Day 19 #ElfieAdvent – Hobbies and pastimes can help you ride the waves of the festive stresses

As the countdown to the big day continues (6 sleeps!), you might be feeling the stresses of the season, especially with the extra burden of the ongoing pandemic.

If that’s the case for you, perhaps the time is ripe for you to take a step back and indulge yourself in something you love doing – like a favourite hobby or pastime.

We know that activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed but research also shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression.

Hobbies and pastimes help you switch off from your usual daily grind of responsibilities and obligations. Whether you opt for something creative like arts and crafts, something musical or anything physical from sports to gardening, hobbies offer you the chance to engage in something that brings proven health benefits.

And while you can still chill out by bingeing a TV series, a hobby is something that lets you more fully engage with, and feeds your need for something more meaningful and a purpose.

A hobby helps relieve the feelings of stress by offering a great way of unwind from your daily routine. And rather than just passing the time, a hobby you love helps you feel happier, more relaxed and better equipped to handle life’s many stressors – and can even improve feelings of anxiety or depression.

Hobbies help build resilience, deal with setbacks and challenges and can even improve your sleep, by offering pockets of peace and rest.

Hobbies like photography help you capture the beauty of the world around you – yes, even in 2020 there is beauty to be found if you really look.

Just like the clients at AMH New Horizons Newry, who have been learning the tips and tricks of the trade in regular photography sessions, photography is one of those hobbies that can take you away from anything that is stressing you.

A picture taken by a member of Newry’s photography club a few years ago

Similarly, clients at AMH New Horizons Lisburn and Antrim have been feeling the soothing effects of hobbies, like arts and crafts, and reaping the rewards by producing the amazing array of the crafts photographed.

Clients from AMH Newry, Lisburn & Antrim are taking part in the Working it Out Projects which is part-funded through the NI European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

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