Health and Wellness

Hobbies Offer Stress Relief

It’s time to colour outside the lines when it comes to filling up your free time.

Colouring books, drawing on chalkboards, painting pictures in a restaurant with friends may sound like child’s play, but they are currently trendy adult hobbies.

“Adult colouring books and other adult hobbies are popular because activities like colouring place us in the ‘moment of now’. When we colour we push down our stress responses and we are soothed and calmed,” said Greg Lubimiv, executive director, Phoenix Centre for Children and Families.

Hobbies are activities people adopt that are not related to work.

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According to Lubimiv colouring, can be directly associated with mindfulness, with being present minded. Colouring anchors us back to childhood when play allowed us to be in control, and play is a way children manage their world. There are no bosses looking over your shoulder, managing you, while you indulge in your hobby. If you are lucky, no one will criticize whatever you produce.

Lubimiv believes these sorts of creative hobbies can make you feel safe and in control as you can start and stop anytime, as opposed to following the directions of your boss.

“As adults we are conditioned to stop playing and start working, but play helps people to connect with themselves and connect with others,” said Lubiniv.

Hobbies take a person’s mind off past event, and worries about the future. When a person concentrates on their hobby, they are being mindful and in control.

“Mindfulness can be explained using the ‘three boxes’ we live in. The past, where guilt and sadness can live, the present where there is no stress, and the future where anxiety is found. When we are mindful we are in the present, like when we do yoga we concentrate on breathing, or focus on a puzzle, or when we laugh,” said Lubiniv.

Stress is an inevitable part of modern day life and avoiding it completely seems impossible. A certain amount of stress is actually required to achieve peak performance since it gets the adrenalin running.

In times of stress the body prepares to operate at maximum performance levels and becomes extremely efficient. The problem, however, is not with stress itself, but when stress becomes routine and prolonged.

“There are hundreds of different activities we can all do to be mindful, to break up the routine of stress. Find something to do that is playful and has no purpose. You don’t have to be perfect. Just have fun,” said Lubiniv.

The human body is more than adequate to handle momentary stress that arises from situations of emergency.

Continued stress, however, results in many health issues like a weakened immune system, psycho-physiological problems and emotional distress.

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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