Cameras and books and fins, oh my!

When life in general gets heavy, it’s really nice to have something you enjoy doing just for you. Whether it’s painting, reading, or dance class, having something to relax your mind can be a lifesaver! Since I’m off indulging myself in a number of these activities all at once (big smile), I thought I’d share some of my favorite hobbies with you all (or y’all I suppose I should say):

PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOGRAPHY

I love taking pictures, but not just to take pictures. I love the challenge of finding a new perspective, of capturing my perspective. I also love being able to show someone a memory and having a prompt for a story – good or bad. Having a camera in my hand and really focusing on the mechanics of capturing a perfect picture – in addition to just enjoying the subject matter – helps me focus my mind on something productive. The sense of accomplishment when I have a photo I love on my screen or in my hand is such a great mood elevator – it’s good for me and for those that have to deal with me (smile)!

READING

READING

I have always been a reader. I get it from the other women in my family. My mom would always read to me, then I to her, throughout my childhood. I loved how easy it was to escape from the real world for a while and to allow my imagination to run wild. Now I read as a way to give my brain a break from all the stress of life. I often find that if I can lose myself in a story for a while, I have a new perspective on whatever might have been troubling me in everyday life – a real lifesaver sometimes. Reading quiets the mind and allows for a temporary respite from overthinking (smile).

BAKING

BAKING

Baking is likewise a good mental distraction that happens to be tasty as well (smile). I particularly enjoy being able to share my creations with other people. Something about a fresh, homemade cookie just brings a smile to the face (and the tummy), right? Baking has also been found to alleviate depression or low moods for these very reasons. It’s a win win (smile)!

TRAVELING

TRAVELING

I feel like traveling opens so many opportunities to learn about others as well as yourself. There is just SO MUCH to learn in this world and what better way to do that than live, in person, and from those most directly affected?? This one isn’t so much about a temporary distraction but a life/soul-changing activity that opens you up to experiences that change you forever. At least the right kind of traveling does. Traveling also gives you a deeper appreciation for everyday life and all the things that may or may not involve. I oftentimes find that the ability to flip my perspective is incredibly useful for solving problems on any number of levels. If I’m really lucky I also get to take some beautiful photos (smile)!

SCUBA DIVING

SCUBA DIVING

This is a very recent hobby that I have mixed feelings about. I grew up with a morbid fear of water. It took moving to the desert to get me in a swimming pool on a regular basis (it is HOT in Phoenix!), never mind any other body of water. I’m still not super comfortable in open water, but I’m getting better. When the opportunity arose to get my scuba certification I thought it was a great opportunity to challenge myself and at least master some of my nerves if not outright conquer my fears. So far I’ve only been diving in freshwater, but I’m looking forward to my first saltwater adventure soon. I’ve found that I actually enjoy being under water way more than on top of it – there’s something about being able to see what’s in the water with you that I find calming. We’ll see how it goes, but at least for now I count it as one of my top hobbies.

What are your favorite hobbies??

What do you think?

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