By Kimberly Edwards
They say, “Great minds think alike.” I don’t know who said it first, but I’m just going to quote it as “they.” Well, it’s serendipitous that the day that I joined The Sellers Group was the day that Tyrice posted The Life Of #______, Pt. 1 for editing by other members of the group.
It was crazy. I’d already prepared an intro and a first post to a series called “Les Petits Plaisirs,” a nod to the little things that we can do, think, or feel to make each day (especially each workday) more livable, particularly in stressful situations or times.
In Tyrice’s post, he discusses how we as Millennials don’t devote time to our own wellbeing and happiness. We don’t. We’re consumed by the world around us, in both good ways and bad. While the world of social media makes news, entertainment, and relationships more instantaneous, we’re also putting on a show. We display ourselves in our Instagram profiles in literally the best light (#GoodLighting #NoFilter). We let the world know about our milestone, and for some of us, menial accomplishments.
I definitely thank social media for these accessibilities that my parents didn’t have. My mom is now able to video chat with her siblings on the other side of the world, whereas at one point in her life she only communicated via snail mail (that’s actual handwritten letters for those of you who can’t recall the last time you’ve written a letter). I thank social media for helping me find a cause that I’m passionate about – here’s a shameless plug to my story on The Fault Line Project (a new piece is coming next month ayeee).
While I’ve undoubtedly found my niche as it applies to the technological world, I still didn’t feel complete.
One of the biggest struggles I’ve had since I was a kid was that I’d do too much and put myself at the bottom of my to-do list.
Much like Tyrice, I wanted to find something that could allow me to focus on me. Of the 24 hours of the day that pass quicker than a lightning strike, I needed to devote some time to myself that didn’t include sleep.
Here’s a glimpse into what I did to secure “Me” time, and a challenge for you all as Tyrice and I continue to provide tips to you for making yourself your biggest priority.
Many of you may not know this, but over the past year I have tried extremely hard to find a hobby that I enjoyed, that was cost-effective, and healthy for my mind, body, and soul.
I dabbled in a lot of creative ventures: I tried painting, working with clay once again, and reading for leisure. While I do enjoy all of these activities, I knew that they weren’t going to have any longevity for me.
With the help of my therapist, I began meditation, yoga, and finding a mind and body connection that would help my mental state while also piquing my interest physically.
When I was living in my hometown, I joined a Barre studio. Barre is a workout method that incorporates ballet barre exercises with yoga and pilates. It’s challenging, but also restorative. I found that boot camp or crossfit-type workouts didn’t mesh well with my personality, so finding something more laid back and restorative gave me the most positive outcome.
When the weather finally showed signs of warmth here in New Jersey, I began to run after work. What started as a mile began 3 or 4 miles between 3-4 times a week. It was consistent: I loved doing these workouts, and I saw results. Believe it or not, I lost 30 pounds.
Just when I settled into my routine, life happened. I had to prepare for a huge move over the summer, find another job to cover all my expenses, and settle into a life change that would affect my schedule and my wellness routine.
There wasn’t any room for excuses, though. While my running routine was thrown off – I moved from the safe suburbs of New Jersey to the rough by reputation Jersey City, I knew that I had to continue to find methods of exercise and routine in this hobby to keep myself well.
Despite all of these changes, I implemented yoga into my schedule twice a day, and continue to do yoga at least once a day now. I just found a new Barre studio in Jersey City to start my workouts again, and I found a route to run in Liberty State Park occasionally, before the weather gets too cold.
So here’s my Modus Operandi in finding a hobby that worked for me:
Disclaimer: What worked for me may not work for you, and that’s okay. These are just tips based on my personal experiences, and everyone is different.
- Find something to do that lies completely outside of your comfort zone. I am a high-anxiety type of person, and I thought that pushing myself to my limits physically would help me quell my anxiety. However, I quickly learned that being in bootcamp or crossfit classes, or in a gym setting with people who are in peak physical condition wasn’t for me. I had to go outside of my comfort zone to find a happy medium: a class environment that also helped my personality type.
- Don’t post anything about it. Really dedicate your new hobby to yourself. If you need to keep a journal or some sort of record to help monitor your schedule and progress, do so…but you don’t need to share everything in the world with everyone, because the more you share, the less justification you have for saying things along the lines of, “Why is everyone in my business all the time?!”
- Don’t make excuses. If your schedule changes, so what. If your life changes, so what. Things happen, but if you’re really dedicated to this new hobby, go for it anyway. Don’t find time – make time.
- Be okay with setbacks. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a new hobby. You may have to do a lot of trial and error in finding what fits you, but remember, it’s for you and you alone.
- Follow through. Make a promise to yourself. Treat yourself sometimes. Reward yourself for your achievements, and for making time to focus on your wellbeing. Stick to who you are, and your new hobby will be a new expression of how great of a person that is.
Photo Credit: Lee Chapman