Your Guide to Finding (Time for) a Hobby

In today’s season finale, Taylor reflects on the importance of play, hobbies, and leisure in our lives. She shares insights from season four’s guests about how play can teach us about ourselves and the world around us. Taylor also provides a five-step blueprint for finding a hobby and incorporating more play into our daily lives.

Episode Transcript

Taylor Morrison  
You're listening to Inner Warmup. I'm your host Taylor Elyse Morrison, founder and author of Inner Workout, ICF certified coach and fellow journeyer. In 2017, I set out to build a life that didn't burn me out. And I found my life's work in the process. On Inner Warmup, we talk about how self care and inner work show up in your relationships, your career, your schedule, in the conversations you have with yourself. We get practical, we get nuanced. And we're not afraid to challenge wellness as usual. So take a deep breath, and get curious. This is where your inner work begins.

Time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it? I can't believe that we are already at the end of our playdate season. We've gotten to hear from Dr. Joanna Fortune on the power of play and we've chatted with so many guests about what they do for fun outside of work, how they deal when their work overlaps with their hobbies and leisure. And we explored the many, many lessons that play can teach us about being a human. I really hope that this season has either convinced you or reminded you that play hobbies and leisure, they deserve our time and attention. And they're an end to themselves. Yes, it's true, there's research that playing can help you become more productive. That's great. But as we talked about with Joanna, focusing on that increased productivity, can actually take us out of the joy of play. And it's so funny, after deciding to do this season, it's kind of like one of those things where you tune your attention to a topic and then all of a sudden you see it come up in conversations. And I just keep hearing from myself and from other people that we need play. We don't need to be more productive. Maybe we want to be more productive. But so many of us are starving for play. And so I hope this just reminded you that it's valuable to spend your time playing and doing things that are just enjoyable. I also hope that this season exposed you to different ways that you can play. Now, I'm not saying by any means that you have to try everything that you heard, no one's asking you to bake and cook like Michelle, or to hop on stage for an improv performance like Justin. But I hope that you maybe heard about some hobbies or ways to play that you wouldn't have considered before and you're willing to at least like give them a try. Or maybe you were able to elevate things that you already do, but might take for granted. So like for example, you might read all the time, but maybe you didn't consider that a hobby, or you like to have friends over and you didn't realize, oh, this is something that is fun for me, I like the process of bringing people into my home. And then finally, I hope that this season has shown you that hobbies, leisure and play are some of our greatest teachers. Who would have thought that Peloton could teach us about perfectionism. Or that hosting could help us understand and communicate our needs. When you're present in your leisure, you're able to learn more about yourself, and about how you engage with the world. So if you haven't listened to the interviews yet, I really encourage you to go back and listen. We structure our seasons this way for a reason so that each of the episodes are kind of talking to each other, and exploring a broader theme. And honestly, I still have to pinch myself that so many brilliant people were willing to give us a peek into how they play like what a gift.

But I want to shift the conversation over to you now. If you've been around Inner Workout, you know that we love to ask questions. We love to hold space for people to be in conversation with themselves and with others. And then we like to get into the nitty gritty of how to actually apply these concepts in your daily life. So it's starting to become a tradition now I guess that we're closing out seasons with some ideas and some things that you can try to really take what we've talked about and what you've heard in the interviews and bring it into your day to day.

So we've got five ideas that kind of form like a blueprint for finding a hobby and then incorporating it into your life and generally just incorporating more play into your life. So let's start with step one. Reconnect with your inner child. If you're looking to play, there's really no better place to start than with your inner child, right? Think back to the things that you loved to do when you were younger. This could be anything from coloring like L'Oreal's, sweet daughter Violet, or taking dance class or spending hours outdoors playing sports. Then ask yourself how you can reintroduce that activity into your life. Maybe you just start by like buying some colored pencils and a coloring book. I personally I grew up dancing. And when I start to miss it, I'm just as likely to sign up for a drop in class at a studio as I am to pull up a dance tutorial on YouTube.
The next piece is to make sure that you don't overspend or over commit, you may have noticed that the examples I shared are entry points that don't cost a lot of time or money, taking a drop in class getting a coloring book. And that's because I can definitely fall into the ADHD stereotype. And honestly, I think a lot of non ADHD-ers do this too. But the stereotype of getting really, really excited about a hobby, spending money to get like all of the best supplies, and then losing interest or realizing that I don't actually enjoy it. This definitely happened over the pandemic when my husband Matt and I we got these tennis rackets that were fitted to our grips. And now they're sitting like two feet away from me in the back of the hall closet that now doubles as my podcast studio. So the rule I've since made for myself is that I can spend around $30 testing out a new hobby. For me, that's generally enough to take a class or to buy some entry level supplies. And then once I figured out whether or not I actually like this activity, that's when I allow myself to invest further. That's where I might buy a whole class pack instead of just a drop in class or maybe upgrade to some fancier supplies. One of my newer hobbies right now is paper making. And I really found myself wanting to go overboard, I was like I need to get this whole paper press or I need to get Matt to make me a paper press. And I'm gonna get molds in all of these different sizes. But I was really proud of myself because I pulled back. I remember this reminder not to overspend or over comment. And I ended up just getting one mold and some dried flowers that I can incorporate into my paper.

