I’ve called today’s post ‘K is for Kites’ because, having already used H for Homes, I needed a sneaky way of talking about hobbies. Plus I haven’t got any decent pictures of knitting!
Having hobbies, and joining in with other people’s hobbies, has helped me along the road to overcoming depression and anxiety. My own hobbies are writing (I’ve already talked about that in ‘F for Fiction‘.) and Photography (I’ll talk about that in ‘P for Photography’.). I also knit – very simple things like hats, scarves and squares – and cook. In the Spring and Summer, I like to garden. I also make cards and scribble the occasional drawing. Reading is a biggie, as is playing the ukulele. Over the last few years, I’ve also done a lot of BookCrossing, Munzeeing and Geocaching.
Matt’s main hobby is flying kites. Whenever we go out for the day, he fills the boot of the car with them. He’s got all sorts, from stunt kites (that I make him take as far away from people as possible, just in case the wind drops and they brain someone), to massive deltas (that can lift him off the ground). The kids have a couple of kites each, but their tolerance for standing still, holding a piece of string is pretty small, so they usually give up after a few minutes and find something else to do. Like the kids, I’m not all that interested in flying kites, but I’ll happily watch them bob about and will spend ages trying to get a decent photo.
Hobbies, while enriching in their own right, can be a distraction from the negative and destructive thoughts associated with depression and anxiety. One piece of advice that I only recently came across is ‘Remind yourself of all the things you’re good at and do them. Distract your brain. Give it something else to focus on.’* I can’t stress enough how important this has been in my recovery. I am naturally analytical. If I have a problem, my instinct is to figure out a way to solve it. I read books, search the internet, quiz friends and strangers alike, but if I let myself do that to extremes, I end up anxious, and when the problem doesn’t get solved I can fall apart – some problems, no matter how much you want them to, no matter how much you try to solve them, just won’t go away, or get better. Those are the problems I have to let go, and picking up one of my hobbies helps me do that.**
- Time to Change
- Mind, the Mental Health Charity
- Stress, Anxiety and Depression, NHS Choices
- YoungMinds, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing
*This reminds me of Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
**This reminds me of Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
An explanation of my AtoZChallenge theme can be found at Me and My Mental Health – It’s Time to Talk.
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