If you have ever struggled with depression, then you know that the last thing you want to do is get out of the house and participate in activities. But, doing so could be what helps pull you out of the seemingly endless, deep pit that is depression.
Depression is cyclical. It makes you feel like you can't do anything, but doing nothing makes you feel even worse. Believe me, I know just how hard it can be to pull yourself out of bed and go to the gym or dive into a hobby. But, I also know how much doing so can help with ending the endless cycle that is depression.
Many of the things that can help pull you out of a depressive state are the things that sound least appealing when you are feeling depressed. They may even feel impossible, but mustering up the strength to do these things can help improve your mood.
As evolutionary creatures, our bodies are designed to reward us for growing stronger. So, when you exercise, learn a new skill, or accomplish something, your body releases hormones that help boost your mood. Staying on the couch, watching Netflix, and eating junk food is only making you feel worse.
Getting started on a new hobby can be difficult, especially if you haven't done any extracurricular activities since middle school. Follow these steps to find a new hobby that you love!
Go ahead and pull out some paper and a pen… We're going to make a list!
First, write down all the activities that you used to do when you were younger. Were you big into sports in high school? Or, maybe you spent all day waiting for your art class.
If you can instantly remember something that you used to love doing, then you have your new (or renewed) hobby!
If you are still struggling to come up with something, don't worry– you're just going to have to dig a little deeper. Start by answering these questions.
Now, take a look at your answers and start to come up with some hobbies that fit those parameters. If you love being outdoors, alone, and you want to be more active, you could try hiking or maybe birdwatching.
List out as many hobbies as you can think of that might meet your interests.
Now that you have your list of potential hobbies, it's time to choose one. Don't give this part too much thought. If you try one and you don't like it, you can always try something else!
If you love sports, look online or start asking around to find an adult league in your area. Not only is having a hobby great for your mental health, but exercise also has incredible benefits in fighting anxiety and depression. If you can find a hobby that you like that sneaks some exercise into your day, even better!
Don't get discouraged if you don't find something you like on the first try. You may have to try out a few things before finding the right hobby for you. Just keep trying and you will find something that you love!
Be adventurous… You may be surprised at what you end up liking!
The hardest part of starting a new hobby is… well, starting the new hobby. If you are feeling depressed, you likely have little desire to leave the house and do much of anything.
I understand. Trust me, I've been there. I can tell you from experience that if you can just manage to get started you are going to find that your new hobby is incredibly valuable to your mental health.
Get off the couch, get moving, and get your mind on something new. I promise you'll feel better!
Once you get started and realize how valuable this is to your mental health you will be grateful for your new hobby!
The last step is being consistent. There are going to be days when there is nothing that you want to do less than get up and do anything. On those days, muster your strength and go for it.
Life is too precious to spend it doing things that don't make you happy! Once you find something that brings peace into your life, stick to it.