How to Protect Your Joy From Your Mental Illness
Before you were depressed, you probably had a ton of things that you really enjoyed doing. Once that depression hit, it started taking those things away one by one. It continued like this for some time, until the most important of your hobbies remained. In this article, we are going to talk about how to keep depression, or any illness, from taking these last bastions of enjoyment from you. As well as, why it is so important to have a hobby in the first place.
Speaking of, my hobbies include cooking (preceded by eating), and playing video games. Although i could now make a case for writing, couldn’t I? That is besides the point i think.
How a Hobby Can Save Your Life
You may think I’m being a little over dramatic, but in truth, my own life has been saved several times by one of my hobbies, particularly, cooking. Having something that you enjoy, can bring a lot of light into your life. It can provide you with a kind of purpose, and direction. The best part is, that you don’t really even have to be any good at what you’re doing, so long as you enjoy it. The best way of using your hobbies against your mental illness, is by really focusing on them. You get into one of your bad moods, or a real slump, put everything you have into that hobby of yours. The key here is distraction, and distracting yourself from your mental illness, while not the healthiest coping skill, it can be really useful in a pinch.
Stopping Mental Illness From Stealing Your Happiness
When you’re suffering, even the smallest bit of joy is a relief like no other. Your hobbies, are what provide that relief for you. They should, after all, they are things that you’ve like doing before, during and will after your mental illness. The problem here, is that mental illness really likes controlling your life. It likes to force you into a place where only negative emotions reside. When your mental illness is this abusive, your hobbies can almost be your lifeline. A rope that you grab onto to pull yourself out of the darkness. But, as mental illness likes control, it will certainly not like your hobbies. It will start going after these small pockets of joy that you’ve been relying on.
Something that you never might have thought of, is incredibly useful in keeping your hobbies safe. It is giving your hobbies a break, shocking right? Let me explain. Anything and everything you do whilst struggling with your mental illness will feel like moving mountains. The physical and mental levels of energy needed to complete any task jumps 10 fold. While your favorite things to do may seem easier to do than most, these things will take up a lot of energy too. Depression especially can make anything that takes too much work become less appealing, until you just give up on it completely. I imagine it is like that with many other mental illnesses as well. So, one of the best ways to protect the things that you love to do, is to not do them (all the time). It is probably very tempting to do something that you enjoy all the time. However, this will tend to lead you into an exhausted state, where you don’t really want to do anything any more.
Whatever your favorite hobby is, keep it close, as your mental illness will try to pry it from your fingers any way it can. Use them as little floating devices that keep you from drowning in sorrow. Lastly, be cautious of overdoing it, really savor the time you spend enjoying your hobby. Good Luck, and Stay Strong everyone!
If you see something i missed, lets help eachother out, and put your addition or correction in the comments below. So that we can best help each other and all stay strong and safe when dealing with mental illness.
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