Everything was relatively more bearable until an epidemic came to where we lived and forced us to stay in our homes. The sun was brighter, the birds happier, and we were freer.

But the point is that things did not go as we thought. We are social beings, looking for friendship and relationships in our lives. Therefore, after a point, we started to have quite a hard time mentally. And the more we saw on social media that everyone other than us is making bread, starting sports, attending online conferences, and subscribing to courses, it annoyed us even more not wanting to do anything. We loaded on ourselves. While the psychology of guilt wandered all over our bodies, the video conversations with our friends stopped giving the old taste and we were deeply introverted. I can talk about this for a very long time because I’ve had the same, and I’ve seen my friends go through the same.

Mental problems existed before and will be exist after the pandemic. This process contributed greatly to raising awareness of these problems.  In the 21st century which the world of extremes almost all of us have some goals, and we run every morning and every day to achieve our goals. We struggle just like we are in a race to cope with the pace of work, traffic, exams, people, financial difficulties. In all this turmoil, there is someone we forget to love, take no time, and shut up when speak: ourselves!

When was the last time you were alone with yourself? Calmly, without rushing  to catch up with nowhere and patiently … I know, it’s not that easy. But trust me, and give yourself a shot. Here is an opportunity for you, 5 hobbies that are very good for mental health and will make you happier and vigorous than you are! 

1. Close your eyes and listen to yourself: Meditation!

Did you know that a good meditation is more uplifting and good for your body than even sleep? Meditation comes from the Latin word meditatio, meaning to review and think about something. Moreover, you can strengthen your memory and extend your concentration while meditating.

Do yourself a favor, and start meditation today. Turn off your phone’s internet, open the window, don’t hear the sounds coming from outside and the thoughts going through. Just focus on the moment and listen to your breath. Do this for at least 3 minutes each day. It might be difficult to be alone with yourself at first, but it’s not a problem. I trust you and that strength in you. You should trust too!

2. ‘Mandala’ with its mystical past!

There are cultures that believe that the circular symbols and different colors contained in the mandala are related to the chakras and contribute to our life energy. In fact, every symbol has a relationship with energy, and all of these help us attract peace, happiness and health. It emphasizes your sense of balance while strengthening your creativity. Therefore, when we are stressed, mandala is a great hobby for us to catch our inner stillness and calm down.

Moreover, there are rumors that most things will gradually enter our lives when making mandalas. This statement caught our attention and we tried and approved it as a team. Mandala is a truly mystical hobby full of surprises.

If you want to draw your own mandala, don’t forget to check out our YouTube video where we explain how to draw a mandala easily in 4 minutes!

3. A bright sun and lots of water! Yes, our next hobby is gardening!

Of course, we don’t mean a big garden by this, many of us live in apartments in big cities and we don’t have a lot of space to grow something. However, that shouldn’t stop us, because we have potted plants in our room that we will grow too. If you wish, you can be interested in colorful sparkling flowers, or you can be interested in various fragrant vegetables that you will see on your plate someday. Everybody knows that dealing with the soil takes away negative energy. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, communicating with plants in closed areas greatly reduces stress and anxiety.

As the days go by, you will see that a connection between you and your plant is forming. Every day, you will feel that your plant tied to soil more firmly than the previous one, coming out of the strong soil with its thin branches, and you will feel that you have succeeded as you see its head in the light with great force, enjoy your righteous pride!

4. You can work wonders with a nice thread and a suitable needle: Knitting!

Would you like to regain your health by knitting colorful and soft scarves for yourself or your loved ones while you are living in autumn? Actually, who wouldn’t?

Thanks to the position we take while knitting, our heart rate slows down and our blood pressure returns to normal. Moving in the same rhythm for long periods of time may feel boring at first, but at some point it reduces your stress and increases your concentration as it clears your mind and leaves you in a moment. It helps you overcome depression and anxiety while improving your motor functions. Thanks to all these features, it is seen by many people as equivalent to meditation. That pride when you hold the product you put forward at the end of the day is worth feeling! Moreover, if you wish, you can turn this hobby into an income gate. If you are wondering about other hobbies where you can earn income like knitting, be sure to check out our blog post here!

5. Now it’s just you and your thoughts: Write!

Whether it’s a poem, a diary or even a drama text! Put down your thoughts on that day freely, without hesitation and honestly. What made you happy today, what are you so sorry for, what excites you, what do you expect from tomorrow? It doesn’t have to be meaningful things, at least 1-2 sentences every day. As you write, you will relax, feel your mood getting stronger and your self-compassion increased. Moreover, you can improve your vocabulary and strengthen your memory. You will feel better as you experience that a very simple activity can affect your mental health so well.

We care about you and everything about you. We want you to feel better, to be better than yesterday, and to experience all your emotions freely. Choose one or more of the above hobbies that best suits you and start adding new habits to yourself. As you discover the capacity of what you can do, you will feel better. You will never walk alone!


Nursena İŞLER

Yıldız Teknik University – Bioengineering

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