How do you escape from the stresses and strains of life? When you need to fully immerse yourself in something other than your typical day-to-day, where do you go?
In the podcast this week, we got to hear how Darryl and his heroes, the Rocky Mountain Ringers, use handbells to re-energize. Since this instrument requires all of your attention and focus, they shared, playing the handbells allows them to forget about all of the worries and to-dos that exist outside of this special space.
Listening to their enthusiasm and near-reverence for this experience made me think about the ways we cheapen our mental recovery. The digital age has made mental overload a normal part of life, so we are often faced with a feeling of needing to “just not think” at the end of the day. So we spend hours:
All of these things can be good in moderation, but we often confuse mental distraction with mental refreshment. Rather than re-energizing us, these new forms of stimulation can make us more tired and foggy than we were before.
Since most of us are probably not handbell players, we have to look elsewhere for experiences that will give us a break from the world. The activity that will work best for you depends on who you are and where you’re at in life, so I encourage you to take every opportunity to try something new.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas.
It’s probably no surprise that baking is my re-energizer. It’s something I love doing, it allows me to give my brain a rest while I rely on my hands, and I can share something special with those around me through it.
Working with food gives you a chance to challenge yourself, encouraging you to invest in the work you’re doing. You can also immerse yourself in new cultures and learn a new skill while you’re at it. If you’re intimidated, start with a simple meal or a box mix, and go from there. Even if you decide that it’s not for you, you’ll still have something yummy to enjoy!
You don’t have to play the handbells to be re-energized by music. If you have any interest in an instrument, look for a way to give it a try. You can look for a free/low-cost instrument online and find an instructor or local class for lessons. If playing music isn’t your thing, try singing lessons. Most people connect with music in one way or another, so this may be the perfect activity to lose yourself in.
Sewing, photography, building puzzles, painting, astronomy, cycling - there is no limit to the hobbies you can find. If you don’t already have a hobby that you can invest in, look for an activity that interests you and give it a try. I highly recommend looking for classes and events in your local community. Along with giving you an in with the hobby, these experiences offer the chance to meet new people, which can be refreshing on its own.
I’m not just talking about a walk around the block. Whether you can find an adventure in your backyard or you have to travel a few hours to get there, find a way to connect deeply with the world around you. Hike, go on a camping trip, swim in a natural spring. Unplug from the busyness that we create and let yourself exist in a place without demands.
These suggestions are just a taste of the many ways you can use your free time to enrich your life. If you have a hobby or activity that refreshes you, let me know what it is below!
Get the full story here, where you’ll hear why the handbells mean so much to Darryl, what you can learn about making mistakes from playing this instrument, and why sharing your passions with others is essential to your entrepreneurial journey.