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Hobbies to improve Mental Health

When struggling with your mental health it can be difficult to know what to do with yourself during your free time, that won’t have you feeling worse. As tricky as it can be to push yourself to do something productive when you’re feeling down, it is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Taking up a new hobby or re-discovering an old one will help you to focus your efforts on something positive and constructive. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood and depression. So, spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Unfortunately, Netflix is not one of the recommended hobbies. Whilst watching TV has been found to have a relaxing effect when watched short term, over two hours of TV a day begins to have a negative impact instead. It has been shown that each extra daily hour of TV kids watch, is associated with an increase in developing depressive symptoms by young adulthood. When studied alongside other activities, watching TV was the only one that showed a negative relationship with happiness over the long term.

With that in mind, here a list of more beneficial hobbies:

Reading (Improves memory & language, decreases stress)

-Fiction books

-Non-fiction books

-Blogs

Art (Boosts creativity & problem solving skills)

-Water painting

-Sketching

-Colouring

-Origami

-Photography

Crafts

-Knitting

-Sewing

-Card Making

-Cross Stitch

Exercise (Improves sleep & self-esteem)

Team Sports

-Netball

-Football

-Tennis

-Swimming

-Basketball

-Hockey

-Badminton

Other

-Gym classes

-Walking/hiking

-Dog walking

-Cycling

-Running

-Skipping

Meditation (Lowers stress levels & blood pressue)

-Yoga

Music

Playing an instrument

Singing

Sources:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3daqaj/is-watching-tv-actually-a-good-way-to-rest-your-brain

https://psychcentral.com/news/2018/11/11/too-much-screen-time-linked-to-anxiety-depression-in-young-children-and-teens/139931.html