Hobbies and Activities for Your Mental Health

June 2nd, 2022

All to often people find themselves looking for activities to keep them occupied, happy, or just as a plain ole boredom killer. Not only a fun way to keep your mind fresh and sharp; Hobbies and activities turnout to be a wonderful way to keep someone’s mind in the right place. Many times, mental health patients and those suffering from substance use disorder (SUD) will be encouraged to find a hobby or activity to take one’s mind off negatives stimulus or to take place of the act of using drugs or alcohol. The road to recovery is long, a battle with a mental health disorder can be very taxing, so keeping your mind occupied and in the right place is key to a healthy recovery or rehabilitation.

Counselors, Psychiatrists, Psychologist and Healthcare workers agree that having your mind engaged in a hobby can reduce stress, enhance your wellbeing, decrease anxiety and depression, and improve your overall mental health. Hobbies and activities can accomplish this through what healthcare professionals refer to as mindfulness practices. On a psychologic level, hobbies and enjoyable activities stimulate the reward center of the brain, releasing chemicals that make you feel happy and content.

Okay, let’s clear the air. What exactly is a ‘Hobby’? A hobby is defined as an activity done regularly in your leisure time for pleasure. Therefore, pick something that you like to do, something that makes your face and your soul smile. Whether it be a creative endeavor, athletics, or something as simple as sitting down and working on a puzzle- if you like it, do it.

So now the question arises; which hobby or activity is the right one for me? Picking your hobby can end up being a fun experience as well. Because I’m cool, I’ll lay out some ideas for you.

  • Reading. Reading has been a hobby for humans for an exceptionally long time. Reading can also keep your mind fresh and help keep you mentally sharp.
  • Cooking, finding new recipes online, baking cookies with the kids, or making good ole fashioned comfort food can be a great release for many people.
  • Blogging. Blogging is a new practice but can be very satisfying and refreshing. Finding interesting new topics, news reports, or even writing a blog about how hobbies and activities can improve your mental health (I feel better already).
  • Hiking is a terrific way to get out and see new things, to dog into that childhood adventurous side. The United States has National, and state parks scattered throughout our entire beautiful country. Get out there and show nature some love.
  • Athletic leagues are found in every city in the U.S. Various leagues like, indoor soccer, running, biking, softball, basketball, and pickleball. Athletics serves as a double whammy; you will find benefits in physical activity and the social interaction with your teammates.
  • Signing up for lessons in swimming, photography, and/or martial arts.
  • Lessons in music and dance can not only be a fantastic hobby but will also allow you to express yourself and emotions in a way that other activities do not provide.
  • You can find numerous clubs to join like book or knitting.
  • Volunteer work can be satisfying for you and the organization you choose to volunteer for. Most non-profit organizations will take on volunteers. You will find that volunteer work can boost your self-esteem.
  • Mind Body exercises like Yoga, Qigong, Tai-Chi, and Meditation can help center your inner energy, and like athletic leagues- provide a wonderful social setting to be a part of.
  • Outdoor activities like Hunting, Fishing, Skiing, Kayaking, and Boating are all exceedingly popular and a fantastic way to get out there and explore new things.
  • Video Games, video games can be a great outlet for someone looking to get lost in the digital world and can be beneficial for sharpening your mind as well.

Put it simply, having fun is good for your soul. Get out there and find yourself that release mechanism, means of expression, ventilation, and/or egress. Your mental wellness and recovery are worth the search. You might just find that channel that saves your soul indefinitely.