Feelings of loneliness often multiply during the festive season, but there are ways to feel less isolated. Here are three reasons why hobbies could help you during the holidays.
It's liberating to be alone by choice. Having the opportunity to spend meaningful time like that is quite valuable, that's precisely how I feel when all by myself accompanied with a decent cup of coffee on a cold Sunday morning while reading a book. Loneliness, on the other hand, is a completely different scenario.
In a post for Verywell Mind, writer Kendra Cherry states that loneliness isn't always about being alone, but rather about feeling alone, and that's how it drives the person into a melancholic state of mind. Considering that each person experiences loneliness in their own unique way, the depth of the term has entangled roots.
Traditionally when it comes to the holidays, most individuals get together and share by attending family gatherings. That’s when the feeling of loneliness arises for many people. Watching a group and not feeling like a part of it is discouraging. Moreover, the pandemic has shifted the way we get to experiment social relationships, this new change can contribute to the level of difficulty of how we create bonds with others.
The way people live and experience relationships is influenced by their perceived lack of intimacy with others. As we grow older, we desire deeper alliances in our friendships, making the emotional and psychological journey of loneliness more challenging—some people even claim to experience chest ache when they are lonely. That's why choosing a hobby to look forward to will help you cope with loneliness during the holiday season…
1. Hobbies improve your mental health
When times are rough, having a pastime can promote your mental health and overall well-being. They involve learning something new, and these purposeful activities have a major effect on the brain's reward system since you get something from them, such as new friends, new skills, or genuinely a great time spent.
As stated by Dr Ciara McCabe, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, “when we take part in a hobby that we enjoy, chemical messengers in the brain (known as neurotransmitters) are released—such as dopamine, a chemical which helps us feel pleasure.” Several researches also show that having a hobby is associated with lower levels of depression or anxiety, therefore it helps to decrease the loneliness emotion you feel.
2. Hobbies bring people together
Loneliness isn't the same as not having anyone around; it's the impression of having no one around you to count with. To change this, a hobby can help people benefit from social groups while embracing recreational activities. A mutual pastime can help to break down boundaries and bring individuals together, resulting in stronger bonds amongst those who have mutual interest in something. Hobbies are also a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family, as you can be a boomer and still have hobbies in common with your gen-z cousin.
Connecting with others who share a common interest fosters a sense of belonging and involvement with a specific group of individuals, which is incredibly significant around the holidays when most people isolate themselves if they don't feel like they belong. According to Harper Shero, contributor at HuffPost, communities are helpful to join or create because they provide support to the individuals who are impacted by the daily stress, struggles and chaos of modern life.
3. Hobbies are a creativity boost
In an article for Psychology Today, PhD Zorana Ivcevic Pringle writes that creativity without action remains in the domain of dreams and imagination. That is why it is essential to take action and eventually decide to try a new hobby. In this sense, hobbies don't have to be extravagant because the extraordinary can be found in the mundane; something as modest as practicing barista skills at home, gardening in the backyard, or simply learning how to cook a tasty meal can be therapeutic, you can also try doing a paint by numbers art as it’s easy for beginners and it guides your first steps with art.. They're all designed to encourage creativity, which is a valuable resource in your life.
With pastimes that will push you to think beyond the box, you will explore your inspiration and rediscover the creative part of your personality. As a result, contentment comes from doing something good and enjoyable, and loneliness may be reduced now that fulfillment is the main emotion. Now that the pandemic has hit our daily lives, it appears that taking care of your mental health is more important than ever. At the end of the day, it's all about navigating the process of discovering a passion that meets your needs and realizing the rewards of doing something you enjoy.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you're experiencing suicidal any kind of thoughts during the holidays, you may call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for help from a skilled professional who will be there for you if you need it.
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