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Finding the Hobby You Weren’t Expecting : How to be Gentle With Yourself in Something New
Over the next two weeks, we will talk about activities we can pursue that are not difficult, but could definitely improve our overall mental and emotional wellbeing.
We would all agree that losing a baby is probably the most shocking and painful loss to be experienced. Thankfully, our communities and culture are more open to discussing mental health issues. However, we can always do more.
Caring Cradle has compiled a list of ten topics, and we will be sharing them over the next few weeks. The more others engage with the posts, the more helpful it will be to others who may be seriously struggling but do so in silence.
Many of you are leaders, teachers, trainers, coaches, role models, and encouragers to others. We invite you to comment, post quotes and photos as you feel led. Thank you!
To begin our series, we talk about how a simple, gentle start to a new hobby may bring rest to your mind while also surprising you with some unexpected joy.
Find A Hobby
Start Where You Are
There are times in our life when our grief and loss are at such a level that we have no idea how to recover. But in the meantime, we have the privilege of life, and we need to find even the smallest of ways to breathe, relax, and find small moments of joy. When you have no energy, when your arms and legs and your life feel heavy, it is hard to imagine you could enjoy much, especially a hobby, but it is possible.
Free & Easy
A hobby can be low commitment, easy to try, and an inexpensive or free way for you to find a mental break and some positive emotions. The right hobby for you should engage your brain and have the potential of increasing your levels of dopamine, one of our feel-good chemicals.
Dopamine has been reported to help us feel better, move better, and enjoy better memory and attention. So when we are feeling down, these exact areas are often ones we can use additional support. How would you feel if you could find a little improvement in one or more of these areas?
What have you enjoyed doing in the past? Even back to your childhood, where did you and your mind wander? Through your teen years up to today: think back on what you might have enjoyed.
Do you hyper-focus on anything creative? Have you ever found yourself doing something and suddenly realizing you forgot to eat? What could you do for hours that ends up settling you, not exhausting you? Some people love to bake, sew, paint a picture, plant a garden, complete home repairs, write poetry, play board games, travel, research…what is it for you?
Maybe you are a fan of history, music, sports, or makeup? Whatever you are interested in, YouTube offers almost a college education in many areas. Check out your local library, or you may find a course online.
Small Investments – Easy Sourcing
Keep things simple and small at first, so you feel permission to experiment. Remember that supplies you may need or want are often found at local yard sales for a fraction of their original cost. Friends and family are also an excellent source to ask for tools to share.
Let it be a small thing, a small start, and a small investment.
The reward and benefit can easily overshadow your initial investment.
Benefits and Outcomes
Even as you are investigating and going through your discovery of finding a hobby – realize you will already be engaging your brain and giving yourself the gift of thinking about something else. The gift of relief and possible joy may be more easily found than you expect.
A new hobby can be a small step in finding your way through periods of sadness or discomfort. Often, allowing our brains a break from focusing on what is making us sad will feel like a mental and emotional vacation. So it’s not only okay but essential to have fun and learn something new!
Here are just a few ideas
to help you prime your pump:
Learning A New Language
Learning To Play An Instrument
Road Trip For The Day, Local Points Of Interest
Online Clubs Like A Book Club, Museum Tours, Or Learning To Paint
Container Gardens Succulents, Flowers, Vegetables, Or Herbs
Collecting Things From Yard Sales
Hula Hooping (It Isn’t As Easy As It Looks!)
Building A Collection
Do you currently have a hobby?
We invite you to share what you enjoy, and please include a photo.
We’d love to see you and/or your creations and hobbies.