The Hobby I started and actually stuck to

Laura Henshaw

How many times a day do you hear the term 'work life' balance mentioned? I hear it a lot and up until a few months ago I never really put too much thought into the term…let alone tried to achieve this magical balance. I have always thought that because I absolutely love what I do, I never really stop working because it doesn't feel like work; therefore I don't need to balance anything.

I might feel super stressed every now and then, but that's normal right? And I know I struggle to switch off, but don't we all?

When Officeworks approached me a few months ago with the idea of starting a hobby that isn't related to my work I was a little hesitant because I didn't really want to start a hobby, plus, where would I find the time to add something else to my schedule? I've also never been able to stick to a hobby before in my life – I seem to do it once or maybe twice and then just forget about it. I always seem to get too caught up with everything else going on in life, like work, friends and uni and I can never justify putting the time into the new hobby.

So I reluctantly agreed and promised Officeworks I would give their water-colouring hobby challenge a go.

I went and picked up my new tools from my local Officeworks (if you are from Melbourne, the Fitzroy store has a huge variety of incredible arty things.) I bought my new set of Derwent Academy Watercolour Set of 36 and the 'Hinkler Everyone Loves Colouring' book with animals and set aside an hour one afternoon to 'colour.'

To my surprise, my fast-paced, never-stopping mind actually for once calmed down. I ended up spending two hours coloring in the book because I just loved how relaxed it made me feel. And hey – I could actually get my colouring in between the lines and it looked good (well I thought so anyway!).

Two months later I now set aside an hour or two each week to spend time on my new hobby, usually over the weekend and I love it. I am also using colouring as a tool for stress relief. When I feel overwhelmed, I have been using it to calm down and clear my mind, it helps me think clearer and find solutions for my problems much quicker. It might sound ridiculous but I promise you it works.

Since starting, I have progressed past the colouring books and have been creating my own pieces in a Visual Art Diary – which goes to show that practice does in fact make perfect and really showcases just how far I've come since I first opened the colouring book!

Looks like I am converted! Why don't you give it go too? Whether it's starting a new fitness hobby like running, or colouring in like me, hobbies are so beneficial to your wellbeing!

This post is in collaboration with Officeworks