Take full advantage of your hobbies

Now that staying home is even more common and necessary than it was in the past, we feel more than ever the need to go outside. Like when you are in a car trip, there is no water bottle and you feel the throat as dry as if you were in a desert. But, if we had a water bottle in the car, maybe we would not touch it for the entire trip. In the same way, the forbidden attract us. The days seem sunnier than ever and it is like they’re screaming at us to go out.

I believe we all know hobbies that make our minds fly. To name a few: watching series or movies, reading, home exercising, listening to music, meditating, playing videogames or boardgames. More than focusing in the hobbies themselves, I want to write a short article about some advices of how to make those hobbies really take us out of the house, at least in our minds.

1. Turn off, mute or avoid checking your cellphone.

It is useless if we try to clear our minds by watching a movie or a series, when we are connected the entire time to our phones, reviewing social media, news, articles, memes, or comments that make us return to the present. The mind cannot distract itself when are constantly returning to the real world. It does not have to be all day. Maybe for one or two episodes of a series, or in the time we spend reading, or during a movie, put away your cellphone and concentrate your attention in what you are watching or doing.

2. Focus on one thing at a time.

We make a habit of trying to apply several hobbies at the same time. We put a movie, while watching a video on the cellphone, with music in the background and maybe also talking to someone, if we are not alone in the house. This helps to pass time, but it is not helpful to clear the mind and focus on one thing. Any moment can serve as a way for our thoughts to calm down, even while enjoying a sandwich or a cup of coffee, if we concentrate just in that one thing. And it does not have to be all day or with all the activities. You can choose a hobby, or a time during the day in which you will only do one specific activity with no distractions.

3. Have hobbies that do not require your sight (closed eyes).

There is something magic that happens when we do activities that do not require our eyesight, as if closing our eyes could transport us automatically to another place. Personally, I have found no better way to make my mind travel as with a hobby that can be done with my eyes closed. Some that come to mind are: listening to music, just music, without doing something else; meditating, there are videos online on how to meditate that last for a few minutes; listening to audiobooks, which is a nice alternative if you are not that much into reading.

4. Alternate hobbies you do by yourself with those you do with company.

Constant socializing indoors can be exhausting specially when we do not have the option to be by ourselves. No matter how much we care for our companions or how good our relationship is, having an alone-hobby to practice from time to time is a good way to disconnect ourselves from the world. I think it is healthy to pick a solitary activity, and do it when we have the chance, without neglecting our social activities in the house.

5. Try new hobbies or activities.

We will surely realize that our indoor hobbies are not as varied as we thought. This is highlighted in people whose hobbies were mostly outdoors, like going for a walk or a run, going to the gym, going to have dinner at a restaurant or go shopping. Eventually, many hobbies become repetitive and do not help us distract ourselves as much as they did in the beginning. We run out of interesting tv series, we read all the books we could, we grow tire of the boardgames we have in our houses. It is a good time to try new hobbies, like reading a book, even if it is just a few pages per day. Or to try meditating if you have never done it before. Find bands, singers or music genres that you never heard before, and spend some of the day time just listening to them, with no additional activity. Try to cook an easy dish if you are not that good at cooking. Maybe there are more activities that can help us pass time that we have not previously discovered.

I hope these quick tips help you make your mind go to faraway places while staying inside your home. Take care.

Feel free to contact me for questions or additional comments in: jessav@mail.com.

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