If you’ve been in a depressed slump, there’s a high possibility that you gave up on your hobbies. Don’t beat yourself up over it. I can tell you from my own experience that it’ll be more difficult to heal if you start regretting that you “wasted so much time” and “should’ve done more.”
When you’re sick, you rest. If you haven’t had a healthy head space, then it’s good you’ve taken a break from your hobbies. The point of having hobbies is to unwind and enjoy the—not force yourself to commit to them no matter what.
“The point of having hobbies is to unwind and enjoy the—not force yourself to commit to them no matter what.”
I used to write and submit to literary magazines almost every day. I kept a mermaid planner where I’d track my word count. A couple months ago, around when the Coronavirus started to dominate the news sources, I didn’t have the heart to write. Anxiety and uncertainty took over the hours that I had devoted to leisure time.
Now, I’m preparing myself to get back into writing. I’ve updated my planner with cute stickers that have encouraging words. I keep telling myself that I gave my mind a well needed vacation, and now I have the renewed energy to write with fresh eyes.
For anyone who is also trying to get back into their hobbies, take it slow. Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t put pressure on yourself to catch up on lost time. As I mentioned in my last post, be mindful. Focus on the present and the joy that your favorite activities can give you.
“As I mentioned in my last post, be mindful. Focus on the present and the joy that your favorite activities can give you.”
And if you don’t think you can bring yourself to reclaim your old hobbies, there’s nothing stopping you from trying out news ones. Maybe a clean slate is what you need. As long as you search for something to do that makes you happy—that you choose and want to do on your own—then you’re on your way to wellness.
I’m not a fan of cooking. I survived college with cup ramen and mug brownies which could be nuked in the microwave. However, I wanted to make better meals for myself. I looked up crock-pot meals that I could put together in under an hour.
The end result was a batch of chili. It was a simple recipe. I got to smell the food cooking for eight hours, which helped develop my appetite (that tends to elude me most days). And I felt good with the end result.
There’s nothing wrong with starting off easy. I think I’ll make a few more crock-pot meals before I tackle using the stove-top.
You deserve to put aside time to do something fun. Living means allowing yourself to be amused, entertained, and fulfilled.
“Living means allowing yourself to be amused, entertained, and fulfilled.”
If you’ve gone through a depressive spell or had to take time off for your health, don’t punish yourself for it. Don’t continue to put off your hobbies because of guilt, regret, or self-loathing. If you want to have “me time,” then go ahead and take it.
Learn to play again before tackling work.