Why an Outside Hobby Can Help with Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
Millions of Americans suffer from a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. For many seeking a healthier lifestyle, it helps to adopt a hobby to replace destructive behaviors. That might include prayer, anti-depression meds, and ramping up your physical activity.
Healthy pursuits instigate eustress, the kind of stress that makes us feel happy, motivated, and vital. Depending on the hobby, there is likely a chance you’ll develop a sense of community with others who share your interests. Furthermore, hobbies are good for your physical health and promote mindfulness, release stress, and provide us with goals and the motivation to achieve them.
Today, Just Pray NO offers some insight into finding the ideal outdoor hobby to lower your stress and improve your life.
Thinking “Outside” the Box
While there are no “right” hobbies for people trying to overcome mental health issues, those who love a breath of fresh air would do good to consider something that involves the great outdoors. Believe it or not, spending time in nature can be very healing throughout the recovery process. Fresh air and sunlight are good for the body and mind. Generally when we are outside we are also more active, releasing feel-good endorphins and neurotransmitters for an overall better state-of-mind.
And the benefits go beyond helping your body heal after the damage of addiction. Spending time outdoors improves cognitive function, including short-term memory, problem-solving and creativity. Even just looking at photos of nature can help people. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, participants who viewed images of nature scored higher on an attention test than those who viewed pictures of other scenes.
How to Spend More Time in the Great Outdoors
If you are unsure about what kind of outdoor hobbies may appeal to you, there’s no harm in giving anything that sounds good a trial run and just seeing what sticks. While there’s no overstating the importance of goals in one’s life, there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with just going with the flow and enjoying the journey with no discernable destination in sight. Have a standing picnic date with a loved one where you each bring a healthy, outdoor-friendly dish. Commit to taking your dog on more walks and explore different neighborhoods in your town. Do whatever you want to experience this beautiful world and establish grounding while also connecting to the wider world beyond us.
While you should consider a variety of activities that you think you may enjoy, also include some new things that challenge, excite, or even scare you. When you do things that scare you, you help reverse unwelcome neurological patterns. So for every time you make an effort to relax and spend leisure time outdoors, make it a priority to also do something new. Join a co-worker or friend who is into rock climbing on their next expedition. Go on a multi-day camping trip where you hike through a state park. Learn something new and add on amazing mental advantages to the physical and emotional benefits of spending time outdoors.
You can also extend your time outdoors to your backyard. Making your greenspace a welcoming place to relax and unwind offers the perfect chance to enjoy the outside from home. While simply adding some new lawn furniture and potted plants can be perfectly adequate changes, you could also consider larger updates like bringing in professional land grading services before starting a garden, building a deck, or extending your patio. Plus, with these types of improvements, you could easily see your home’s value increase!
Start Small — Be Kind to Yourself
While it’s important to live healthily, and it’s great that you want to turn things around, sudden sweeping changes in your lifestyle aren’t always best. That’s why it’s important to set small, reasonable goals and not be too hard on yourself. Outdoor hobbies are a great place to start because they encourage healthy coping mechanisms and get us out of our own heads for a while. While activities can be calming and leisurely, it’s also healthy to try new and scary things. A variety of outdoor pursuits both nourishes and challenges the mind and body.
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Article Submitted by Dylan Wallace firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve lost your job recently as a result of a substance abuse addiction, the pandemic, or other factors, then chances are you’re experiencing a lot of stress right now. One factor that can ease stress is finding more financial security. Courtesy of Just Pray NO!, here are a few ways you can create your own small business or side gig and use it to better your financial situation and remove at least one worry during these challenging times
First, Make it Official
Whatever caused you to become unemployed, making ends meet can be difficult. But it’s not impossible. The key is to regroup and start seeking new opportunities. Starting your own small business is a fulfilling and lucrative way of doing so.
Remember, you’ll need to pay taxes on your income, so it makes sense to choose a business structure and register with your state before you go too far. Many solo entrepreneurs like the advantages an LLC brings, namely the personal asset protection. It’s easy to register when you use a formation service. And don’t forget to pay yourself. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or hiring staff, a program like Quickbooks is a great tool for processing payroll for small business owners. Just add it to your toolkit so that you can set up auto payments, direct deposit and auto tax filing. In just a couple of quick hours, you’ll be official and ready to go to work!
Become a Pet Sitter
Pet sitters are on the rise across the United States. Fifty years ago, pet sitters hardly existed. Today, though, they have become many pet owners’ go-to if they are planning on leaving their pet alone for an extended period of time. One of the best parts of becoming a pet sitter is that the startup cost is extremely inexpensive. As long as you have reliable transportation, you can become a pet sitter. This makes it extremely easy to get started.
Of course, not everyone has the personality needed to be a pet sitter. You must be responsible and organized enough to handle juggling multiple clients at a time, but also flexible enough that you can change your schedule if something comes up. Obviously, you should also love dogs and other animals. If you have experience with exotic animals, you can draw in even more customers with your unique experience and know-how.
Take Up a Craft
Craftsmen are hard to come by these days. With a growing number of people taking office jobs or deciding that college is the best path, fewer and fewer people are creating things with their hands. Yet the demand for skilled craftsmen has never decreased. This has led to an extreme skilled labor shortage. It can be difficult to find someone who is qualified to renovate your house or fix electrical issues, so if you have ever wanted to get involved in a trade, now is the time to start.
Of course, there are other ways to make or fix things with your hands that don’t involve building houses or becoming an electrician. The rise of online shopping has made it particularly easy to make things and sell them to a wide variety of customers around the world. Sales platforms like Etsy make it incredibly easy to set up your own online business and use your skills to make a living.
Teach an Instrument
Now is a great time for those lifelong piano lessons to pay off. If you can play an instrument, it’s very possible that you’ll find a market of local people who are willing to pay you to teach them or their children. You don’t have to be a prodigy to teach children to play instruments; you just need to be better than those you’re teaching. Instruments including the piano and violin are the most popular, but it is likely that any instrument you know how to play will draw the interest of others.
Making ends meet while you’re in between jobs can be difficult at best. However, it is absolutely possible to leverage the skills and passions you currently have to get by while you look for full-time work.
June Lawrence is a recovering alcoholic. She’s proud of her journey and knows the incredible amount of work that goes into sobriety every single day, and she’s on a mission to support others find their way to a happy, healthy life through her site, Recovery Island.
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