You can’t control all the noise and people and chaos, but you can pick up a paint brush or a knitting needle or an Xbox controller.
If you feel super busy even when your schedule isn’t jam-packed, you’re not alone. Sometimes I wonder why I’m so exhausted so I look back on my day, wondering what I actually did. Then I remember, ah yes, I’m an introvert. My mind is going a mile a minute even when my body is sitting still. And with two little kids at home, the noise level and constant chatter is abundant.
As introverts, we can experience incredible amounts of daily stress in the form of things like overstimulation, constant noise, and, well, just so many people. Our naturally overthinking minds don’t help.
So what are we to do? Get a hobby. Yep, you read that right. Find a totally random hobby and dive right in.
Not sure about that? Check out these six reasons why you should take up knitting (or any other unique hobby that peaks your interest).
6 Reasons Why Introverts Should Take up New, Random Hobbies
1. Meditation just isn’t your thing.
Hobbies give you something to focus on and help quiet your mind. Like meditation, but not. Full disclosure: I love meditation. But there’s a time and place, and it certainly isn’t for everyone.
A hobby, though? That’s something you can cater to your own interests. It’s also easier to knit a scarf or bake a loaf of bread when you have anxious energy. It’s something concrete that you can do with your hands (and with your eyes wide open). It forces you to be present. (See? Like meditation. But not!)
2. It gives you something you can control.
A hobby can also give you a sense of control amidst all the chaos in life. In a recent interview, Michelle Obama talked about how she took up knitting during the pandemic, and how hobbies can give you a sense of purpose in stressful times.
Let’s be real, life as an introvert sometimes feels like never-ending stress, right? Anything we can do to minimize, if not just distract ourselves, from it is a welcome addition to the day.
Sure, we might not be able to control all the noise and people and chaos, but we can pick up a paint brush or knitting tools or Xbox remote… (Hey, to each their own, okay?)
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3. Introverts can have fun, too!
When it comes to hobbies, there’s no pressure — they’re just for pleasure, not work or livelihood. (And, no, you don’t have to turn it into a side hustle! Unless that’s what you want…)
I love to write, but when I started freelancing and using my passion to make money, it came with its own set of pressures and stresses. So instead of always writing brilliant articles like this, sometimes I just sit down with a pen and paper and write poetry. No pressure, nothing to turn in (or even show to anyone if I don’t want to). A purely stress-free, fun activity.
4. Even extroverts will understand you.
Not everyone understands that introverts just need some time alone. A hobby can be a good excuse to get that alone time without having to over-explain yourself. (Even extroverts understand that people have hobbies — and take the hint to leave you be!)
Need an excuse to get out of that Thursday night get-together at your coworker’s house? Sorry, I need to finish knitting my mom a sweater. I mean, at least it’s not the “I’m washing my hair that night” excuse, right?
5. You’ll be able to skip the small talk.
A hobby can be a great form of self-expression (without having to actually talk). You don’t have to make awkward small talk with the canvas before you begin painting or chit-chat with your sneakers before a run. Nope. You just get down to business in blissful silence.
However, if you are looking to connect with some like-minded folks, hobbies are a great place to start. Assuming you’re interested in the task at hand — be it knitting or coding or organizing kitchen cupboards — you automatically have a topic to discuss and can nerd out about it as much as you want. Go ahead, skip the small talk!
6. Your brain will thank you.
According to science, having a hobby is actually good for your brain and your overall well-being, too! A report in Fortune.com explains that “Beyond being a helpful distraction from life’s given stressors, a hobby can make us feel anticipation and excitement, which promotes the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain associated with pleasure. Even the thought of that exciting new activity can release dopamine.”
And that, my introverted friends, is something I think we can all use a little more of!!
Do you dream of being witty and funny?
Even if you’re usually the “quiet one,” you have a playful side — you just need to learn how to access it. Our partner Michaela Chung can teach you how to tell hilarious stories and to be funny in conversation and over text (even if you tend to overthink things and feel self-conscious in social situations). Click here to check out her online workshop, How to Be Funny in Conversation Without Trying Too Hard.
Want to Begin a New Hobby? Here Are 3 Ways to Start…
Okay, you’re sold on the hobby idea, but not sure how to get started? The simple answer is to just pick one! But if that feels overwhelming (decision fatigue is real!), then here are some helpful pointers to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Think about what you did – and enjoyed — as a child.
What did you love to do during childhood? Color? Paint? Write silly stories? Play outside? Play the flute?
And, now, how can you reconnect with that sense of fun? Maybe you loved Nancy Drew novels. Why not read them all again? Or maybe you were obsessed with finger paints. Buy a set of water paints and go crazy. And if you used to write more, well then pick up a notebook and write! And if you still have your childhood flute, well dust it off and see what you remember!
2. What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn?
Humans are naturally curious. What’s something that you’ve always wondered about or wanted to try? You can learn a new language, research how to become an astronaut, become a personal shopper! The sky’s the limit. If you’ve ever wondered about something, or wanted to figure something out, go for it. Follow your curiosity.
3. What’s something you’re interested in, but haven’t pursued because “it’s silly”?
Grown-ups are supposed to be buttoned-up and serious, right? Well, maybe in a business meeting, but not when pursuing personal hobbies! Don’t let the fear of what other people might think get in your way of having fun.
A hobby is something you do for yourself, outside of your job or career. So let go of that ego and allow yourself the freedom to be silly, no matter what!
Don’t Take Your Hobby (Or Yourself) Too Seriously
There is no perfect blueprint or set of rules that dictates what you can (or cannot) do as a hobby. You can return to a long-lost love (like playing your flute) or find a whole new activity you’ve never tried before (like learning Italian).
Maybe you try something new and realize you don’t actually enjoy it. That’s okay! Move on to something else. Who cares? The key is to not take it too seriously. Maybe you want to paint but you’re horrible at it. But… you still have fun doing it anyway. Keep on painting! Maybe you’ll get better, maybe not. The point isn’t mastery. The point is enjoyment. Full stop. Self-care at its finest!
Whether you’re looking for a way to manage stress, a reason to get more alone time, or want to boost that beautiful brain of yours, find yourself a fun, new hobby and stick to it. Let yourself get creative and silly and enjoy not having to do everything perfectly. You deserve it! Plus, who knows? Maybe your hobby will turn into a new career? You never know…
Introverts, what’s a new hobby you’re passionate about? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
You might like:
- Why Introverts Need to Pursue Hobbies Outside of Work
- How Playing an Instrument Can Help Introverts Express Themselves
- Why Ritual May Be an Introvert’s Most Important Form of Self-Care
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