Can having a hobby, make us happier humans ?

I remember the day I came to the realisation I didn’t have any actual hobbies. It was during a disagreement with an ex around the subject of time together on a Saturday.  Every Saturday he would spend it playing football, watching football, learning to play his guitar, or playing badminton. I brought up the subject of how maybe some Saturdays he could spend them not doing these things. This is when I was told  “I wouldn’t understand because I didn’t have any Hobbies.”

Taken aback I replied of course with…” Errrr,.. yes I do, I have plenty.” (  Shopping for an outfit and going out drinking was a hobby right ?! )  Which furiously took me to my phone to tell the girls, and seek reassurance from them by asking what their hobbies were.

A hobby Is a pretty broad term, people define it differently, but I suppose to me a hobby should be an activity that we enjoy, that you do for leisure, in your spare time.  And something you can learn and grow from.  I suppose then I didn’t have any real hobbies. I mean finding the perfect outfit for the weekend, then drinking till 2 am took some serious skill, but I wasn’t learning or growing from it.

So fast forward three years and I would definitely say I have more of a range of hobbies. Writing and starting this blog a few months ago being one. But maybe I still don’t have many, considering all of the amazing things we now have around us ready to learn and try out, ( rather than just absorbing into Netflix). Don’t get me wrong, watching a TV series on Netflix is a hobby in it’s own right, and one of my favourite past times, but it’s not one we would put on a CV.

I remember always thinking my ex was a pretty happy go lucky person, he enjoyed his Saturdays learning new chords on the guitar, and passionately shouting at the football.  His hobbies seemed to make him happy. Which led me on to think maybe having a hobby can make you a happier person, and here are some reasons why.

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1) They de- stress you

Us humans work/study hard, some of us putting in a hefty 52 hours a week. To have something we do regularly, to take our mind off of the things we ‘have to do,’  is the ideal release from working life.   People don’t tend to choose hobbies that make them angry. Painting, writing, swimming, are all activities that relax the mind. Hobbies are like mediation they keep you present and both things lead to a more content mind.


2) They give you a sense of achievement

Learning a new language, playing a new song on a musical instrument, or completing your first painting, must give you a real glow inside. They give you a sense of reward, help you grow, and therefore boost your confidence which can only lead to feeling happier.


3) You meet new people or connect with like minded friends

My friend told me that his biggest reason for enjoying golf ,is it facilitates him getting together with other people who also share a love for the sport. The social aspect of playing a sport and having fun with others, always leaves you with a feel good feeling after.


4) You get to show case your talents

If your hobby includes something you excel at, i.e drawing, singing, cooking, playing a sport, it’s a chance to show case your talents.  Either through social media, during a game, performing for loved ones or just impressing yourself.   It feels good to practice and excel at something.


5) It can help your mental health

Dopamine and Oxytocin are just two hormones that are released  when we are doing an activity we like, which are associated with reward and satisfaction.  Having a creative outlet can give you some joy and the more time spent away from thinking about work, or doing work at home the better ( common sense. )  When your alarm goes off to get up for work the majority of us want to press snooze, if it went off to start a hobby we love, I’m sure we would not feel the same.  Immersing yourself in a hobby is a great path back to happiness.


So there you have it, I think having a hobby or two could make us all feel that little bit less stressed and happier.  So try and find something you enjoy, dig out an old hobby or start a new one. I’m off to try my hand at some painting with water colours ( and pretend I know what I’m doing )  ……….wish me luck.

Happy Hobby-ing  XOXO

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How comparing will steal your joy .

Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game, which brings you little, to no joy.  Luckily, Iv never been one to feel envy or competitiveness in everyday life.  But since my operation just 6 days ago, Iv found myself worrying profusely, where I should be, at this stage of recovery, in comparison to others.  I think it began at the hospital, when the nurse told me on day 1 ” You should be using your crutches, not me supporting your leg you know”  whilst I sat crying in pain, as it was the first time I had moved since the operation.  At this point I hadn’t even seen a physiotherapist to show me how to use crutches safely, so she was wrong,  but I still worried about the words  ”should be.”   On day 3 I felt extreme nausea from the pain and the physiotherapist said, ” You should be lifting your leg alone, as your going home today.”  And I thought should I ?!  Well I couldn’t.  On the day I was discharged  I felt wobbly and sick, which is obviously expected, Id just had my leg broken and screwed back together.   But on arriving home, using crutches, one wrong move, and I felt my leg give way from under me, I hit the pavement.  Iv never felt pain like it.  And as I laid in the street, I thought ” You should be doing better than this ”

So it hasn’t been the best of weeks, but of course no first post surgery week ever is.  But to make matters worse when I got home and recovered from the fall,  I spent most of my time looking online at others who have had this operation, ( a TTT & MPFL reconstruction) to see what stage they were at by day 5.  Yes this is great for guidance, advice and support, but the direct comparisons made me feel awful.   I had others telling me how high they could lift their leg by day 3, or how far they could bend it on day 4, when I was finding both IMPOSSIBLE to do. 

My mood dropped, I felt anxious, sad.  I had done that to myself.

When you compare your journey to someone else’s, you instantly set yourself up to feel unhappy, But I’ve woken up today with a clearer mind and with a vow to start over.   I have learnt from this. And I know learning to walk again in an alignment my leg has never been since birth, is going to be strange, painful and slow. I understand that my lack of patience and comparing,  is really just a fear that I wont get to where I want to be. Which I will.  Maybe not as soon as ‘Sue’ and her bendy leg.  But I’ll get there.

So whether you find yourself comparing your surgery recovery, your mental health recovery, that new mums waist line to yours, or just the place you are in, in life.   When you catch yourself doing this. STOP.  And tell yourself, we are all on our own journeys, at our own pace, and as long as we are trying our best to reach our own realistic goals, then that’s all we can do.


A better focus is on what you are already blessed with, and how far you have actually come.  As I mentioned last Sunday, Sundays are a great time to re-energise, reflect and re focus.  Looking at both what you have achieved, and that you are grateful for, no matter how bad the week has been, (just look a little harder.)   This week for me, I

Achieved;

Going through with an operation that I have put off since the age of 17.

I managed to walk to the bathroom on crutches (no brace) on day 2, which on day 1, I never thought I would do.

I managed to bounce back from a nasty fall quite quickly.

I haven’t cried today (so far)


Grateful for;

My boyfriend –  So far he’s been my rock, carer, chef, cleaner and my best friend.

My friends and family – For the cards, support and little pick me ups. I am aware of what a privilege this is.

The kindness of strangers – When I fell in the street, two strangers helped my boyfriend carry me to my sofa, they couldn’t bend my leg and I was making no sense, so it was very slow and they were so patient and kind.

Peppermint tea and ginger biscuits – Try these for nausea. God send.

My kitten –  Despite trying to jump near my leg, the one place she shouldn’t, she means well, and her little morning purrs have made me smile.


So give it a go yourself,  put pen to paper, and if you to, have been comparing your journey to others, then start over today.  Remember a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. 

It just blooms. x