Birmingham, UK

HOBBIES THAT HELP MENTAL HEALTH

It's no secret that I've always struggled with my mental health. Ever since I can remember I've been plagued with the dreaded anxiety, and more recently I've been suffering low moods. So how have I been trying to tackle these mental health issues without medication? I've taken up several hobbies which I believe are really helping to improve my moods and keep demons at bay.


My family at the very top of Snowdon on a beautiful summers day
Reaching the summit of Snowdon really was the highlight of the summer


Here are the hobbies that help with mental health...


Gardening / growing vegetables/ house plants


As a 27 year old I never really thought gardening would be my thing, it's for old people right? But actually I've found gardening not only quite enjoyable, but I also believe its helped a lot with my mental health. Spending time out in the fresh air tending to plants I've grown from seeds is just really pleasant, and don't even get me started on the feeling of accomplishment that comes with growing your own veg. I've been a happy gardener and plant mom for months now and I don't intend to stop anytime soon as this is one hobby which is definitely improving my mental health. 


Listening to and collecting music


Listening to the right music can lift anyones mood but there's something different about curating your own physical music collection. Lately I've been collecting and immersing myself into the world of records. Relaxing to a soundtrack of records you've compiled yourself really hits differently when your mental health isn't the best. 


The view from the top of Snowdon
Looking down from the top of Snowdon knowing I overcame some major mental barriers 


Walking


Exercise! The first thing any doctor will prescribe when you tell them your mental health isn't great is to get out there any exercise. I know this isn't a possibility for everyone but for anyone who is able, walking is a great way to get some gentle exercise without spending any more. I often go for walks for fresh air and to wind down after a stressful day. Last summer I even walked to the top of a few peaks including Snowdon which gave me such a huge sense of achievement. I know mustering up the energy to exercise is incredibly difficult when you're feeling low, but even a short stroll can help ease those demons. 


Tidying

I'm not entirely sure tidying the house counts as a hobby, but my god has tidying my living areas improved my mental health. They say your mood mimics your surroundings and I can vouch for this as doing a 10 minute tidy each day has helped me so much when I'm feeling down. For a lot of people with depression especially, cleanliness isn't a priority so things may be a challenge but nothing beats the feeling of living in a tidy happy space especially now so many of us are working from home.


Myself at snowdon summit celebrating
Celebrating hours of hard work


Blogging / creating 

I've been a blogger for years now and whilst it's always a hobby I've enjoyed, when I'm struggling with my mental health I find it helps. For me blogging is a kind of online diary, which I'm able to pour my feelings and creativity into. while I know sharing emotions with the world isn't for everyone, this is how I've chosen to process some of my darkest times. Journaling is another great way to transform any bad thoughts into something creative without oversharing online. 


Do you have any hobbies that help with your mental health? I'd love to hear about what keeps you happy!


Thanks for reading!



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