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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Good Hobbies for Relaxation, Creativity, and 'Me Time'.

Whether you are sticking magazine cut outs into a book, or repeating 'om' in your head according to your breathing, hobbies are great activities to slow things down and think. They can support calm and relaxing feelings, or can promote creative and fun ways to both record and organize your thoughts. Most importantly, hobbies create 'me time'. They enforce time for you to do something for yourself and this is something that I think is very important. It is easy to get lost in the redundant pattern of the everyday, whether it's school, or just hanging out with your friends (now that it's summer for some of you guys), but, it's good to stop and take some time out for yourself. This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be doing these hobbies alone (though you can), I simply want to suggest some activities that I find to be really beneficial and important to myself personally. Lets get started!

Relaxing Hobbies
1. Hikes  
There's something about the sound of crunching dirt under my feet that I love. The wind blowing at me, and the smell of fresh air. I can walk anything off, that's what I have began to learn this year. Hiking is a great way to empty your mind, or to think over something important. It's a good social and anti-social activity. And, it is beautiful. Hiking is open to changing depending on how you feel, because the activity puts a lot of the power into your hands. You decide on the environment, the path, the pace, even the distance, it's all in your control. Not to say that if you enjoy hiking you are a control freak, my point is that it is an activity that shifts according to your mood and personal preference. What a great way to exercise, while also getting thinking time into your day. 

2. Yoga
Though I myself rarely participate in any form of yoga, many of my friends practice it like a religion. After school they are always pumped to sweat (what is usually equal to a limb) in their hot yoga class, or to relax and breath in their meditation yoga lesson. Yoga comes in many forms; there's restorative yoga, Vinyasa yoga, hot yoga, Anusara yoga, and even partner yoga! All focus on different parts of the body and mind, though I can imagine that after any kind of class, you would feel great.

Creative Hobbies
3. Embroidery 
The art of embroidery has really began to be recognized this past year. Many artists, students, and creative individuals have been highlighted in this practice, and it is beginning to become a highly experimental art form. For my birthday I got an embroidery kit (best gift ever) and since receiving it, I have been sewing away. The act of sticking my needle through fabric and slowly drawing an image out of thread really is fun and calm for me. The practice is very slow, and not for extremely impatient people. However, I find myself to be picky with long term projects, yet there is just something about finishing an embroidery project that I get so much satisfaction out of. I keep starting more, so that must say something. You don't have to know what you are doing to start. There are many blogs and videos that give helpful advice on techniques and materials that you need. Plus, it's fun to see your art get better as you grow and improve as an artist. 

4. Photography
Documenting events, friends, and basically your life is an important part of growing up. We are constantly getting older. As we age, we all look back at our old self and say 'Was I really that stupid?' or 'Wow, I was annoying!'. But how did we grow into the people we are today? Don't you want to remember the version of 'you' that you are right now in this moment? Photography is a great way to record that. With visual images you can see many changes that have occurred throughout your life. You can see small changes like the clothes you wore, or how you did your hair and you can also see drastic ones, like the friends you hung out with and your changes in lifestyle. Photos hold priceless sentimental value that can help you remember and discover things from your past or present. You can snap a photo of anything, and once you look at it, no matter how long it has been, memories will start to come back. 

Me Time
5. Journal
When you hear the word 'journal' maybe people jump to the idea of a diary. Well, this is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the kind of journal that is a book for your creative side. Yes you can write your thoughts and about your day in it, but you can also create collages, and paste in song names, and draw portraits of your boy/girl crush (next to the page where you wrote their name 30 times in a row). Journals are more than just a recap of your day, they are creative outlets. They can substitute as a sketchbook (another important hobby) and are made to be wrecked. Draw on every page. Spill food onto it. Take it everywhere. Your journal should turn into a book filled with inspiration.  

6. Discover Music/ Make Cd's
When was the last time you made a playlist, and burned it onto a Cd for a friend? If it was this week, then skip this paragraph because you are already set in this topic. Music is big part of many peoples lives. It is a great way to connect with others, and yourself. Though enjoying your favorite song is fun and nostalgic at times, it is good to make sure that you are constantly discovering new stuff. Share bands you love with your friends. Make collaborative summer playlists together. There is no better feeling than when you find a new favorite artist because a friend showed you. Now they're connected to that album, or that song, and you have made that track even more meaningful. Expanding your itunes library can be only beneficial, until it is too full and you need to start finding other ways to store your tunes ;).

7. Self-Assigning Projects
Lastly, projects. It's good to always have something to work on or fall back to when you're bored. Projects make you grow as a person and help you expand and learn. Self assigning projects are the best because you're giving yourself time to work on something that you are genuinely excited about. Have yourself learn a new song on guitar, or plan a photo shoot with your friends. Once you can play with ease, or finish developing your photos, you know that you've expanded on your knowledge or practice of something you enjoy, and that should feel pretty damn good. 


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