In this day and age, finding time to do much of anything can feel like a big challenge. With 40 (or more!) hour work weeks as the norm here in the United States, it can often feel like you’re just trying to stay afloat until the weekend rolls around. When it does, it can be hard to motivate ourselves to do anything besides just lounging on the couch and binge watching whatever is newly streaming on our favorite platforms.
In other words, it’s really easy to develop a pattern where we’re just going through the motions. This can work for a time — and don’t get us wrong, we’re certainly not saying that a bit of mindless lounging is always guaranteed to be a bad thing — but the truth is that having a hobby can help you to fight against some of the more frustrating situations that come up in our lives. Having a hobby to turn to is incredibly life giving, and whether you’re dedicating yourself to something because it interests you or because you’re just looking for something to do, we’d like to offer a bit of advice in today’s post. Keep reading to learn more.
What Do You Do For Fun?
The thing about hobbies is that there truly is something for everyone. Are you interested in collecting coins that sank to the bottom of the ocean floor and were lost to time until recently? Have you always wanted to get into woodworking so you could start making your own furniture by utilizing wedged mortise and tenon joints because that’s how your grandpa used to do it? Do you want to take up painting as a way to decorate your living space with art that’s as unique as you are?
Whatever the case may be, every hobby has a niche, allowing you to dig deeper and learn more if that’s what you’d like to do. Either way, having something that you enjoy doing that you can turn to when you’re bored or stressed or angry is a wonderful thing.
Why Having a Hobby Is So Important for Mental Health
The fine folks over at Psychology Today recently wrote about some of the reasons that people need hobbies. Chief among them is that hobbies can help you to take advantage of your time. Here’s what they had to say on the matter: “When the evening stretches out before you, unscheduled, you might find yourself laboring over that work project or answering emails into the wee hours. Chances are, if you had choir practice or a book club meeting that night, you would get those tasks done much more quickly. So, hobbies can seem to create more time by encouraging efficiency.”
This makes sense, and after all, who couldn’t use more time in their day?
At Two Rivers Counseling, we believe that chief among the reasons you should take up a hobby if you haven’t already is that it can help to give you something to do when you’re feeling stressed out. Had a tough day at work? Got into an argument with your partner? Heard some bad news? Whatever the case may be, having a hobby can help you to process those feelings and emerge on the other side with a clear mind and a new point of view. It’s amazing what spending on something you love can do for your mental health and your perspective.
Relaxing Hobbies You Can Try
Perhaps you have a hobby that interests you, but you haven’t devoted yourself to exploring it. If that’s the case, what’s stopping you? Take a look inside and see what you can come up with. Maybe you’re too tired; some hobbies can be very reinvigorating. Maybe the hobby is too expensive; try taking it a step at a time and working your way up. Maybe it’s too intimidating; dive right in and enjoy the process of learning, knowing that making mistakes is actually a wonderful part of the process because it teaches you what not to do.
You might simply need a bit of inspiration. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of hobbies that are easy for beginners to get into that we think you might appreciate. These include:
- Sewing, knitting, or crocheting
- Learning a musical instrument
- Auditioning for community theater
- Painting or drawing
- Learning card tricks
- Engage with lesser-known films
- Start a podcast
- Take up puzzles
- Find a penpal
- Write in a journal
- Play with Legos
- Watch documentaries
- Do some volunteer work
- Make a list of books and start reading
At the end of the day, whether your goal is to read every book by an author you enjoy, successfully cook your first steak, or find a list of movies to watch, if you can set little goals for your hobby, you’ll find that these push you even further. One of the best things about getting into a hobby is that it almost starts to fuel itself because you’ll discover new and exciting things along the way, ensuring that there’s always something new to enjoy just around the corner.
Counseling Services at Two Rivers Counseling
As great as hobbies are, there are some things that require a deeper form of stress relief. That’s why if you’re looking for a therapist in Portland, Dr. Post-Holmberg would love to see you. Two Rivers Counseling offers family counseling, couples counseling, individual counseling, and mens counseling with an approach that is tailored to suit your specific needs.
Everyone could use a listening ear from time to time, and it’s our policy to help you work through trauma or grief in a way that makes the most sense to you. Whether that means going on a walk and talking about your day or sitting down inside with a cup of hot tea, you can expect your time at Two Rivers Counseling to be one in which you feel comfortable and at home as we work through whatever you’re experiencing.
Click here to schedule your initial phone consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!