Did you have a great weekend?
I did, I was messing around in my craft room attempting to make a travel bag out of a few old pairs of jeans I hacked up a few weeks ago.
This bag is going to be huge!
Definitely, not one which will go in the overhead compartment, that’s for sure!
You’re probably thinking, erm… OK Katie, but why do I care about what you did this weekend, I thought you were sharing a free app…
Well, I am.
You see the free app which ‘saves me’ every day is YouTube.
I LOVE IT.
I mean, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOVE IT!
(& just so you know, that’s me being excited not shouting).
If I ever need to know anything then some fantastically wonderful person has already taken the time to record a simple step-by-step walkthrough for me.
& over the past few months, it has become increasingly valuable.
I talk a lot about how you can improve your mental health (it is after all why you even allow me in your inbox!) and one of the things I genuinely think is as important as diet, sleep and exercise (& you know how important I think those things are), is…
Doing something fun on a regular basis (aka get yourself a hobby!)
Hobbies are a completely underrated tool in the fight against stress, depression & anxiety.
My 1-2-1 clients get how important they are.
In the beginning, because I am banging on about it every week.
But after a while, they see how important it is to their own lives.
I mean I sometimes wake up to messages like this;
‘OMG I went out with my friends for the first time in years last night, I laughed so much it was unbelievably amazing. I also drank far too much and so you may have just broken my liver…’
I speak to my other therapist, psychologist and healing friends and as yet I’m the only one encouraging my clients to get out, go for a weekend away, take up dog training, and head to an antique shop/charity shop to buy a jigsaw.
Not everyone likes to dance the night away after a few cocktails.
Not everyone likes to spend hours (and hours) trying to put little pieces of a picture back together again.
Not everyone has a passion for exploring the countryside whilst being bitten and sleeping on a blow-up bed.
Everyone has something they like to do which they find enjoyable.
We all had things we used to do which we found fun, or we have ‘those things’ we tell people we’d like to learn how to do.
Rekindling a past hobby can give you a really quick mental health boost.
But, learning something new, something which you’ve always wanted to do that is when we see massive returns on our mental health.
& this is where YouTube comes into its own.
Last year I decided to knock things off my ‘I’d love to learn list’.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been frustrated, angry and dejected.
But I have also never felt so accomplished, proud and utterly at peace either.
I try to do one ‘hobby’ thing a day & the more hobbies you collect the easier this is to do.
I’m currently knitting a blanket for my new niece, making the travel bag, making cards, baking cakes, bread and biscuits, growing healthy food (to counteract all the cakes & biscuits) and learning to do flower arranging.
When the nights get a little darker I’ll whip out my jig roll, maybe do a little in the house DIY and quite possibly find something else new and exciting to do!
Whenever I get overwhelmed or utterly confused I simply head to YouTube and find someone else who can help me.
The other great thing about YouTube is there are some amazing artists out there who create some super powerful music. If you need relaxing, uplifting, motivating or a good old cry you can find this too.
I tend to have music running in the background while I’m working to help me stay focused and keep me feeling calm (especially with my continually growing to-do list…)
Have a think about the things you used to do, or you’ve always wanted to try and then grab your diary and schedule in some time to do it!
Start with 10-15 mins and go from there.
& if you prefer watching to reading, I’ve got my very own YouTube channel:
Although, I won’t be teaching you how to do anything fun, exciting or outlandish…
You will, however, learn how to stay mentally strong so that you feel good enough to learn how to do new fun, exciting and outlandish things :)
Have an amazing Monday & I’ll be back here tomorrow where I’m going to be talking about one time I laughed so hard I almost fell off a treadmill (in a packed gym).
Catch you then, Katie x
Developmental Psychologist & Business Coach
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