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Self-Care Sunday: Hobbies

June 24, 2018

This Self-Care Sunday series covers simple things you can do each day to take care of yourself. I keep it very brief, because time is important and not all of us have a lot of it on our hands. This info is not meant to replace any type of therapy you may already be receiving, or any information or advice you may have received from your medical or mental health providers. If anything, this is just extra information from one person who cares to another. Today I wanted to take a moment to emphasize the importance of engaging in hobbies. 

We all have stuff to do, sometimes daily, sometimes boring stuff, but nevertheless it needs to get done. In my profession, I have noticed that one of the first things to go when we are depressed is our hobbies. Things that bring us joy, that entertain us, that make our life fun and at times meaningful are usually harder to enjoy when we are experiencing episodes of increased stress. Perhaps this is partially because when we are overstressed it is hard enough to complete daily tasks that we have to complete (getting out of bed, showering, going to work, eating, etc.), making it harder to engage in things that are typically seen as optional or unimportant.

I would like to emphasize that hobbies are indeed important and to encourage you to make room in your life for your own hobbies. You might think that hobbies are a waste of time or even selfish. You might think hobbies are for people who have the luxury of having free time. 

Research shows that engaging in hobbies can be invigorating and help us cope better with stress. They can even have a positive effect on our performance in other areas of life, including work. It also helps us prevent burnout in our jobs. Engaging in hobbies, for example a video game that you really enjoy or a sport, is generally healthier than simply distracting ourselves, for example by endlessly scrolling down our social media feed. Having hobbies and engaging in activities that we love helps us connect with others, and it helps us re-connect with ourselves. Don't underestimate the power of engaging in your passions. My personal hobbies at the moment include cosplay, running, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with my friends. What about you? 

I hope you enjoyed this and that you find it a bit helpful. Thanks for reading, and remember to take care of yourselves.  ♥
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