In this series, we’ve been focusing on the LIVE WELL 6. These are 6 areas of self care that I believe will help you live your life well and stay focused on what matters most. Today is the sixth and final post in the LIVE WELL series – Live Well Avocationally.
If vocation is a word we don’t use very much these days, avocation is a word we use even less. Avocation is a hobby or an occupation that is secondary or subordinate to your primary work or vocation. I consider this to be all things hobbies and recreation, a.k.a. the stuff we do for fun!
In this post I’m going to talk about how to be intentional about recharging and playing hard!
1. Prioritize playtime
We don’t hear this often enough but adults need play time just as much as kids do! We don’t lose the capacity for imagination and discovery, or the need for fun. Instead of crashing in front of the tube when we have free time, we should be doing things that truly relax, rejuvenate, and stimulate us. Play helps sharpen our cognitive functions and problem-solving skills as well as relieve stress and aid in our emotional health. We should absolutely make room for quality play time in our weekly schedules!
2. Learn a new skill (or sharpen an old one!)
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? It’s never too late to start! You can learn anything online from playing the guitar to cracking an egg with one hand (both of which I want to learn!) and everything in between! It does take commitment and time to learn and master a new skill but it’s so worth the effort! Check out these websites for online class options:
- Wondrium (formally The Great Courses)
- Biblical Training (free Bible & theology classes)
- and, of course, YouTube
3. Understand your play personality.
I just discovered this but according to the National Institute for Play, most people have one of eight dominant modes of play. How fun is that? According to the research done by Dr. Stuart Brown at NIFP, people naturally fall into a few of these personalities but there will be one that is most prominent. The 8 personalities are –
- The Collector
- The Competitor
- The Creator/Artist
- The Director
- The Explorer
- The Joker
- The Kinesthete
- The Storyteller
I’m absolutely a collector and creator/artist. There’s probably some director in there too but I don’t get to stretch those muscles that much these days so I’m feeling a bit rusty.
4. Have fun with others
Play with your spouse and/or kid(s). Have fun with friends and family members. Host game nights, work on hobbies, make homemade pizzas, do puzzles, go on walks, try new restaurants, go to the museum, join a book club or a team sport, go to a concert. The possibilities are endless! Playing with others is not only a great way to strengthen existing relationships but it’s a way to potentially make new friends as well as try new things you might not try on your own.
And don’t forget your co-workers! One of the things that got me through working at a really crummy company was how much I enjoyed working with the my co-workers! Whenever you can, add fun to your workplace. That might be tricky sometimes, depending on where you work, but definitely put in the effort wherever you can!
5. Make time for yourself
Depending on your season of life, this might not always be easy but it’s so important to have time to yourself every so often. Not only is it a valuable skill to be able to occupy yourself without a phone or television but it’s also a way we maintain our identity as individuals. Many of us wear several hats – daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, professional title, employee, boss, etc. – but not everyone knows who they are by themselves, alone, with everything else stripped away. Taking time for yourself, by yourself, tinkering with your hobbies and interests, allowing your creativity flourish and your imagination to explore gives you the space and time to get to know yourself better. The more you know about yourself and how God made you, the more you’ll have to offer to others and the more balanced you’ll be in your decision making and overall lifestyle.
What does living well avocationally mean to you? How do you play? What lights you up? Do you know your play personality?
If you missed the previous posts in this series, you can check them out here: