Why Hobbies Are Good for Your Mental Health
It’s not always easy to find free time from day to day. Yet, these precious hours where you’re disengaged from your usual obligations can offer an opportunity to indulge in activities you genuinely enjoy. Having a hobby is more than just doing something fun — it’s about dedicating time and energy to something that brings you joy and ignites your passions.
There are many reasons to get a hobby — and for lots of people, the health benefits top the list. We’ve put together five compelling reasons why hobbies are good for your mental health.
1. Hobbies Offer an Unparalleled Level of Engagement
Hobbies come in all shapes and sizes. They can be creative, academic, physical or just plain relaxing. Practicing good mental health in Florida can be easy thanks to all the fun activities the state has to offer. Some of the most popular hobbies for mental health include:
Sports and Exercise
Physical activity is beneficial to mental health. It releases endorphins in the brain that bring about feelings of happiness and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
If you’re looking for mental health hobbies in Tampa, join a local gym like Tampa Sports Academy or enjoy outdoor exercise where you can soak up some sunshine. You can even try out a trampoline park on your own or with your kids for some fun exercise. Cardio exercises such as walking, running and biking are great for your physical health as well as your mental health.
Music has a significant impact on mental health. Listening to music can ease anxiety and reduce stress. It can also bring forth happy memories and emotions. The benefits of music don’t have to be limited to just listening to it, though. You can achieve a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from learning to play an instrument.
Music workshops and schools in Tampa like Taylor Robinson Music Lessons offer classes for various instruments. Finding an instrument you enjoy and working toward learning to play it can be very fulfilling and beneficial for your mental health.
Painting is a relaxing activity that allows you to use creativity and feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete a piece of art. You don’t have to be a professional painter to enjoy the benefits this hobby has to offer. Painting can include canvas painting as well as other activities such as pottery painting. You can visit pottery painting studios in Tampa such as You Do the Dishes for fun workshops and take-home projects to work on.
Reading is a relaxing activity that can take your mind off of any stress in your life and transport you to another world created by the pages of a book and your imagination. Visit an independent bookstore in Tampa like the Oxford Exchange Bookstore or Tombolo Books to find your next book, attend an event or join a book club.
Journaling can help you relieve stress, cope with depression and manage symptoms of anxiety. Journaling helps you identify and work through any situations in your life that are causing stress, depression or anxiety. This then allows you to create a plan for resolving any negative situations that may be harming your mental health. Journaling also gives you the opportunity to practice positive self-talk and reflect on positive memories.
Exposure to plants and the act of gardening can have a positive effect on mental health. You can enjoy the outdoors and all the beauty that plants have to offer by visiting one of Tampa’s botanical gardens, or you can start a garden of your own and find joy in caring for it. You can find and grow plants that are native to Florida to benefit the environment. If you’d rather take small steps toward gardening, you can start by taking care of house plants or succulents.
Tampa Bay is full of inshore fishing charters that will help you enjoy the beautiful weather of Florida while fishing for a great catch. Fishing is one of the mental health hobbies in Tampa that is both relaxing and exciting at the same time. Being outdoors can help reduce stress and anxiety, and the anticipation of catching your next fish can be a thrilling experience.
Fishing is also an activity that creates feelings of self-fulfillment and success. Fishing requires skill and creates challenges to overcome. When you overcome challenges and learn the necessary skills to catch fish, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Fishing is also an opportunity to bond with family or other friends.
The main difference between doing a hobby and just doing something fun is your level of engagement. Binging a TV series is enjoyable, but that kind of activity seldom feeds your need for meaning or purpose. When you fully engage yourself in something you love, it serves as a healthy distraction from anything you’re not doing. For those in Recovery, that means hours of quality time where you can focus on anything other than the substance you were once addicted to.
2. Hobbies Reduce Stress
When life gets busy, a hobby gives you a break from the stress. By engaging in a hobby, you can unwind from your day, doing something that helps you feel happy or more relaxed. By taking time for yourself to enjoy a hobby, you can recharge and feel better prepared to take on what life sends your way.
3. Hobbies Can Improve Feelings of Anxiety or Depression
As you recover from substance addiction, you may find that feelings of depression or anxiety creep in, sowing seeds of despair or hopelessness in your life. Hobbies provide you with an active way you can fight these feelings and reclaim your mental health.
4. Hobbies Can Help You Rediscover Your Interests and Strengths
Addiction can rob you of your identity and make you feel like you’re worthless or hopeless. When you’re in Recovery, pursuing a hobby can help you rediscover who you truly are. As you engage in activities that spark your interests, engage your talents and spur on your strengths, you’ll remember that you are more than the problems that plagued you. You are an individual, and you are important.
5. You Can Benefit From the Power of Participation
Whether you join a sports team, sign up for a new gym or take part in an art class, participating in a group activity is an incredible way to boost your mental wellbeing. Exercise, especially, is a natural mood booster. In addition to the obvious benefits of staying physical, engaging in a group activity with others provides incredible advantages to your mental health by:
- Increasing your social connections.
- Teaching you how to deal with setbacks and challenges in a healthy way.
- Improving your sleep.
Explore the Role of Hobbies in Your Personal Recovery Journey
Recovery is a journey that will have many ups and downs. Hobbies offer pockets of peace and rest in what can be a difficult path to walk.
At 7 Summit Pathways, we believe in the importance of caring for the whole person. During your time with us, you’ll engage in multidimensional and holistic therapies designed to support your individual Recovery journey.
If you’re ready to break free from drugs or alcohol and rediscover who you are, we invite you to contact us today.