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Relax More, Mom: Portable Hobbies for a Happier You

Why should moms have to wait until ‘some day’ to finally earn some downtime? Why not enrich every day by incorporating your favorite hobby into the nooks and crannies of the busy routine you already have, instead? Pressures of everyday life and being constantly pulled in too many directions at once can create stress for busy parents. And unfortunately, high levels of anxiety sometimes seem like a pride point granting you entry into an international over-committed moms club.

You can make a decision to avoid the club altogether by investing regularly in your favorite hobby. Having a hobby is not selfish, especially if the practice of yours is calming and personally gratifying. No doubt when you focus on your hobby, you access a greater sense of self-awareness and flow, which leads to clarity about what you think and how to best act on your natural instincts.

So if you want to be the best parent you can be, get a hobby. All of these hobbies are flexible enough to come with you wherever you go as you shuttle your kids wherever they need to go. All you need is a designated grab-and-go bag with your supplies and you are ready to relax at a moment’s notice:

Knitting. Not just for grandmas anymore. Knitting is enjoying a hip revival and millions of moms, of all ages, are doing it. Why not you? Also check out crocheting.

Book reviewing. Writing book reviews is a relatively new phenomenon and makes a great hobby for busy moms who want a little accountability for self-imposed reading deadlines. Bonus: You’ll leave an online trail of what you think about what you’ve read.

Sketching. Were you a doodler in high school? Then why not carry your sketchpad with you and draw whatever is right in front of you? It’s just as enjoyable as it was back then.

Couponing. This is the type of hobby that is perfect for 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, whether you are waiting in the carpool line or the doctor’s office. Best part: the results will add up to future savings on purchases.

Photography. Whether you use your smartphone and post images to Instagram or prefer toting an ancient 35-millimeter camera with old-school black and white film, you can capture artful images of everyday situations to share with friends and family.

Watercolor painting. Luckily for painters, watercolors come in portable kits. Try composing a series of watercolor postcards in the car while you wait for practice to get out to get creatively warmed up.

Cartooning. Got lemons? Turn them into cartoon lemonade. Use situations from your life as humorous material you can share with others.

Travel planning. Dying to rack up some frequent flyer miles? Spending some time each week travel planning just might quench this thirst in the short run, and lead to some exciting future adventures.

Writing. Whether you journal, write poems or draft the next great novel, writing can make a very satisfying hobby. Commit to writing for pleasure for the long haul, and you may eventually decide to submit your work or publish it yourself.

Sewing. Whether you sew everyday clothes, doll clothes or fine crafts, the focused, methodical work of stitching can bring smiles to your face and others.

Jewelry-making. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, pins, earrings, oh my! Beading can also be used to create art, embellish clothing and adorn just about anything you can imagine.

Puzzle-solving. Sudoku or crosswords, anyone? Engaging in a regular mental workout will help you maintain an active, healthy mind, today and tomorrow.

Needlepoint embroidery. If you feel like the other members of your household do not necessarily excel at attention to detail, this might just be the hobby for you.

Scrapbooking. Whether this is the photographic record of your family history or simply a creative collage expressed through random cutting and pasting, this pastime is extremely popular and fun.

A well-stocked hobby bag for mom

This bag includes everything you need to inch your hobby forward whether snip-by-snip or row-by-row. The more stocked and portable your supplies, the better you can focus on your hobby in however many free moments you find on any given day. Even if you only have 15 minutes, spending downtime in an enjoyable way is what hobbies are all about. Your bag of grab-and-go hobby supplies helps banish excuses, so you can enjoy your hobby as many days of the week as possible. You don’t need to buy a fancy or expensive craft bag. Any kind of sturdy, roomy tote will work just fine, and can be custom-stocked and organized to suit your needs. When in doubt, just visit your local hobby, art supply, or office supply store and explore the organizational possibilities.

These portable tools are perfect for helping you pursue your hobby with mobile ease:

• Grid-it tool holder

• Snap-shut plastic cases

• Bin with tiny compartments

• Writing and drawing utensils

• Accordion folder

• Clipboards

• Leak-proof Tupperware containers

• Zip-lock bags

• Notebook or Notepad

• Hobby books and magazines

• Printed instructions in a binder

Christina liked her hobby - writing - so much that she decided to turn it into a part-time job and eventually a career. Her latest book is The Writer’s Workout from Writer’s Digest Books.



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