When I was in recruitment, I used spend a lot of time going through CV’s – lots of them! – and I remember (OK, so it was a while ago) that applicants would list their “hobbies” – not a heading you often see on LinkedIn profiles these days.
When I received a guest blog from a lovely lady (thank you Michelle Peterson!) which focuses on how important hobbies are to our mental health, it got me wondering. Wondering just when (for some of us) our “hobbies” turned into just one “hobby” which we called “socialising” – which in turn meant “drinking wine with our friends”.
I became so keen on this “hobby” that I was either planning to do it, doing it – or recovering. So replacing more constructive “hobbies” with endless “socialising” could be a double blow to our mental health as alcohol itself increases anxiety and depression.
For me, ditching the drink has given me to time to re-discover myself as well as the activities which give me a “natural high”.
Over to Michelle:
The Many Benefits Of Hobbies
How can a hobby help improve your mental health? There are several ways. Psychology Today notes that hobbies help you avoid letting work take over your life. With emails and texts, it’s easy to feel compelled to do work even on the weekends. But having a hobby gives you a great reason to keep work at bay.
The mental health benefits of hobbies don’t stop there.
- A hobby can help you meet people and socialize, and social contact helps your mood.
- Your stress decreases when you engage in a hobby you love.
- Your self-esteem and confidence increase because you have a sense of purpose.
- Your mind needs time to unwind, and that’s what a hobby provides.
Plus, you’re doing something fun with your downtime. Relaxing this way can actually improve your productivity at work, which also helps reduce your work stress.
Help With Addiction Recovery & More
The right hobby can do even more than help with stress and self-esteem issues. Therapists are now turning to hobbies to help with addiction recovery.
As TreehouseRehab explains, art (in all its forms) as a hobby has been used for a long time with people struggling with addiction. It helps people come to terms with their substance abuse problem, and it provides an effective, safe way for you to work through difficult emotions. Plus, there are so many ways to use art in this context: painting, drawing, sculpting, and more. That means you can find a style that works best for you.
Art is just one hobby that can help with substance abuse. There are many others, such as:
- Sewing and making clothes
- Music (singing or using instruments).
One of the biggest problems with addiction recovery is finding healthy ways to spend your time. Just about any hobby you find enjoyable can give you something positive to do instead of abusing drugs or alcohol.
Start Your New Hobby
Don’t let work overtake your life and burn you out. Even if addiction recovery is not a problem for you, having the right hobby can improve your mental health. So, start thinking about your childhood and exploring new hobbies. You’ll soon find one that works with your lifestyle and needs, which will lead to less stress. Doesn’t everyone need that in their life?