When I moved into my first apartment, my mom told my new roommates that I bake when I’m stressed. I laughed and told them it was very true. I don’t think they minded the seemingly endless stream of cookies, cupcakes or the random Pinterest munchables.
A few semesters and apartments later, my roommate and I took up a decent chunk of the living room with bits of fabric, thread and sewing supplies. You know how I know there’s someone watching out for me? Nobody stepped on a needle.
More recently, my ball of yarn bounced around the living room, running over some of the beads Adrean Garner had spread out on the floor and bouncing off Kaitlyn Leatherman’s foot. And as I worked on row after row of crocodile crochet stitches, Adrean took apart strands of beads and Kaitlyn cut up felt and applied glitter.
After a stressful day, it was the perfect cure. Each of us working on our own projects and enjoying the other’s company, while a show played in the background.
I think it’s moments like these that occasionally saved my anxious mind from going into overload. On really bad days, once I’m home, I’m not leaving unless I have to.
So, I fall into my hermit-hobbies: baking, sewing and crocheting. You might think this makes me a grandma. I’d think that’s awesome because my grandmas are amazing ladies.
And my hobbies just might contribute to me living to be a grandma.
According to a study in 2009, “individuals who engaged in more frequent enjoyable leisure activities had better psychological and physical functioning.”
The study not only reported greater life satisfaction and social support among those who participate in leisure activities but also lower depression and blood pressure and a better perceived physical ability.
Personally, I’ll take the health boost (and maybe just about any excuse to do something fun).
Some people love to hear that hobbies make you better at your job. They’re not wrong. In fact, Entrepreneur lists eight ways will help you to do just that. But personally, I agree with Jaya Saxena when she wrote for The New York Times that although hobbies make you better at your job, it’s important to separate the two.
“For many of us, expectations of an “always-on” working life have made hobbies a thing of the past, relegated to mere memories of what we used to do in our free time,” according to Saxena. “Worse still, many hobbies have morphed into the dreaded side hustle or as paths to career development, turning the things we ostensibly do for fun into… more work.”
So in the future, as life gets busy and stressful, make sure to make the time for a few of your own hermit-hobbies. I think you’ll find it’s worth it.