Healthy Chaps is excited to feature a guest blogger this week, Jack Britton, LPC.
Exploring Hobbies and Interests
In his book Play, writer and researcher Stuart Brown discusses the importance of the ways we have and create fun. He describes eight play personalities, and readers are invited to consider which types we are.
I quickly latched onto the explorer personality. When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time by a creek behind our house. I loved building boats out of Popsicle sticks; digging holes looking for worms; fishing; and seeing where the creek led. But it’s been years since I did that kind of exploring.
If you’re less inclined to wander the woods, Brown’s seven other play personalities are worth looking into. Regardless of your play style, today’s blog requires a little bit of exploring.
Let’s do a quick activity: get out a sheet of paper and a pen, please. Down the left side, write down twenty (20) activities, hobbies, and interests you think you could try, have tried, or really enjoy. When you get stuck, ask someone for ideas – but the rule is: you can’t say no. Make it healthy and appropriate given your age and abilities… and for a few of them, reach for the stars.
Next, across the top of the paper make the following headings: less than $20; less than one hour; better outside; better with others; and equipment/supplies needed. Then, categorize each hobby, interest, or activity with check marks under each column.
Review the results and look for themes. Have you found you really like being outside? Do you enjoy time solo? Love stuff that’s inexpensive? Do your interests take up much time?
Bonus consideration: rank each line by difficulty – the difficulty you perceive. If you find that you’re quite concerned about a certain idea, talk to someone about that. Perhaps they’ll join you for it.
We all benefit from assessing and re-assessing the ways we play. Activities, interests, and hobbies bring surprise and joy. They build identity. Play teaches us that we’re not too young or old to try new things.
Whether you like to joke, compete, be active, explore, collect, direct, create, or tell stories, play builds bonds. Families can join together to relieve stress, make memories, and just have fun.
So grab your lists and get going!
In addition to the wonderful points Jack made, I wanted to share this article which outlines all the different benefits of play for adults, children, and talks about how to actually make the two happen!
Check out this quick except: "Play is essential for developing social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills in children. In fact, far from being a waste of time or just a fun distraction, play is a time when your child is often learning the most...play develops social skills, stimulates a child’s imagination and makes kids better adjusted, smarter, and less stressed."
"While play is crucial for a child’s development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages. Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable."
It's a great read, be sure to check it out!
Jack Britton is a therapist with Innovation 360 in Austin, a company that offers counseling and something they call Life Development, where staff meet a client in her/his natural environment. Through Life Development, a person takes insight from therapy and applies it to experiences in real time… Treatment in the Midst of Life. More information at i360Life.com