Hobbies Not Hustles: Pushing Back Against Hustle Culture
Life is full of pressure. We work the 9–5 grind, watch inflation, and realize that it’s not enough to meet life’s demands. Throw in adjusting to a pandemic, along with the looming climate crisis, and it’s no wonder that there’s an anxiety epidemic.
In the middle of all the pressure and anxiety, there are pockets of peace. A walk in the forest, laying in the grass enjoying a summer breeze, a good book that makes you feel like an imaginative child again, a safe space you can go create, a moment of being — these moments are invitations to slow down. The pressure to keep up will always be there. When we slow down and nurture ourselves, we empower ourselves to face life’s challenges.
The art of having a hobby waits for us to rediscover its power. Hobbies are the anti-hustle. Of course, financial independence is worth pursuing, but there is only so much you can do before you burn out. Actually, having a hobby will help you avoid burning out.
A hobby is “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” A bonus: it comes with benefits.
- A hobby is for you and only you.
- It’s a space for you to create without pressure. There is no performance needed.
- It helps you take the lead in pursuing happiness and inner peace.
- It can lower blood pressure, depression, and stress levels.
- It can jump-start your creativity and help you solve challenges that come with everyday life.
If you’re at a loss with what to do as a hobby, you’re in a good spot to start fresh. Perhaps it’s something you’ve wanted to try for a while but haven’t, or maybe you’ll rediscover a lost childhood pastime. It takes time to get used to doing something for your own enjoyment, especially if you’ve been hustling through your days. At first, it will feel like you don’t have time for a hobby. Call BS on that. Do the thing! Spend time on yourself.
A hobby can be as creative or cliché as you want it to be. Cross stitching, crocheting, painting, rollerblading, chicken raising, gardening, fermenting, all the above in rotation . . .
Whatever you chose is best for you, prepare to guard your hobby. Protect your sacred space from the pressure to be constantly productive and keep that hobby holy. This is all about pleasure not pressure.
“You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.” — Alexander Den Heijer
A lot of us are tired. But we have the ability to control one thing in life — ourselves. We can not control what happens around us, but we can control our response and prioritize how we spend our time. Let this be your permission slip — to have fun, to explore, to rediscover what you love to do. Happy hobbying!
Jade is a freelance writer and copy editor, living in a sleepy town in Northern Ontario. She loves growing plants, playing with dirt, and staying cozy.