I'm not awake 168 hours a week. I need sleep!" you may argue. However, even if you take away eight hours of much-needed beauty sleep seven days a week, you're still left with 112 hours a week.
I dedicate at minimum half an hour almost every day of the week to doing something that brings me joy. I blog, read and do creative journaling. These are the creative pursuits that I am passionate about. Just half an hour a day for the past few years has positively changed my life.
If two hours a week is all it takes to bring joy into your life, what are you waiting for?