What is self-expression, and why does it matter?

Do you feel like you’re living to work, instead of working to live? When you lead a busy life, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in your job or schoolwork that it starts to define who you are. It’s like work turns into a form of self-expression because everything centres around it. Work IS your life.

When work takes up the entire stage, it means other parts of your life are being pushed into the wings. This can be a recipe for stress or leave us feeling unfulfilled. When we tie our self-worth to our work performance, we’re setting ourselves up for a tough time if things don’t go well. Life should be a mix of different experiences – work, hobbies, relationships, and time for yourself. In this blog, we’re going to show you the importance of finding new ways to express yourself so you can live life to the fullest!

How can hobbies be used as a form of self-expression?

A hobby is a great stress reliever that can take you away from all the pressures of daily life. Actively taking part in an activity can direct your mind towards a new, simpler goal. It can help you grow as a person, expanding your skills into new areas you never considered before. You define the parameters and goals of your hobby which can be quite liberating! You are in control, and you decide where you want to go. Hobbies can come in all shapes and sizes, though keep in mind some hobbies are pricier than others. Beyond any physical or monetary limitations, the potential is near infinite!

What counts as a hobby?  

Anything and everything! But to break it down, we can place it into four typical groups: creative, physical, games, and collecting.

1. Creative

Let’s start with creative activities; this is the fullest example of self-expression! All mediums of art are valid, from oil painting to pixel art, music to photography, or poetry to long creative writing. With so many ‘talented’ artists out there already and with the latest technology-generating content, it can feel intimidating to try. You may even ask yourself “What’s the point?” The point is to make it! To grow, learn, and enjoy the process not the finished result. There is great emotional value in becoming a master of an art or simply enjoying the act of making art, even if it’s not good!

2. Physical

We then have physical hobbies, much more about getting your hands dirty. Some of these hobbies can overlap with creativity, like sewing or carpentry. But the act of using your body as much as your mind can be a great benefit, as well as developing new skills such as crafting or performing physical feats. Sports, exercising, and training yourself for a goal like a marathon, are all great ways to achieve a healthy body and mind. Maybe it’s not about doing something with your body but exploring and visiting new places. Setting yourself in a new environment, away from home or the workplace, can help calm your otherwise racing mind.

3. Games

Next, we have games and, again, a bit of overlap. Sports can count as games and creativity can create games. Games are a great way to unwind, whether alone or with friends, doing something repetitive or enjoyable. Some people prefer the competitive challenge, training up to the level of esports or to become a chess master, while others prefer the casual and relaxed approach. And it doesn’t have to be all online, with board games and roleplay adventures like DnD becoming more popular and bringing friends together in a social escape! DnD is also a great example of how games can lead to personal development, learning, creative writing, maths, social skills, and problem-solving. In fact, you can argue all games, in some shape or form, have a mental or physical benefit!

4. Collecting

Finally, though not limited to, the last group of hobbies is collecting. Out of the four groups, this is arguably the most passive. Collecting is about finding enjoyment in possessing multiple a set of objects or items. During COVID, there was a boom in collectors hunting for ‘rare’ cards that hold value. But before you judge, consider what and how they are collecting. People who collect seaside badges would need to travel to the seaside, keeping them as mementoes for a holiday. Card, toys, or coin collectors can take part in a community and become quite skilful in searching for hard-to-find items, physical or online, and understanding value changes in items.

Finding Your Hobby

When finding the hobby right for you, there are a few things to remember. Firstly, do not be discouraged, limited, or pressured in any way! You can enjoy any hobby, or multiple, without judgement. Want to learn fashion and make-up? Go for it! Train spotting? Grab a GoPro and get out there! Remember, you won’t be the only one and there is always a community of enthusiasts willing to chat or show you the ropes. Secondly, hobbies are meant as an escape from your typical everyday life. Some people can make a living and earn money from a hobby, but this should not be the end goal. The goal is to relieve stress and express yourself!

Get to Know Us

Want to know one of our favourite hobbies? It’s writing! Over the years, we’ve self-published many different books. We have written books about our lives and the challenges we’ve faced, as well as our passions like football, running, and self-care!

Writing allows us to express ourselves, share our knowledge, and help others! This passion inspired us to create Kennedy Authors, a hub for all our books. If you fancy reading something new, why not take a look today?

Self-expression is all about how you feel and how you want to experience the world. So, whether you want to throw yourself off every bungee jump in the country or collect that last book from your favourite author, hobbies can become a defining part of who you are!

By trying new things, you can express yourself in a way you may not have considered or push yourself to places you never thought you could go.

For more information on this topic

Listen to our ‘S for Self-expression | Become Your Authentic Self’ podcast episode.

Z to A of Life Skills Podcast with Mark and Jules Kennedy.

Follow us on social media!

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