When we think about hobbies we normally think of specific activities, which take up rather a lot of our time and cost us money. The idea of having several hobbies at once seems impractical, not because we don't want to do different things but because our finances and our lifestyle aren't compatible with idea of learning something new, with all that it involves.
On the other hand when we think about depression, many people tend to imagine someone lying in bed, crying uncontrollably and eating tub after tub of ice cream. Actually, there are different levels of depression and it appears in different ways in each person: some people who seem fine could have one or more symptoms of depression, although not to the extent that it affects their day-to-day life.
In fact, neither this idea about hobbies mentioned above, nor the general vision of depression are correct. In this article, we show that different activities that are easy to do can help to motivate people and keep the shadows of depression at bay.
No hobby: a warning sign
Anyone who tends to get bored easily needs different activities to stimulate them and keep them occupied. Motivation is an essential part of this process, because it will help to find emotional balance.
Psychologists at TherapyChat who specialise in depression say that a lack of a hobby is a warning sign in therapy: if someone has absolutely no hobbies and isn't interested in having one, the psychologist will try to ascertain whether they have anhedonia, which is a lack of motivation and indifference to stimuli. This is one of the basic symptoms of depressive disorders.
One option: group hobbies
If you take part in hobbies which can be done with other people at the same time, you will be training your social skills in an environment in which you feel confident: you, and the people with you, are doing this activity in this place because that is what you want to do.
These types of hobbies are especially positive if you are normally alone when you are at work, because you can't relate much to other people during the hours you are working. Paradoxically, group hobbies are also beneficial if your work means that you interact with a lot of people every day: it is not the same, being in one place and together with certain people because you have to, rather than because you choose to.
If, on the other hand, you choose a hobby you can do on your own, surprise! You will still be contributing to your ability to socialise: you will have something new and personal to you to tell your friends or your partner about, and you will also have the power to decide how much you want to share something which is yours alone.
Individual hobbies are especially recommended for people who normally experience high levels of stress and anxiety: the chance to focus and expend their energy on something that requires a determinate level of attention, away from outside stimuli and without being judged by others, can be a useful secret weapon in calming the mind.
If you are looking for a new hobby but are worried that you don't have enough money or, especially time, don't worry! There are plenty of things you can do which will distract you, motivate you and make you feel happier. Some are free and give positive results which reduce this feeling of “lost time” which you may experience if your everyday life is very busy.
The next page offers some ideas of simple activities that can help fight off depression.