You may wonder why it’s important to do the things we love. Making self care or hobbies a priority can help us be better mothers.
My journey with postpartum depression started, really, after I had two young children. Once I started going to a therapist to get help, she asked me a question that was a game changer for me.
“What do you like to do for fun?”
Being somewhat of an expert in small talk, I had answers at the ready. “Playing piano, singing, crocheting…”
“And how many of these things do you do every week?”
I was like a deer in headlights. “None of them.”
“Then that’s something we need to change.”
Throughout the next week, the Lord worked a mini miracle in acquiring a piano for me (I will have to tell you the story sometime). I started the hard work of building in time for the things that I love even with little ones around.
The Tricky Thing About Doing the Things We Love
Why is it so difficult to do the things we love with little ones around? I think this is, at least in part, because they need so much of our attention. Even if we do get them set up with a quiet activity they can do, it may not always work. When I tried to practice piano, for instance, I would often have to stop after a few minutes. Little fingers would find piano keys and bang around on the keys making it hard for me to concentrate on the piece of music I was trying to play. Sometimes I was able to continue practicing and let them continue playing too. Other times, I would find it frustrating and have to give up for awhile.
I had to find some new activities I loved, too. I found it much easier to do adult coloring books, for instance, than to play the piano or crochet. My kids could be around and have their own coloring books, so it was something I could pick up and do at any time. It gave me something to focus on in small bursts and had progress that I could see. I found these very helpful and healing at the time. Maybe finding a new activity to try that is easier with little ones around is something you could try, too.
The Benefits of Hobbies
I think it’s interesting that so much of our childhood is centred around finding what hobbies we like, but once we grow up and enter adulthood it’s a lot harder to incorporate those hobbies. We have to be intentional to incorporate our hobbies into our everyday life. Why is this important? It’s important to incorporate our hobbies every day, because it gives us something to look forward to. When we have something to look forward to, our day suddenly feels more bearable. Having a hobby improves our mental health by relieving stress and improves depression and low mood. As a bonus, if you have a hobby or activity that gets you out of the house, that can make you connect with others and feel happier.
In our journey through postpartum depression, anxiety, or any number of other challenges, finding a hobby or activity that we enjoy is an important piece in the healing process. Whether it’s something we’ve done our whole lives or something new to try, finding time to do the things we enjoy is essential to our mental health and wellness.
This is part 5 of my “6 Things to do When You Feel Depressed” series.
Check out part 1: Getting Dressed Helps Postpartum Depression
Part 3: The Benefits of Going Outside