Hi all, Laura here! Victoria has let me loose on the blog so you should see a few more posts from me over the next few weeks.

My first is a bit of a cheat as it is actually a guest post. We were recently contacted by Maria Cannon of HobbyJr to see if we would be interested in an article she had written. Those who have been following us over the past year will know that mental health is close to both mine and Victoria's hearts. What you may not know is that my struggle with anxiety is actually what brought me to work at Eden Cottage Yarns. Having started crocheting this year I can certainly attest to the message within the article.

Maria has suffered from depression and anxiety for years. Her hobbies--gardening, quilting, sewing, and knitting--play a major role in maintaining her mental health. She believes having a cherished hobby is an important part of achieving happiness. She created HobbyJr to encourage young people to find a hobby they love.

 

Looking To Reduce Stress And Sharpen Your Brain? A New Hobby May Do The Trick

           

Hobbies come in all shapes and sizes and there is a match for every individual's interests. While activities like woodworking, knitting, crocheting, sewing, and art provide an outlet to relax and have fun, there are important mental health benefits that come from embracing a hobby as well. For those who are working through addiction recovery, finding hobbies that you enjoy is an important strategy for building your new, sober life.

Reduce your stress levels by embracing hobbies

One of the best health benefits that comes from having hobbies is that they can reduce stress. When you have had a difficult day in your sobriety, career, or parenting, turning your focus to a hobby engages your brain and can rebuild your self-esteem and confidence. Finding a hobby you enjoy will improve your mood, and this lift in your spirits will often carry over back into your regular life.

Many people find it hard to take time away from their day-to-day responsibilities for self-care. Life gets busy and most people feel pulled in too many directions at once to slow down and take time for themselves. However, a hobby provides the opportunity to take a break with a purpose, giving one the chance to relax and recharge while still being productive. Getting invested in a hobby also allows one to focus on the task at hand, setting aside worries about the future or the past.

Stimulate your brain and find a sense of purpose

If you are looking to challenge and stimulate your brain, picking up a new hobby may be one of your best bets. NPR shares that a study revealed that learning a new hobby can help people improve their memory. Activities like reading, crafting, learning to play a musical instrument, puzzles and games, and learning a new language are especially effective at boosting your mental fitness and keeping your brain sharp.

People working on recovery after substance addiction often deal with a lack of mental clarity. Stress levels are often running high and social isolation is common as well. For many people, these issues can be greatly minimized by trying new activities and hobbies. Even people who are recovering from something stressful, a life-changing event, or an injury can find comfort in a hobby. Hobbies tend to be quite therapeutic, and they can provide a much-needed sense of accomplishment for many people.

Not only can activities like sewing, knitting, woodworking, and art fend off boredom, lower depression, but they can help you focus and find a sense of purpose. As CNN Notes, hobbies like crafting are quite effective at drawing in your attention and helping you let go of other stressors in your life. As your ability to focus increases and your stress decreases, you will be better equipped to move forward in your recovery efforts, whatever they may be.

Use your hobby to connect with other people

Hobbies can also provide great socialization opportunities. Socialization is shown to reduce stress and isolation while providing the chance to create emotional connections with others. Hobbies like playing cards, quilting or knitting classes, connecting with book groups, or joining clubs give you the chance to find other people who share similar interests while reaping the other benefits of embracing a hobby.

Whether you are working on recovery after addiction or simply looking to reduce your stress levels and challenge your brain, try picking up a new hobby. There are activities available to suit just about every interest and trying something new gives you the chance to build new skills and feel a sense of accomplishment. Hobbies also help improve your mood while decreasing levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, giving your mental health a serious boost.

[Image via Pixabay]


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