What up, what up?! How have you been doing? I wish I took more time to address you personally, but I am definitely working on some things to help you on your personal journey. Lately, I have been pretty stressed out and trying hard not to catastrophize things (as I tend to do). I recently found that having a hobby takes the edge off my stress and anxiety (who knew?!). Which brings me to today’s topic: Getting a Hobby!
I want to go over what this means and why it is important, BUT FIRST some background! I have been working to identify my stressors and found that, in the past, I coped with situations in ways that did not benefit me. Drugs, alcohol, sex, food, etc can all be ways to escape from a stressful reality, but it only puts more stress on our minds, our bodies and our souls. I learned that I had some unhealthy coping mechanisms and I’ve decided to change that. If I can’t change my stressors, I can at least change how I react to them, right?
I, like everyone else, deal with stress (fairly often). My biggest stressors are my health, my finances and my family. So, moving to Colorado was a HUGE deal for me. It was my first time moving FAR away from family and friends by my own choice. I was very excited to explore a new place and focused on staying afloat in a new environment. Stress started to rise when the bills flooded in and I had no insurance to continue my mental health medication. Months of struggle can feel like an eternity, and going cold turkey off my medicine did not help. Even though I have my partner, I was still struggling to feel okay. I began feeling lonely and lost in myself. I took a break from school when my mental health took a worse turn. I felt like I was not enjoying my experience that I literally prayed for! I felt feelings of loneliness, insecurity, and distress. I knew I had to find something to break up the stress I was feeling. I went through a lot to get where I am (from hotel to apartment; to no friends to great friends; etc), and it was all worth it. I will share my mental health story further in future posts, BUT the moral of this story is, I had to find a hobby to feed my soul with positivity.
I wanted to find something to challenge my body to make me strong. Something to challenge my mind with new knowledge. Something to challenge my soul to grow and find peace. I figured since I used to dance, I wanted to find a way to express myself through movement. I found a ‘new member’ deal at a local studio that taught yoga (which I love) but also pole dancing. I have never tried pole dance and was very nervous to try it, but I knew I had to do something for new for myself. I had some body image issues and social anxiety, so going to a studio that encourages confidence and growth was just what I needed. I fell in love with the art of pole dance, the community and the amazing humans I have met so far. I take a variety of classes, including pole dance, yoga, and florwork. I have been practicing dance for 3 months now and feel considerably better about myself and my life. The souls I have met through dance and yoga have shared amazing stories with me and have been encouraging my dreams. My goal is to be a performer and dance teacher in the near future. I have exceeded my body goals, improved my mental health and made great friends by finding a good hobby to help me relieve stress.
I typically dance everywhere but whenever I need to dance, I go to a quiet room, put a black cover over the window (if needed) and turn on the led lights (they are in every room at this point). I connect my phone to my speaker and pick a playlist that makes me move. I warm up to dance with stretches or a dance flow. I dance until I feel better. The same can apply to any hobby. When feeling overwhlemed, irritated, or conflicted you can paint it out, walk it out, dance it out; whatever it takes to make you feel better.
NOTE: Hobbies do not have to be expensive or require a lot of resources! The best way to start a hobby is for the free or with a deal. I started dance with $7 and slowly paid to continue my hobby. It’s like supporting a healthy habit, honestly. I cut out a few expenses and started counting my coins to continue dance. I also let the studio know I will work for lessons because of how deeply I fell inlove with dance.
Suggestions for stress-relieving hobbies:
Rememeber – Google Search and YouTube can be your best friend for free knowledge!
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