When Your Pandemic Hobby Becomes a Real World Pain.
You started a garden. Learned how to bake. Became a seamstress. The pandemic was a dark mark in American history, brought about by a virus that was no respecter of persons. With shelter in place and work from home orders in effect, a lot of us developed “pandemic hobbies”. Whether we did it because we had the time to try new things or we needed extra money, these hobbies it helped us to keep our sanity. They helped us to live, especially when life seemed so fragile.
Now that the world is finally turning the corner on the pandemic and as more cities and states open up, you might feel guilty that you don't have as much time to keep up the hobby that you were so eager to start. It's okay! You can only sustain what you can maintain. So, if you're trying to decide whether your hobby needs to stay or go, ask yourself these questions.
Does my hobby bring me joy?
According to Bizwomen, 31% of women started a pandemic hobby for mental health reasons. If your hobby leaves you with a sense of peace in your mind, body and spirit, then find a time and space to continue it.
Has my hobby benefited others?
Has learning that new skill benefited someone else in the process? Has baking bread given your family healthier carbs? Or has gardening led you to donate food to your local pantry? Developing healthy boundaries with your pandemic hobby will help you to balance your philanthropic side with your increased schedule.
Will quitting my hobby hurt me financially?
Has earning money from your pandemic hobby kept you from giving it up? If you’re serious about slowing down, do it. Just don’t stop your hobby cold turkey. Set a financial goal that you want to meet, and then once you hit your target, scale your hobby back to a pace where you can go back to doing it for sheer pleasure. Once you take the pressure off of yourself, you might just begin to enjoy that pandemic hobby again.
Finally, and before your quit your pandemic hobby altogether, consider what life would look like without the ability to do what you love. I started cooking and baking more during the pandemic, and quickly turned my baking into a side hustle. But I got so busy with baking that I started resenting it, and the peace that I initially felt from it started feeling more like chaos. I forgot the connection that I felt with my grandmother while I baked and how I loved being able to be a piece of someone's story with each dessert. It wasn't until I started to limit how much and when I was baking that I began to enjoy it again. Take time to reevaluate what you do, scale back as needed, and fall in love with it all over again.
Did you pick up a hobby during the pandemic? Let us know what you're doing in the comments below!