It’s important to have a hobby. Preferably more than one, but if you can at least pick on thing, it will make a difference. Now, I’m not citing research, I’m just talking from my own experiences and personal growth. When you’re depressed, it’s really hard to get up and do anything, let alone have a hobby.
After I left my farm and moved into town, I felt like I didn’t really have any hobbies. I’ve ridden, trained and bred horses, stained glass, drawing, crafts, camping and so on. I stopped doing all of these. I didn’t feel inspired, and I didn’t have the energy to get started.
It bothered me that I didn’t have a hobby. When you try to meet a new person, that often comes up, and I didn’t have an answer. “What kinds of things do you like to do?”
I had to say that I used to do a bunch of things, and decided to say that I am looking for new hobbies. This led to suggestions sometimes. Other times, it just got me off the hook. I was told I should go walking every day, get outside, play with the dogs… I never did these things, these simple things. There were excuses, there was fatigue and there was pain: physical and emotional. Why can’t sleeping all day be my hobby?
For me, I started playing an online video game, Minecraft. I started playing a little, and right off the bat my anxiety got the best of me, and I felt like no one liked me there. That didn’t last long. Soon I had other players helping me by giving me items to help me in the game. I couldn’t believe how nice they were being. It seemed silly, but these strangers online helped me to start interacting with others. It was safe. It was just a game, and they just wanted to play. There is chat, so we got to know each other a little bit, but mostly about the game. We built things together, blew things up together, stuff like that.
I started to spend so much time on there, that I finally became a member of the staff. I still am. I found that it started to become addictive, and was causing me to spend less time with actual human beings in the flesh. I stayed off the server for almost 2 months. In the meantime, I stayed in touch with some of my friends though a chat app.
I started to focus more on talking to friends and relatives through Facebook. I felt I’d missed a lot and wanted everyone to know that I care, that I’m there for them. People were happy to hear from me! These little bits of encouragement go a long way toward moving you forward toward your goal of health.
After awhile I started going for a walk at night, a short walk, but exercise nevertheless. I found walking at night to be very peaceful and quiet. Of course, I live in a safe neighborhood, so keep that in mind!
Your steps won’t be the same as mine, but the steps are there. Find something you can do, anything safe, small, and inexpensive or free. Coloring books are great. Whether they are the kid kind or the grown up kind! Reading is another. If you don’t like reading, try audio books or a service like Blinkist, where you can listen to condensed versions of non fiction books. Other ideas could be:
- Become a contributor to something like Yelp or Google, or even your favorite YouTube videos or other types of posts. *Do not get in arguments online… seriously*
- Find free classes in Yoga, Nia, Oula, or meditation for example. If you find something you like, sign up!
- Look for activities that include family or friends. If someone else is depending on you, there might be a better chance you’ll go. If you don’t feel up to it, don’t feel bad about canceling. They’ll understand.
- Make music lists on YouTube music, Spotify, or Amazon for example. Share those list with friends.
- Visit a hot spring
- See free music at a bar or restaurant
- Window shop, you don’t have to buy anything. Touch things, explore new colors, textures, fabrics… Heck, shopping online can be fun!
Those are just a few. I’m sure you can think of even more! Make a list. Pick one at least once a week to try. If you like it, keep doing it!
Let me know your thoughts about this post!