Search the web, and you will find numerous articles about hobby burnout and how to avoid or deal with it.
Hobby burnout happens when something you do on your free time usually for fun or to relax, is no longer any of those things, below I’ll go a bit deeper into the causes of problem and also how I solve it.
I’m sad to say everyone who has an active hobby will sooner or later face hobby burnout, it’s not a question of if, but of when it will happen.
As a fellow enthusiast I’ll enumerate in no specific order some things I experienced when facing hobby burnout, keep in mind this is from my point of view.
- General lack of interest in the hobby.
- The community as a whole feels boring.
- The hobby feels like a waste of time and money.
- You avoid interaction with fellow enthusiasts.
- Normal conversations about the hobby feel superfluous.
- The hobby feels like a bad job.
- Feeling like an outsider in the community.
- No or little enjoyment when starting or finishing hobby projects.
The list given above is by no means exhaustive, but if it hits close to your heart you might be experiencing hobby burn out right now.
As a hobbyist I have some simple ways to deal with it, here are some I often use.
- Stop and rest for a while. Remember this is not a job and no one is forcing you to continue.
- If you are not enjoying your current projects, you should stop them. Working on something half-hearted will often have mediocre results, so save time and re-start later.
- Control your spending, if you feel the hobby is straining your finances, maybe it’s time to reassess your current hobby objectives.
- Try to find the reasons why you are not actively enjoying your hobby, a bad community, peer pressure, lack of time, life related problems. Sometimes the problem is not really hobby burnout but something much more serious in your life.
- Try to rediscover your hobby by helping newbies into the hobby, helping new enthusiasts can be a good way to understand why you have fallen in love with your hobby in the first place.
- Find another hobby. Yes, it looks extreme, but I know of many hobbyists who just stopped one day and started other hobbies, it doesn’t mean you have to forget everything and leave your friends or acquaintances behind, but there’s no rule saying you can’t have multiple hobbies.
- If you are overwhelmed by the community side of the hobby or by peer pressure, disconnect for a while. You will be surprised with the very few persons who’ll actually notice that you are on hiatus.
This article came to mind after I noticed I was feeling hobby burnout myself some weeks ago. When faced with burnout I did the following:
- Removed myself from all non-essential communities, remained as a lurker in others.
- Stopped engaging in hobby related conversations for a while (even in my own community).
- Reassessed all hobby related spending.
- Talked about my burnout with my family and some friends/acquaintances.
- Engaged in other hobbies.
- I found out what caused my burnout and tried to address it. (My mental health due to the Covid-19 curfew was the culprit just in case you are curious).
Our hobbies should be enjoyable, if they become chores, then something is wrong, sometimes hobby burnout is the result of something more serious in our life, just like in my case.
These days I’m enjoying music and reading manga, I’m currently on a hiatus regarding my hobbies.