6 hobbies that are keeping me sane

There’s no way around it, things are kind of crazy in the world right now. I’m still working from home and my family is still mostly only leaving the house for essential reasons. Work life balance is always a struggle, but I feel like it’s even more difficult when my workplace is in the same room as my bed. In this week’s post, I’m sharing the hobbies (and general activities) that are helping me keep that balance.

1. Blogging and YouTube

So if you’re here … reading a blog post … you probably already realized that blogging makes me happy! I’m the type of person who likes to have a finished product I can point to. It makes me feel accomplished and it makes it feel like whatever activity I was doing was worthwhile. My catalog of blog posts and YouTube videos certainly fits that requirement! I love writing, I love talking about my passions, and I love connecting with other people. So creating content on my own sites is a no brainer.

2. Makeup

I’ve talked about this before, but I absolutely love doing my makeup. For me, makeup isn’t about making myself look better or about conforming to some kind of societal beauty standards (I think a lot of people would say that my makeup is not really to popular society’s taste). For me, makeup is about the art and the meditative aspect. My brain pretty much only works in hyperdrive, so traditional meditation isn’t really for me. Instead, I find things that keep my hands and my brain busy to be very meditative. I love spending an hour crafting an eyeshadow look while listening to an audiobook. I love using my creative energies to paint color onto my face and then getting to wear that piece of art around for the rest of the day.

3. Phone games

Okay, so this might not seem on the same level as the other things mentioned in this blog post, but honestly, taking some time to turn off my brain and just play some games on my phone has been life saving these past few months. I can put on a YouTube video or rewatch Criminal Minds for the millionth time, lay in bed, and just mindlessly tap buttons on my phone. Sometimes you want intellectual stimulation, but other times this is exactly what my brain wants.

One game I spent a lot of time loving in quarantine this spring and summer was Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. Everybody else was getting the new Animal Crossing game for their Nintendo Switch, but I didn’t have a Switch (or the money or desire to buy one), so I ended up playing a lot of the free version. It’s a really cute and wholesome game!

Emily's animal crossing character dressed as a pirate, fishing with Egbert the animal crossing chicken

My go-to for months now has been Nonogram. It’s a puzzle game, but it’s also not a puzzle game that requires too much brain power. That makes it perfect for some mindless playing while watching something else.

a screenshot from the phone game nonogram

Last, I love the app Happy Color. It’s a coloring app that can somehow be both deeply engaging and mindless at the same time.

4. Reading

Of course, if you know me, you know I love to read. I love losing myself in a book, whether it’s a well-loved paperback from my childhood, a new ebook on my Kindle, or an audiobook I randomly selected from my library. I regularly chat about books on my blog and on my YouTube channel because I love sharing my passion for reading with others.

5. Working Out

Emily posing in front of the mirror, flexing her biceps

A while back, I wrote a blog post about my workout routine and how I went from a punishing workout mindset to exercising out of self love. I still strongly stand by that post and moving my body almost every day definitely brings me a level of sanity I wouldn’t otherwise have. Exercising makes me feel strong, it boosts my mental health, it gives me something to do to pass the time, and it has connected me with an awesome group of women online.

6. Embroidery

Lastly, I wanted to talk about a hobby I had in late elementary school that I picked up again during quarantine — embroidery. I bought myself a couple beginner embroidery kits back in like April and I’ve been hooked ever since. Like I mentioned above, I love having a finished product to feel a sense of accomplishment and these finished embroidery pieces give me exactly that. I love following a pattern, learning new stitches, and seeing a piece come together. It’s a very tactile experience that is once again, meditative for me and I’m so glad I picked this hobby back up recently.

We can only control what’s in our power, so I’ve been working on making the most of my current situation. These six things are how I like to spend my free time. Please leave a comment below and tell me how you like to spend your free time! I think it’s really important to be able to identify your hobbies because it helps make sure you are actually taking time for yourself.

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