• Carrie

Remember to Have a Hobby

I think people highly underestimate the healthiness of having a hobby. I guess some people feel like only certain people need a hobby: creative people, or those that just need to stay busy, those that don't have a job, people with money, etc. But in my opinion, having a hobby is very good for everyone's mental health. If you're like me then having something healthy to focus your energy and thoughts into can be a life saver.

Sometimes I forget how important it is to do things that make me feel good. That sounds so stupid, I know, but it's easy to get caught up in the mundane consistency of life. I do the things I need to do; go to work, pay my bills, clean my house, but sometimes forget to do the things I want to do. I want to write a blog that people enjoy, cozy up with a fall time candle and read a good Stephen King novel, cook a new recipe, play video games, do yoga, go for a walk with the pups, sing to the top of my lungs while I dance around my house, paint a picture...things like that. These are some of my hobbies, what are yours? It is so important to remember that life is more than just work, eat, sleep, repeat.

I think mental health lies in understanding what makes you feel better and what makes you feel worse. It sounds so simple but it's not. The problem could lie in the inability to give yourself permission to enjoy things, or maybe you tell yourself there's no time for things like that, that your'e too busy, the kids take all of your time and there's simply no time for you. Maybe you think you're not creative or talented enough to have a hobby. All of these are excuses to not focus on your happiness.

It takes some self exploration to find a hobby, especially one that is enjoyable and fits your lifestyle. A hobby does not have to be extensive and time consuming or creative at all. It can be simple things that have a huge impact on your emotional well being. For example, you could make a hobby of writing inspirational quotes every day. Just a sentence that makes you feel motivated. You could think about it while wrestling three kids and just take five minutes to write it down. Take the time. Keep a house plant, enjoy watering it every day and take a moment to take care of it. It's ok to focus on yourself, no matter how simple or extensive.

When we have a hobby we can feel a sense of accomplishment. It feels good to finish something, to nurture something, to take care of our bodies, to feel disconnected with reality and enjoy some imagination. If you are bipolar, or have any mental illness, your brain needs as much help as possible. Doing things you enjoy can boost those chemicals that your brain may not naturally produce. Exercise is a great example of this. There have been many times that just taking a walk has made me feel more relaxed and happy. So whatever it is, find a hobby. Stay with it and see how it impacts your life.

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