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First, I want to remind you that this is Mental Health Awareness Week, and Saturday, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. Show your support for those living with mental illness by keeping the conversation going and working to end mental health stigma and discrimination.
As we begin the month of October, our new theme is outside interests, and this week’s topic is hobbies. During this global pandemic, and perhaps as a caregiver in general, how often have you found yourself asking, “Who has the time for fun or outside activities right now?” But that’s the point. It’s so important to set aside time for YOU, to do an activity that you enjoy, with no connection to caregiving. Having outside interests, such as a hobby that brings you joy, can help you relax, reduce stress, and expand your horizons.
One of the silver linings of this pandemic is that it has given many people the opportunity to pursue outside interests and hobbies – pandemic pastimes! Here’s an article on how hobbies have helped people stay positive during lockdowns.
People are finding the time to do many things, such as completing old projects, updating photo albums, discovering new possibilities in the craft bin, renewing their love of photography, singing, or journaling, or even finishing a jigsaw puzzle. Some have turned a love of sewing into sewing masks. Others have used their talents in the kitchen to provide baked goods for frontline workers. Maybe you dedicated some time to de-cluttering and were able to donate some clothing or gently used items to someone in need.
I have a lot of hobbies, but one of my favorites has always been gardening. Spending time outside in my garden in any season connects me with the earth. I love the fresh air, sunshine, and just digging in the dirt!
Sometimes, the smallest things can give you the greatest joy. We love this concept of finding micro-joys, shared by Thrive Global. “The secret to micro-joys is that you are aware and tuned in enough to appreciate them around you. To find the joy, you have to simply be present and ‘smelling the roses,’ even for just a moment.”
So, if you’re looking for a new hobby or outside interest, start by thinking about what brings you joy. What are those things that bring a smile to your face and make your heart sing when you just think about them? What fills YOUR soul?
Founder and Executive Director
Courage to Caregivers