Have you ever used your hobbies and side projects to make yourself feel better?
When I was little, my sister’s friend was really mean to me when we were at acting camp. I think she said something to the effect of “you have no friends”, which was true at the time because we were at camp and I hadn’t really made friends, but it still hurt.
At any rate, instead of fighting back, I stood up, and walked away with my bright purple binder to a separate area and ‘played’ with my writing and paper. That’s what I called writing back then, ‘playing’. It was like my favorite thing to ‘play’ with. My own little toy. It was one of those thick binders with cloth on the outside that you could zip shut. I took that binder with me to acting camp because it was like my toy, since I really didn’t have any friends there. I would open up that binder like it contained a world of fun, when all that was inside of it was a few sheets of paper and probably some stickers.
On this particular day, playing in my binder made me feel better. It made me forget that I had been made fun of, and I felt safe and secure playing with it, because it was something that I loved.
I feel this way about blogging. It just makes me feel better.
Yesterday, someone was a bit mean to me, and it left me feeling like I was that little girl again at acting camp, getting bullied. I could almost feel the little girl inside of me running home to cry. I was patient with myself while the feeling stayed, and decided to do something to lift my spirits. Just as when I was a little girl, I decided to return to the thing that I loved (blogging)- this time there was no purple binder, and the pencil and paper were digital.
I checked my email and found an email from one of the bloggers I follow, about blog planners. I thought that was really cool and started reading about it for a few minutes, and before I knew it, I was feeling somewhat better. Not all the way, but I had forgotten about the bad feeling for a second or two.
That’s when I decided to look at my new site that I’m working on. I worked on it a ton over the weekend, and it immediately cheered me up! This is actually good because I WANT people to feel good when they go to it! I started reading the content, and it reminded me of the really loving, positive direction I’m headed in. Looking at the projects your proud of can cast out the mucky feelings you’re having in a really beautiful way. I took the time to really adore the beautiful project I was working on, and I felt immense pride for it, which pushed the bad muck far, far away.
I even smiled, uncontrollably.
Having hobbies, or just having something you love working on, is so therapeutic. It can be crafting, writing, doodling, whatever. But when you have something you can be proud of, it’s so soothing for a bad burn. It gives you something to do when there’s nothing else to do. It makes you feel like there’s less pressure to find people to do things with when you have a free day, and it makes you want to spend more time just hanging out with yourself.
This is especially helpful if you are going through a tough break up for example. When I was trying to get over guys I dated in my early to mid-twenties, it really was blogging that saved me. It gave me something to think about, and something to be proud of, especially since break-ups don’t leave you feeling like you have a lot to be proud of. Hobbies are like a form of self-love in that way. They’re like your higher self, reminding you of how much good you’re capable of, even if you don’t feel like you have any talents. It takes your mind off things, and puts it in a place that’s less noisy.
And the good news is you need zero talent to get started with anything. All you need is a little willingness.
Do you have any side hobbies that make you feel better after a rough day? I’d love to know that I’m not the only one who sees hobbies as anti-depressants.