Passion projects

Five hobbies that will boost your creativity

By Hannah Massen

Between the constant influx of emails, looming deadlines, and back-to-back meetings, working both in your business, and on your business, is often all-encompassing. In fact, with more and more people working from home, it seems like long workdays have become even longer – with some people finding themselves drawn to their computers, phones (and their emails) at any of their waking hours, making it feel like there’s little time to do anything else.

If you’ve found yourself thinking wistfully about things you’ve always wanted to do – and projects that you might want to explore – you’re not alone. And you’re on the right track. Picking up a hobby or embarking on a “Passion Project” can be just as stress-relieving as it is productive. Passion projects are a proven, proactive way to fight burnout, improve your mood, and increase creativity. 

Here are five creative outlets for you to tap into – and ways you, and your career, can benefit from nurturing your passion:

Passion projects can help you build new skills that can help you in your current career or set you on a path to discover a new one. The key is to do something that interests and excites you – and just may inspire you, as well.

1. Take up photography. Photography is a simple creative activity that challenges us to see the world from a different point of view. While you might want to invest in a high-tech camera down the road, you don’t need anything special to start snapping pictures. Thanks to our smartphones and the editing apps that come with them, we now have everything we need to take top-quality photos on one device. 

2. Start a blog. Blogging is an opportunity to share your thoughts, opinions, and expertise in a pressure-free environment. If you’re an accountant who’s passionate about family finance, start a blog about budgeting for parents in your social circle. If you’re secretly obsessed with romance novels, write a monthly book review. Blogging is also a chance to improve your writing skills, which could be an asset to your career. 

3. Grow a garden. Gardening isn’t just good for curb appeal (even if your hydrangeas do look amazing) – it also has amazing benefits for your mental health. According to a study published on ScienceDirect, gardening can increase your sense of community and quality of life while reducing mood disturbance. If you’re prone to getting frustrated at work, gardening might help you find some peace of mind.

4. Learn to cook. Cooking strikes the perfect balance between preparation and experimentation. Your inner planner will enjoy the structure of meal planning and measuring while your creative side can have you mixing and matching ingredients. Use your new hobby as an excuse to get your S.O. or kids in the kitchen if you’ve been craving some more family time.

5. Collaging. Everyone has a stack of old books or magazines lying around that they don’t know what to do with. Instead of throwing them away, recycle them into a collage. Clipping meaningful photos and phrases to create a vision board is a great exercise in positive visualization.



Start here

Tools and resources to jumpstart your new passion project.

Art

  • Take a class taught by Lowcountry artists through the Art League of Hilton Head (www.artleaguehhi.org). 
  • Artists of all skill levels are invited to attend workshops held by The Society of Bluffton Artists (www.sobagallery.com). 

Photography

Gardening

  • From flowers to fruits and beyond, the Lowcountry Master Gardener Association (lowcountrymga.org) can teach you to grow just about anything.

Cooking

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