I’m going to pick right up from last year folks! Another winter is a coming and another struggle is on my doorstep. This time I’m rural and more isolated than before. However this year my son is older and more independent. Here’s hoping the two cancel each other out! So I will continue to write about my journey through seasonal depression with the hope it will help even one person with theirs.
If you are new to the Beating the Winter Blues series you should grab a cup of your favourite warm beverage and catch up.
Hobbies for a Happier You
While I talked about a lot of important things last year; nutrition, light therapy, herbs, bach flower remedies and so on, I didn’t get a chance to touch on the importance of hobbies.
I can’t even begin to tell you how important it is for me to have things I love to do in the winter months. First, the garden is dead and buried… literally. The canning is all but done and so is that amazing feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction it brought. And the weather leaves much to be desired. While I do try to get outside, I’m definitely a home body. I could curl up by my fireplace and work on my hobbies all day. Hobbies help to pass the time, help to bring joy in what feels like a joyless time for some and they can bring a sense of accomplishment and achievement.
I love crocheting. Personally I find it extremely relaxing. Plus it has the added bonus of producing something when you’re done. That feeling of accomplishment is HUGE for me in the dark cold winter months. Another wonderful bonus of a crafting hobby is the ability to make gifts for people for Christmas, Yule, or any holiday you may celebrate. It’s so nice to see little (or big) faces light up when they see a hat I’ve made just for them, something they can’t find at any store. That joy just warms my heart. Now you don’t need to crochet, but I highly recommend a hobby that produces something.
This is a hobby that I’m just getting back into. I’m not sure if it was a lack of time or a lack of sleep, but my reading seriously slipped once my son was born. I found the only books I could focus on were ones with very simple plot lines (like Twilight… yes, I’m bowing my head in shame). But now that he’s older and I’m getting a full nights sleep I’m excited to start reading for pleasure again. Now I can personally attest to the fact that reading can be very hard to do when you are feeling down and/or depressed. The ability to focus is one of the first things to go. But your brain needs that exercise! So even if all you can muster is a fluff novel or one or two chapters of a book, it will do you good. I promise!
Baking is another great hobby that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Now I know what you’re thinking… Correne, nutrition is really important when you are depressed and baking isn’t exactly good for you! Yes, you are most correct, however there are tons of healthier baking options on Pinterest these days and I encourage you to explore them! So while my waistline might not thank me, I love the smell of fresh baked bread and muffins. I feel good knowing that my family is eating something I made (and not store bought). Plus it’s yummy and I know exactly what’s in it. And while I do agree that healthy nutrition is vital, so is enjoying your food every now and again.
Now don’t judge me… hear me out! I know everyone wants to label all screen time as a bad thing, but I think everything has it’s place… in moderation. If you enjoy watching a movie with your partner/spouse on a Friday night then I say go for it! Hobbies are about bringing joy into your life. Personally, I love science fiction (movies and television) and I love RPG video games (currently loving Fallout 4). I should point out that there is a big difference between watching a television show in the evening and zoning out in front of the television all day long. I don’t recommend the latter.
When I started doing preschool with my son I NEVER thought it would be something I would enjoy so much. Of course I’m happy to do it because he loves it so much. He’s always asking for more “school stuff”. What has blown me away is how much I’m enjoying creating curriculum and activities for us to do! So I guess the point of this one is to be open to all hobbies. You never know what you’re going to love!
You need hobbies. They don’t have to be my hobbies, in fact I encourage you to find things that are individual to you and things that interest you. But as a natural health practitioner, and someone who suffers from seasonal depression, hobbies are vital for getting through the winter months. Whether it be poetry, bird houses, making curry or making a rag rug, find something that will help you feel accomplished, relaxed and kill some of the time in the long dark months ahead.
In good health,