According to Reader’s Digest’s recent article, Americans Tend to Burn out Faster Than Other Countries’ Workers—Here’s Why, a lack of “…control, unclear job expectations, dysfunctional workplace dynamic, mismatches in values, poor job fit, extremes of activity, lack of social support, and a poor work-life balance” have contributed to “…40 to 50% of Americans experiencing job burnout…” making America’s workforce the most stressed in the entire western world.
While there are many different ways to improve work-life balance, one solution that is often overlooked is taking on a hobby. Americans only feel compelled to take on an extracurricular activity that brings in additional income, an unfortunate result of our work and money driven culture. In The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself To Death, The New Yorker eloquently states that, “At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system.”
Rewire agrees, coming to defense of having a regular hobby in their recent article, The Case for Having a Hobby Without the Side Hustle by saying, “There are hundreds of articles out there on how to turn your hobby into a money-making side hustle. You probably know someone with an Etsy shop. Maybe someone has even suggested you open one. But is it worth it? Can a hobby just be a hobby?”
The truth is, having a hobby that is not linked to financial gain is beneficial for a person’s overall well being. Psychology Today emphasizes that designating time each day “for something you feel truly inspired and enlivened by” can help carry a “newfound zest… over into your work and family life!” Verywellmind concurs, citing studies finding “…those who engage in physical leisure activities for at least 20 minutes once a week are less susceptible to fatigue…” with other research confirming “…enjoyable activities performed during leisure time were associated with lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index, and perceptions of better physical function. Such activities were also correlated with higher levels of positive psychosocial states and lower levels of depression and negative effect.”
With the case for taking on a hobby indisputable, one challenge Americans face is finding the space to do so. More and more people are purchasing smaller residences, limiting their ability to engage in extra activities at home. However, with self-storage units available in various sizes in nearly every neighborhood, locating one that suits an individual’s specific needs and budget is simple. Storage facilities offer 24-7 security and climate controlled units, making it possible to store sports equipment, art supplies, memorabilia , etc… securely without damage. Storage units can even be used as a location to work, serving as an art studio, repair shop, craft center and more!
If you’re one of the millions of Americans feeling overwhelmed this summer, the solution is simple: Pursue a hobby that interests you, allowing more time for relaxation, meaning, purpose and joy within your life! Space is no longer an excuse. In the words of Dale Carnegie, “Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”