Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety aren’t so much on the rise as much as we’ve just started acknowledging their existence. More and more people are talking about living with these conditions, and the more we talk about it the better we are at understanding it and how we can minimize the downsides. One thing that has definitely proved useful as a healthy coping mechanism is having hobbies, especially creative ones. So let’s see what are some of the best hobbies to helpyou or a loved one:

Express your emotions

Express your emotions

A lot of the time, conditions worsening comes down to bottling up your emotions and not reaching out in any way. Creative outlets can allow you to do that, so even if you’re not directly telling someone how you feel, you’re expressing it through art.

The easiest way to see this is through art and music. Music is often referred to as a way to filter your emotions through playing an instrument, and the choice of melody can help you deal with what you are feeling. Art, on the other hand, whether it’s drawing, painting or making collages, needs to be approached in a special way – by letting go of the “pretty”. If you want to paint what you feel, you need to not think about what the end result is going to look like, and simply draw what you feel.

Keep yourself busy

Mental illnesses most often tend to come to the forefront either in overwhelming situations or in situations of complete boredom. If you have all the time of the world on your hands and nothing to do, your mind can quickly go to some dark places. This is why you want to have a hobby that will keep your mind busy when you have a bit too much time on your hands. Something active will be especially good because when you tire yourself out, you’ll be much less likely to fall into a bad place.

Calm yourself

Calm yourself

Having an anxiety attack or a moment when depression completely defeats you can be quite devastating. The best thing is to have a support system of people that know how to pull you out of it, but that’s not always possible, and this is when art can be a saving grace.

Writing down what you feel or drawing it out can be a healthy way to work through it, and collecting Hot Toys and rearranging them on the shelf in a specific order can be a behavior that calms you down quite quickly. What is important here is to make sure you always have everything you need at any moment you might need it. This might mean taking with yourself a little sketchpad and some pens, for example.

Group hobbies

Group hobbies

Perhaps the best option of all is to find a hobby that will keep you not only busy and help with everything mentioned above, but that will also make sure you’re not alone.

Now, for some people, big groups can be overwhelming and intimidating, which is why you should look for things that you can do in small groups or pairs, especially if it’s with a friend you like. Hiking, group sports, collecting and trading figurines or cards and cooking together are just some of the things you can do, but you know your interests better than anyone else.

Remember that there are no good or bad hobbies. As long as you are not doing something to hurt yourself or others, you can find whatever it is you enjoy doing and that helps you feel better about yourself and the world around you. Depression and anxiety aren’t just something that you have to live with, it’s something that you live a long, high-quality life with.

About the author

Diana Smith

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