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To Do or Not to Do – Conquering Activity Ambivalence

Posted on: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Have you ever felt SUPER excited when signing up for a new activity or starting a new hobby only to find your interest level drop off shortly afterwards? Perhaps it was that elegant barre class that you thought would help improve your posture and sculpt lean muscles, or maybe it was writing short stories with the aim of fostering your imagination and creativity. There are so many fantastic options and it’s likely you have great reasons for wanting to include each one of them in your life, so why does that interest fade?

The following are examples to illustrate some of the reasons why you might be finding it difficult to maintain your new activity and what to do instead.

  • High expectations. You begin attending a Life Art Drawing Studio class and you attend advanced classes within the first 2 weeks. Soon you start to feel panicked and demoralized by the high skill set expected of you. When you are a beginner it’s best to start with small steps, and stick with those small steps for a while so that way you’re not overwhelmed by what’s required of you.
  • Fad Activities. You are inspired by your best friend’s latest favorite hobby of playing poker or fantasy football. You follow his/her lead and sign up. As he/she is clearly a savvy person you are making little/no headway. It takes a little while and much frustration for you to remember that “card games are not for everyone”. We all have our own interests and skills and these are likely to differ, even among close friends. Take some time to identify types of activities that speak to your needs and preferences. Commit to these activities and you will increase your chances of remaining engaged.
  • All or nothing approach. You take up ultimate Frisbee only to discover you have a natural talent for the game. You were born to play! Not long after that, you start signing up for various leagues and out of town tournaments on the weekends. Soon you’re exhausted and burnt out by all the involvement and you withdraw from the sport entirely. With a more moderate approach you can get more enjoyment from an active over a longer period of time.

Taking the time to engage in a social, artistic or physical activity can be a relaxing and rewarding addition to your life. Why not set yourself up for success by approaching activities in the smartest possible way. For some ideas take a look at the Calgary Co-ed Rec Sports page or for crafts meetup page or ask a friend. If you’d like support in stress management and incorporating outlets in your life book a session with a counsellor at Journey Counselling. We are always glad to be able to help you find that balance.

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