I saw a post one time (I want to say it was from immaeatthat but I searched everywhere and couldn’t find it!- If you find it let me know in the comments!) that said something like “if your weight is the most interesting thing about you- then you need a hobby” and I was like can I get an amen? I don’t think it even has to be weight. Insert any food or nutrition related topic there (how little sugar you are eating or news on the latest nutrition fad) and I would finish the quote in the same way because, at least for me, I need a break from nutrition and find that the topic can become pretty toxic in conversations because people have really strong opinions on nutrition. Don’t get me wrong, I love my field and since I’m in this field I probably feel this a little more but I think everyone can, and should, take a break from their work. I respect and understand that taking time off work is not something that is attainable for all if working multiple jobs and caring for a family etc. but even small intentional hobbies like reading, can make a difference!
Being immersed in instagram, blog life, school, people asking me to make them meal plans (my least favorite question), gets OLD. I can only imagine how I’m going to feel in 5, 10, 20, years as an RD. I wonder how the food and nutrition scene will be different and that’s interesting to day dream about but I also feel somewhat confident that it will be much of the same. We will still be a society that focuses on weight over health, perfection over mess ups, and self-doubt over self-confidence. We will probably still be talking about the “obesity epidemic” and chronic disease and still have very conflicting research as to the etiologies. Bleh- all of that can just be a downer sometimes. So, to combat that, I have hobbies.
1.an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.
I have several hobbies and I cherish them for different reasons, mostly because they get me out of the nutrition head space or just my own head and into literally ANYTHING else. I tend to overthink things in my head and it can send me down a spiral of negativity or stress if I let it. I spoke up a little on my instagram story about this topic referring to my time in a youth development program called Youth and Government every Wednesday evening and how it’s the one time in my week my brain isn’t thinking about food or nutrition related anything and it’s pure bliss. I just get to hang with high school students and advisors my age and just be. I’ve never known a life without hobbies because I’ve always been over scheduled, but my life isn’t as over scheduled now, it’s intentionally scheduled. I don’t just do stuff to do stuff because over time I realized that’s helping no one, especially not myself. My hobbies now give me bits of life I can’t get from my main “job” of being a grad student, dietetic intern, and learner of nutrition.
(I’m currently at the Youth and Government conference now! Follow along on my stories!)
My hobbies give me brain peace and lots of laughs because that’s something I realized I lack in school- things are getting a little more serious and competitive as we transition into our little niches in the field and internships + learning that we have to take care of actual human beings soon. I value the time I spend with teens because they are hilarious and quirky and I sometimes I feel super needed there and being needed is a wonderful feeling. My all time favorite hobby is my week away as a director with a team and 200 kids at a NO CELL SERVICE island called Catalina Island off the coast of California. At camp I can be my weirdest, make up free, sunscreen lathered, one piece wearing, camp song screaming, tubing loving, book reading, mom replacement, self. Most of my hobbies include people because people and I get along super well. If I have a day without human contact I truly start going slightly insane. Some people can be alone for an extended period and while that’s very needed for me each day, it only lasts for a few hours.
(Non-nutrition reading is such a simple pleasure 🙂 )
If you are immersed in your respective field without a hobby I encourage you to get one. My mom gardened (among other things) in her off time from work as an attorney for Nestle and that let her get outside time since she was cooped up in a high rise for 8 hours a day. My dad coaches and referees soccer and we coach a few teams together to get him away from his office as an attorney for the state of California. Most of my friends at the Y have their Y programs they use as their hobbies and another friend of mine became a Big Sister in Arkansas where she moved for her job at Walmart corporate.
Hobbies can help you express yourself and get to know yourself better. You can find like minded people and form new friendships with them. Hobbies can help relieve stress and promote relaxation. Hobbies can teach you new things about other people, things, or yourself. Hobbies can help out another human. Hobbies can help structure your time and provide you with a schedule in your down time. Hobbies can allow you to give your time to an important cause.
(Outside exploring in Zion)
Hobbies don’t have to be time intensive or stressful! Here are some examples
Reading a book far removed from your respective field- even 20 minutes a day. I love thrillers and murder mysteries.
Once a month (or more) taking a loved one out to lunch or to do an activity together- turn off your phone and enjoy them.
Join a community sports team through a rec center or a Y or local team. I know some women who I played soccer with growing up played in an adult league that met once a weekend.
Get involved in your church if you go to church! If you have time can you become an usher? A eucharistic minister? A greeter? Even just going to church and that being your 1 hour is awesome head space for me!
Crafting, coloring (adult coloring books are super soothing to some people), practicing something you found on Pinterest or Etsy.
Giving an hour of your time to a soup kitchen a few times a month.
Getting outside without your phone.
Do you have a hobby? Tell me in the comments!