Have you ever told someone about a hobby that you really enjoy only to have them sneer at you or make fun of things you enjoy? This is called yucking your yum.
Maybe you have been telling them about how much you enjoy going to baseball games only to have them explain why baseball is boring and football is better (or maybe they tell you all sports are a waste of time). Maybe you mention a concert you have recently attended and the person sniggers at your taste in music. Perhaps you have mentioned that you collect comics from the Silver Age and the person you are talking to mocks your interest in what they perceive to be a juvenile pursuit. Or maybe you have recently taken up cake decorating and the person with whom you have been talking takes the opportunity to explain all the ways in which sugar is bad for your health (we should note that they are not necessarily wrong, but still, this is definitely not the time to bring it up).
Again, there is a name for this kind of behavior by a person who is insistent on making light of your interests: yucking your yum.
The world, to be sure, is full of people who seem to enjoy yucking other people’s yum. But in many cases, it isn’t a friend, family member, or even a stranger who does the yucking. Much of the time, we end up yucking our own yum.
Undervaluing Our Own Hobbies
These days, everyone seems to be hustling all of the time. Folks have a full-time job and a couple of side gigs. Our children seem to be engaged in endless activities—and our role seems to be largely made up of hauling them back and forth. When the weekend arrives, folks have lawns to mow and laundry to do and a whole list of additional chores.
Under these circumstances, taking time to indulge in a hobby of any kind can seem frivolous. There is so much to do and so little time in which to do it. How could we possibly spend an afternoon reading a mystery novel or going geocaching or playing video games online? Those things are just ways to waste time, right?
Convincing yourself that something you love is just a waste of time you need to devote to other things is the number one way of yucking your own yum.
So how do you overcome that tendency? The key is scheduling.
Put Your Yumminess in Your Calendar
When you want to take a vacation (and you really ought to take a vacation because it is a great way to support your mental health), you have to make sure you put it in your calendar well in advance. Knowing just when your vacation will occur allows you to make plans so that you can get the most enjoyment out of your time away from your usual responsibilities. An upcoming vacation provides motivation to get things done in advance so that they won’t intrude on the time you have set aside for relaxation.
When it comes to our hobbies and other activities we enjoy, it can be truly helpful to think of them as mini-vacations. If they are mini-vacations, they need to be added to your schedule. And once they are in your schedule, you need to protect that time and use it for relaxing and engaging activities that can help you feel refreshed and more resilient.
Admittedly, it can seem counterintuitive to have to schedule fun and relaxation. But we encourage you to think of it this way: Your calendar is where you list the activities and responsibilities that you cannot ignore, skip, or forget about. We would argue that when it comes to your mental health, relaxation and fun are too important not to include on your calendar. A calendar listing for something you enjoy is a great way to celebrate—rather than yuck—your yum.
Here’s Something Else You Should Schedule: Mental Health Care
When it feels as though you never have a moment for yourself, it can seem impossible to schedule mental health care. It can seem easier to just ignore symptoms of depression, anxiety, or a trauma-based disorder, because you simply do not have time to do anything about them.
But if you take a step back and consider that strategy, it is pretty easy to see that untreated mental health disorders make everything harder—and that increased level of difficulty can impact your work, your relationships, and your ability to enjoy your life.
Our advice? Get mental health care onto your calendar sooner rather than later. At Johnstown Heights Behavioral Health in Colorado, we offer personalized, evidence-based mental health care that can improve your quality of life.