An article written for clozette.co on the benefits of starting a new hobby during this pandemic. Full article can be found HERE:
US and UK-trained psychologist and Singapore-based counsellor Dr. Maria Micha shared that starting a new hobby helps “create a different mindset” no matter what its nature or calibre is. This is due to human nature’s natural craving to “seek changes in our daily routines, be it big or small”, especially when trying times are at hand.
She further explained that “it is important for people to identify and engage in such activities” because “immersing one’s self holistically” in such hobbies allows us to “disengage from our current situation” to the point that we “no longer ‘catastrophise’ or worry too much” about what is happening.
“When you find a hobby you truly like and that hobby brings you joy, it makes it easier to detach from depressive feelings, stress, obsessiveness, or just dark thoughts in general,” she added. She also expressed that when these hobbies become activities that inspire anticipation or excitement, it also alleviates one’s sense of hopefulness and optimism — which, honestly, is something we all need a dose of, this time and beyond.
The importance of ‘intent’
“There should be an intent to continue to engage in these hobbies, intent to continuously connect with the joy and contentment these activities bring, and intent to draw up a plan where these hobbies are now included in what will become our ‘new’ normal routines,” said Dr. Micha, when asked about how we can maintain such hobbies after the pandemic season.
She also explained that in order for this intent to reach its fruition, we must also strive to practise it for “40 days straight after the quarantine is over” for it to reach “stability” in our routines and transform it from hobby to habit. Otherwise, we’re likely to neglect or forget about it all over again.
Maria’s warm, caring and compassionate approach to my therapy immediately put me at ease and I felt very comfortable with her. She has helped me enormously during the time I have been seeing her and I will continue to do so. She is a truly wonderful therapist and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
Maria helped me gain clarity about many difficult issues. With her guidance, expertise and techniques, my life has turned around – especially my relationships with loved ones. Within a few sessions, Maria helped me feel confident and calm. Now I am able to accomplish the things I once thought were out of my reach.
My husband and I were having problems with our marriage and while I was initially hesitant to even consider therapy my husband convinced me to give it a try. I have to say that Maria has helped us tremendously and guided us in overcoming the issues that were present in our relationship and our marriage is back on track.