Get A Hobby… Now!

Freelancing can be a challenging and exhausting profession, demanding more than just your time and skills in varying degrees of intensity and difficulty. Regardless, the rush that you will get from pushing yourself to the limit for a special or favorite client is as great (or almost as great) as a sugar high. And just like sugar high, a pet project leaves you drained and exhausted once it’s over. Thst is, if you were able to get the project done before burnout takes the wind out of your sail.

Burnout happens when:

You take in too much projects
When you take your projects too seriously
You don’t give yourself time to breathe in between projects
You have a project that is robotically repetitive
You do not allow yourself to take on variety in projects

There are so many ways for you to avoid and/or cure burnout, but nothing does it better than a hobby. Yes, a hobby. For me, it gives me a chance to reset my brain whenever I hit a snag in my projects. As I am writing this, I am already indulging on one hobby – which is writing.

But this is not my only hobby. I have so many hobbies, but there will always be one who will be on top, and that is gardening for me.

Gardening

It is a great hobby because there is an almost Zen-like experience whenever you go down on the dirt to till the soil with fertilizer and plant seeds. Depending on what kind of garden you have, your garden will give you fragrance, beauty, color, and even food on your table. The physical labor helps your brain relax, reboot, and refresh itself, and you can almost feel it breathing while you’re doing your gardening.

Band Looming

I can still remember the time I bought my daughter her very own Rainbow Loom. She got so excited, she made bracelets right away. It may have started in the US for a couple of years already, but looming started to launch here in the Philippines and I got the bug like crazy. You will be using rubber bands and use a loom to create bracelets, headbands, bags, and even clothing (if you’re brave enough). Rainbow Loom has a long detachable loom, a monster tail, and a new finger loom (coming out September).

Musical Instruments

Piano, guitar, violin, flute, drums, take your pick. There are so many scientific studies regarding the effects of playing your own musical instrument ranging from relaxation to improving your concentration, critical thinking, and creativity. It also requires total dedication, so you must think of it only as a hobby, and not a training for the biggest philharmonic concert. I tried the violin once, but failed miserably because I was so much into my dream of playing with an orchestra. I did it like I was off to a battlefield instead of something that should help me relax.

Cooking

Now, nothing is as delicious as preparing a meal that you have been craving for what seemed like ages, or cooking up a simple dish that your friends and family would enjoy. I forget almost everything when I am cooking, especially during prep work because my knife is ridiculously sharp (total concentration unless I plan to miss a finger or two). Every sizzle, every bubble, and every steam that comes out of the pot helps me relax in many ways. Start by trying out a simple recipe until you get the hang of your favorite chef’s techniques. Who knows, it might become a passion that can spruce up your blog or freelancing career. Or maybe even launch you into Masterchef!

Get Out Of That Chair

And start on that hobby. The world will not end if you take some time off from work. And besides, if your client values you, he or she will support your need for an occasional break every now and then when things get edgy. As with other responsibilities, your hobbies must be done in balance with your working hours so that you will be able to get the best of both worlds.

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