Those of us who consider ourselves homesteaders (whether doing it apartment style or on acres of land) are busy people. We’re growing food, raising animals, preserving food, chopping wood, and more while also trying to maintain healthy relationships, earning money, and just generally live life. It can be hard sometimes to find time for anything outside the basics of homesteading life in all that limited time. This is where the importance of hobbies on the homestead kicks in, that limited time and focus on constantly meeting the needs of a functioning homestead can burn a person out and quickly too.
We love our homesteads, we chose this way of life for specific reasons but constant work isn’t good for anyone and outlets, hobbies are important for a multitude of reasons.
Hobbies Provide Relaxation
Often hobbies allow us to turn off our internal chatter, hobbies take us away from worrying about the beehive surviving winter to simply counting stitches on the knitting needles. Hobbies give us rest from our daily stresses while giving our brains rejuvenation from the daily chores.
Hobbies also give us rest when we’re tired as well. It’s not sleep and hobbies shouldn’t be a replacement for sleep, but creative pursuits can provide a little mental rest from the monotony or more grueling intellectual aspects of our days giving our brains some rest before getting back to it.
Hobbies Teach A Multitude of Skills
Obviously each hobby teaches us the skills necessary to do that particular task, quilting, spinning, dyeing, etc. However, it goes so much further than that in our daily lives. Hobbies teach us to get creative about problem solving whether in our craft or in our garden. While not specifically tied to daily homestead survival today learning how to knit or quilt or make soap could at some day be a necessary and valuable skill.
Hobbies also teach us to make the most of what we have available to us at any given time. This is always a good and necessary homesteadng skill. That time you picked up a drop stitch with an unfolded paperclip provides the creative problem-solving base for cobbling together fencing and more.
Hobbies Create Meaningful Connections
Hobbies give us connection to our loved ones and our communities a good bit of the time. They allow us to use our creative energy to collect memories in the form of journals, scrapbooks, and more while also giving us the opportunity to create and share with others. When we gather with our knitting circle, sew an apron with a niece, crochet hats for newborns, or throw pots for a community fundraiser we are creating powerfully deep connections that might not be made in any other way.
It can be hard to find time for hobbies, and like anything we have to include time for hobbies amongst our weekly priorities. Make crafting part of the bedtime ritual, allow it to calm the mind and body making it ready for sleep. Take a few minutes each morning, if possible, to help set the tone for the day. Small blocks of time add up and of course indulge in big blocks whenever possible, like during that blizzard that is keeping you from doing much else.
Hobbies might not be immediately vital to our day-to-day survival but they can help us run them more effectively and joyfully so embrace those knitting needles and paintbrushes as an integral part of your homestead management plan.