Hobbies for Depression: Feeling down lately? Your brain could be signaling distress. These days everyone has a busy schedule. They work for a big chunk of the day and have to divide the remainder between family, friends, and loved ones. That’s not to mention doing household chores and making sure that utility bills, like the ones for your Spectrum TV connection, are paid up. With a pandemic raging outside, the stress only increases. Is it any wonder, then, that you’re finding it hard to get a little “me” time? And is it surprising that this is impacting your overall mood and behavior?
Table of Contents
- Life-Changing Hobbies For Depression
- The Multiple Benefits of a Good Hobby
- Finding a Hobby to Pursue
- Structuring and Organizing Time
- Focus on Relaxing, not Competing
- A Final Word
Life-Changing Hobbies For Depression
With so many responsibilities including work, relationships, social events, and family needs, it is hard getting time to yourself, to begin with. This makes it easier to forget that you need some of that time to maintain good mental health and start improving it as well. One of the best ways to use your “Me Time” in a constructive way that benefits your mental health as well as to adopt a purposeful activity. In other words, a hobby may be able to help you work on improving mental health. This blog explores how having a hobby may have a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
The Multiple Benefits of a Good Hobby
Hobbies are a form of catharsis. They offer a form of mental release and allow a person to unwind and rearrange their thoughts. The right type of hobby can often prove to be effective at lowering stress levels and boosting happiness in many individuals. This positive impact can also be seen in improved sleeping patterns, visibly better physical health, and an enhanced ability to socialize and even handle high-pressure situations.
Finding a Hobby to Pursue
Of course, knowing a hobby might prove helpful to your mental wellbeing is great. But selecting a hobby can often be much harder. Since every person is different, you’re going to have to be more proactive in choosing one. Do a bit of inward thinking to figure out activities that generate interest for you. You may choose anything (except drugs or alcohol) that can help you relax and engage in self-growth. From pottery to model building to sculpting to photography. Don’t be afraid to try out what you liked doing as a child or a teenager. You may be in a better position to revisit those hobbies now than you were back then. The only clear guideline is this: choose something that genuinely piques your interest and brings stress relief.
Structuring and Organizing Time
Of course, just because you’ve chosen a new hobby does not mean your schedule will get any less brutal. It may be more challenging now that you have another activity you need to fit into your day or week. But look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow. You will need to learn how to manage your time and structure your priorities. It will also allow you a healthy space where you can choose to work on yourself over other responsibilities. “Self Love” is often very low on most people’s priority lists. But conscious effort to reserve part of the day for yourself is a very healthy habit that you can cultivate with your hobby.
Focus on Relaxing, not Competing
Finally, the most important tip with purposeful hobbies is to remember the purpose behind them. For example, you may choose to show up at your local karting track every weekend. The notion of speed and skill may prove very cathartic for you. Since there may be other people on the track with you, it is a great opportunity for some healthy competition. But for the most part, the competitiveness needs to be limited to the point beyond which it starts getting unhealthy.
Unhealthy competition in this sense is when the achievement or productivity that comes from your hobby starts to overshadow the purpose behind you engaging in it. Ultra-competitive hobbies are inadvisable since they add their own component of stress to the mix. This will prove to be counterproductive to the reason you’re doing the hobby: which is to relax and allow yourself some time to reflect.
A Final Word
While hobbies are great and have proven benefits on mental and physical health, they shouldn’t become something to fixate on. Your hobby is not something to become dependent on to manage mental health. They’re only there to allow you the space to do so. And for all intents and purposes, there is no substitute for professional therapy and prescribed medication for serious mental health problems. Don’t make the mistake of replacing mental health therapy with a hobby that is only a mental health exercise.