5 Hobbies To Help With Anxiety
Do you have any hobbies? I am not sure I would be thrilled with my life if I didn’t have some. In my youth sports were my hobbies – any and all sports. I had to be outside as many hours of the day as I could – biking, hiking, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and more. If I didn’t have the ability to be outside I am not sure how I would have survived.
Today’s youth don’t seem to spend nearly as much time outside and we wonder why there are some struggles. I am not saying that is the sole reason – there are many reasons I am sure. But I do see the struggles of today’s society on my children. The more time they spend with their computers, Ipads and phones, the more they struggle with anxiety, moods and panic attacks. Plus our children are adopted and come with their own individual traumas from their past.
What activities have we pursued to help calm down some of that anxiety? Well let me show you…
First and foremost – horses. Now this is a huge one for us so it naturally deserves spot #1. I view horses as two separate hobbies but here I will count them as one. One hobby that helps anxiety is caring for horses. I fall into that segment of the population. Let me tell you there is nothing more calming than bonding with a 1,200 pound animal. I do not ride anymore – my particular horses are rescue horses and have suffered trauma. They do not take kindly to people on their backs. But they understand trauma and stress and respond accordingly. Nothing calms me after a hard day in the office better than my horses. The workout from the chores helps too – we all know activity helps. But looking into their eyes from 6 inches away – it’s like you can see into each others’ souls. The second horse hobby is actually riding them. I like an occasional trail ride but I really don’t particularly care for being on a horse’s back. My kids however love it. I will do ground work with them for hours on end and just sit in the field with them while they eat grass.
Horses can be extremely expensive and since we own ours and board them – it definitely is. But I know many people that love horses and never spend a dime. Many larger barns do not have enough staff to care for the horses. They are often more than willing to share them in exchange for chores – basically working at the barn in exchange for quality time with the horses. Good ole bartering system. Horse ownership is not for everyone – so don’t dive in head first until you understand exactly what it takes and what the risks and rewards are.
Sorry but I tie everything to horses. I can sit in the middle of the herd and take photos all day. When you take up photography as a hobby you learn to focus on things you may not have otherwise even noticed.
For example in this photo look at the detail of his (Ace’s) eyelashes, my reflection in his eye, his eye whiskers, and even the multitude of different colors in this small portion of his face alone… What about that gorgeous sun kissed morning after a light overnight rain – grab some photos of the tiny droplets of rain on each blade of grass. This type of pleasure in any thing around you is quite relaxing. Sometimes I simply walk around and take photos of rocks. And best of all you don’t need expensive camera equipment. I have expensive camera equipment but I can tell you 99% of the time I am using my trusty iPhone. It is convenient and produces high quality photos and I learn all I can from iPhone Photography School.
Okay so maybe this one isn’t tied to horses – but I am sure I could if I tried. Gardening is an awesome way to reduce anxiety and keep calm. Sure some of it is about the manual labor and exercise. But most of it is about the gross satisfaction gained by literally creating something that can sustain you and your family. We would love to just become like a Grizzly Adams family and get away from it all – as long as we have our horses with us. Being close to nature in any way is quite effective. Also the gardening doesn’t need to be food – it can be a flower garden, trees, fruit trees etc… Either way you are creating something and nurturing it.
I have five kids. Sure three are now grown and out of the house but we still have two teenagers in the house. Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. A nice long walk through some of the area neighborhoods while listening to happy music or a self indulgent book on Audible is all it takes to rejuvenate me to take on whatever comes next – and there is always something coming next… Sometimes the kids even want to come for the walk. As much as that doesn’t let me get away, it does help them which lessens my need to get away. See how that works?
This is a large category – there are so many things you could become passionate about. For me, I love to sew. The fact is I really have no idea how to sew “the real way”. But I wing it with the best of them. When my horse (yes we are back to horses) needed a pad – whipped one up. When my daughter needed chaps – whipped a pair up. In this same category I include building things. For me I was building things well before I ever started sewing. Then I had an epiphany that sewing was exactly like building. Measure, cut, put together… I also crochet and work on those knitting looms. Those are very relaxing and a finished product can be whipped out in no time. These are some of my daughter’s favorite “whipped up” dresses through the years.
Hobby Jam specializes in What People Do For Fun! What do you do for fun? What helps you reduce anxiety?