Updated: Oct 20, 2020
I have always felt that my hobbies helped keep me sane. I’m a worrier, and while there are those who poke fun at this, it’s a burden and creates noise and upheaval in my head.
Distraction is the best relief and I find this in sewing, upholstery and crochet, in swimming and in singing, in reading, writing and learning.
It therefore came as no surprise to me that since lockdown, much has been written about the links between good mental health and hobbies, and the benefits of keeping busy.
I made this link some time ago, but I also find relief from dark thoughts in nature and the outdoors particularly the seaside.
I know that gardening has come to the fore as something that has given many people fulfilment during lockdown, including my daughter Miss BK.
I’m not a gardener. Sadly, I didn’t inherit this skill which my parents had in abundance. Some of my happiest childhood memories were of spending endless time with them, choosing roses at garden centres.
But I have a multitude of indoor plants which I can manage to keep alive and which provide an almost overwhelming amount of greenery in my home.
I leave the gardening to Mr BK who is a dab hand at it. He has the greenest lawn in the neighbourhood, and enough pots to do justice to the Chelsea Flower show. And it gives him enormous pleasure throughout the year, to just potter in his ever increasing number of sheds, planting and watching out for his great enemy the squirrel!
Thinking about the mental health aspects of hobbies and pastimes led me to the
NHS 5 steps to mental wellbeing , which are
GIVING, LEARNING, ACTIVITY, NOTICING AND CONNECTING.
I thought they aligned very well with my creative hobbies and sustainable vintage interests. So my Green Living blog theme will cover how I try to incorporate the 5 steps with my Beauty Keeps activities in order to help my mental health and wellbeing.
I would add a sixth to the 5 steps, and that is ENJOY! Find what you love doing and do more of it. So that makes it GLANCE - Try to do it once a day for happy things or thoughts.
Then remember and record it, maybe in a diary or your phone, so you can look back when your spirits are low and try to relive these happy things or do them again.
For me the sea is my happy place so I try to keep it in my head.