I have a very creative personality. I find that having hobbies and/or learning new things really helps me in my anxiety.
When I was young one of my very first hobbies that I remember learning was knitting. I remember my mam showing me how to hold the needles and the “proper” way to hold the wool in my hand. The latter I could never understand how to do so I just did it my way. She showed me what a knit and a purl stitch was. Forward on to 25 years later and I am still knitting on and off. It is that kind of relationship where I could pick up a set of needles and knit for a few weeks and then put it away and not look at it for months or more. This was ok though because when I came back to it I could either pick up where I left off or start again if I didn’t keep note on where I left off. Knitting has taught me how to keep track of what I am doing because if I didn’t keep note, I wouldn’t know where I left off on a certain pattern and that could make the knitted item look a little wonky.
Set you inner child free
Another interest I have had since I was a child is cars. I remember the times I would go in with my dad to help him pick out a car. As soon as he had it on the road, I would see what little novelties that car had that the previous car didn’t have. Nowadays that interest has dwindled a little, but I am now trying to resurrect that interest by looking at some car magazines. I love building Lego cars.
Lego is another hobby that has really helped with my anxiety. Building interesting things with little bricks has always felt very relaxing. You enter a world of your own while building and you get a nice build at the end. I find it helps me when my mind is overwhelmed. During lockdown I got my biggest Lego build ever at over 800 pieces and built a sports car. Buying this item has helped me in another way too. I find it hard to spend money on myself so when I saw this in my local shop at over €50 my first thought was that it is far too expensive for me to spend that. It took me two weeks to decide to buy it and eventually I did, and I am glad because we all must treat ourselves every now and then.
Hand over control
Baking is another hobby I had from my youth. I find baking very therapeutic. Baking help me with my self confidence and in a sense to not want to control so much. When a bake turns out well it can really help with self-confidence, if it doesn’t, I can learn from it and do better the next time. I have a bit of a tendency to want to control situations so baking helps me to put the control on to something else in this case the oven because other than controlling the temperature I can’t control what goes on in the oven or what will happen to my baked goods sometimes no matter how hard I try.
Sometimes I must remind myself of these hobbies because when I am anxious, I sometimes feel like I have no interest in anything that is why I aim to write down all my hobbies and keep the list safe for when I need it. Hobbies are a good thing to have. It is also good to learn new hobbies and skills for example I know how to play the tin-whistle, but I want to get better at it, so I aim to put some time a side to practice it better. Hobbies can help us socially too as there are many courses, we can do to learn new skills and hobbies and that is I feel how can hobbies help with anxiety.
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