The next piece of this blueprint to consider is a reminder to let testing out hobbies be its own form of play. I love this insight that Joanna shared in the first episode, get curious and you will get playful. When we don't go overboard on our hobbies right from the jump, it actually allows us a chance to get curious. And by extension, we get more playful. You get to make it an experiment, and set out to answer questions like, do I like this style of dance? How do I feel when I'm throwing pottery? How much can I run before it starts to feel like a chore and not a joy? Old me could answer that question. I don't really enjoy running anything more than a mile and I was on cross country for a while in middle school. And then I was like, why am I doing this but that is a story for another day. A saying that I return to often is that you can't fail an experiment, you simply learn. So when you get curious about trying out hobbies, you actually take the pressure off of finding the quote unquote right hobby, and you make the process more playful. You might even get a funny story out of it even if you decide I am never doing this again.

The fourth consideration and reminder for you is to prioritize play. So once you've gotten clear on the types of play that you enjoy, prioritize it on your calendar. This might be as simple as creating a little bit of space every day or every week to read or sew or whatever it is that you do in your leisure time. You might also find that it helps to have more accountability and community around your hobby. This is the time where you sign up for a volleyball league, or you start to really commit to singing lessons or lessons for learning an instrument. Or you seek out a book club or a writing partner. And as I'm saying this, you might be well, like, well, that sounds expensive. Let me tell you, it actually does not have to be super expensive. I highly, highly recommend seeing what offerings your local library, your park district and community college have available. So as I was working on this episode, I went and checked out what Chicago Park District had. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, you could get two months of improv classes for $50. Not $50, a class, $50 total. So, look at those options, see what is available around you, you might be surprised how you could weave in some more accountability, some community around these things without having to break the bank. I know for me personally, I do really, really well when I have a commitment on the calendar that involves other people. But that may not be the case for you, it might be enough to just put it in your planner or to have a recurring meeting, invite with yourself. And if that works for you, more power to you.

So the last piece of this blueprint is to infuse play into your days. It is great to have hobbies, we just talked about how you can find that hobby, right. But don't forget that we can add a sense of playfulness to whatever it is that we're doing. You can put on music to make what you're doing more of a dance party. Like I love doing this when I'm doing the dishes. You can wear a fun outfit. If it's something that you can wear a fun outfit for. Seek out a setting that makes you feel more playful. You could turn walking your dog into a game. Ask yourself, how can I make this more fun? And the answer to that question might also be taking a play break. Maybe the task is just boring. Some things are just boring. But what you could do is take a few minutes to do something artistic or creative, or something that makes you laugh. And then that energy that you just created through play can trickle into whatever it is that you've got going on next.

So there you have it, a blueprint for finding a hobby and finding time for a hobby. On that note, it's time for us to wind this season down. That's right, it is time for another integration break. We coined the term integration break to give language to something that we wish more people would do. So an integration break, the way that we define it is an intentional pause from the cycle of constant consumption for the purpose of rest, application, reflection, and deepened connection to your inner wisdom. Consuming content is great, but applying it to your life is better for sure. And integration breaks are for the Inner Workout team too. This podcast is a collaborative effort and a labor of love. So by having a seasonal format with integration breaks, the team that puts this podcast together, shout out to Jennie and Carolina, is able to have some breathing room and rest for ourselves.

So if you're listening in real time, the next season of the podcast will be here in January. And here's what you can do in the meantime. Number one, start experimenting with hobbies, play and leisure in your life. Number two, check out the article linked in the show notes on integration breaks. And number three, join the waitlist for the Inner Workout app. We really created it to be a companion for your self care. It's got a library of guided practices. It's got mini courses called journeys that you do over an average of five to seven days that have readings and reflection questions for you to really integrate what you learn. It's definitely a theme of what we do here at Inner Workout. It's got digital journaling capabilities with prompts for different parts of your day. And my favorite feature is that you can lock yourself out of distracting apps, not just blocking notifications, but actually locking yourself out of the apps that make it hard for you to have enough time for self care. And then the last thing that you can do is rate this podcast. Give us a review on Apple podcasts and tell a friend. The reason people find this podcast is because people like you share it. We could not be more grateful and we're excited to have more seasons coming your way. Thanks so much for playing with us this season. Take care. Inner Warm up is a collaborative effort. It's hosted by me, Taylor Elyse Morrison, produced by Jennie Kerns and edited by Carolina Duque. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with a friend. And if you're looking to continue your inner work, our free Take Care Assessment is a great place to start. On that note, take care.