In honor of the end of NaNoWriMo, it’s time to take a step that can be one of the hardest for anyone who struggles with depression, mood instability, and focus — pick up a hobby.
I’m a die-hard fan of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Frankly, it’s biblical* and it works.
One of the basics of DBT is to master a skill.
I imagine the situation is that you’re (probably) depressed and inert, or you’re hypomanic and becoming unfocused, so why bother?
Because, you’ll need it for when things are better, for when you’re not in one of your worst days. It’ll remind you of what you’re capable of. It can be the thing that you can invest yourself into, or it can be the distraction for when things get hard.
Currently, my room is overrun with different art supplies, books, needlework, scrapbooking supplies, and video games and I consider them all my hobbies. There’s times when I can’t sit still enough to draw a pastel painting, and other times when I’m too wound up to play a game of COD, so I do what I can. That’s all I would hope you would ask of yourself.
*I’ll explain that more in next week’s post.
The Toys That Made Us, available on Netflix, has 8 episodes about an hour long each.
Another YouTube find, The Dark Past of Sea Monkeys, is one you’ll have to watch ’til the end!
The Boy Who Never Forgets is 44 minutes long and available on YouTube.
Documentaries. Documentaries are the answer for me when I need to distract and calm down — and I’m not talking about award-winning, cinematic masterpieces. I’m referring to the cheap, quickly done ones that you can find all over YouTube.
Say, one evening, you’re stressed and you feel your anxiety begin to rise like a boiling pot. Reach for a documentary.
- You’ll learn a random factoid.
- For those with social anxiety, mentioning the documentary and what you’ve learned is a nice way to keep a conversation going — just make sure they’re appropriate for conversation and easy to comment on. That excludes medical and true crime documentaries. The Toys That Made Us is fair game (people love nostalgia.).
- They’re usually 40 – 60 minutes long, and not too fast-paced. Perfect for those feeling a manic episode coming on, and just long enough to help you take a breather. If that’s too long, watch it in chunks and go back to it when you need another moment to distract.
- They might just help you readjust your perspective. Be honest with yourself; sometimes anxiety can come from something being blown out of proportion At least for me, I know that’s when mine will start to scream for attention. A simple embarrassment at work will turn into my anxiety yelling that I’m a failure and am an embarrassment. But, watching a young child deal with Progeria, reminds me of how great it is to have, at least, my physical health. Perspective. It’s all about perspective.
There you go. Documentaries, guys, reach for the documentaries.
I’ll leave some links below to get you started. Some are as short as eight minutes.
The Dark Past of Sea Monkeys https://youtu.be/A0xXKCOSZuQ
Girl Awakes After 20 Years in a Coma https://youtu.be/TOWTXwM0tik
How Rubber Bands are Made https://youtu.be/aEIAYBGRyYY
The Amazing Art of Painting Restoration https://youtu.be/aEIAYBGRyYY
Let me know which ones you liked! Are there any more that I should have added? Share in the comments above!