5 Reasons why hobbies can help with your mental health.

by - 17:40:00

Hey everyone, hope you're good! I've slowed down a bit on my post schedule at the moment, some of you may or may not have noticed. As you know from my Belfast post I had a busy long weekend so didn't get to do much blogging, and then this week I've just not been feeling it. I can't even tell you why, all I've wanted to do is stay in bed, I'm so tired at the moment, I'm constantly feeling a bit down, my anxiety has been playing up, and nothing seems to cheer me up - perhaps it's just one of those weeks, it happens. However, I have my family coming up to see me tomorrow and we're doing some Christmas shopping and looking around the markets, I'm sure this will help.

Today's post I'm talking about how hobbies can help with mental health. This can be anything from playing some sports to going to a weekly crafts club or gardening club - there's so many things that you can do now. You might not even be aware of the beneficial improvements your hobby can have on your mental health, it doesn't just have to be a sports hobby that's beneficial to your health.

The benefits of hobbies on your mental health



#1 They give us something to focus on. 

I'm sure you've heard of this many times before, but when you're feeling stressed from work, school, or things that may be going on at home, it helps to have something to focus on and in a sense distract you just for those few hours. You always see people talking about setting goals, well you don't just have to do this for work or for you blog, set them for your hobbies. Goals can give you something to strive for and for that reason they can really help keep you motivated, and once you do meet the goals it's a time to celebrate! A good thing about setting goals for your hobbies as well is that they can be seen as 'stress-free' goals because they're not anything to do with your job or your assignments. 


Examples: If one of your hobby is a sport activity like golf perhaps you could set a goal of beating your personal best. If you like to go out running, set a goal where you run a set distance faster than you have before. When you reach these goals then celebrate, tell everyone! It's good to be proud of what you accomplish and it doesn't have to be work related. Maybe you go to a book club weekly, obvious goals might be that you read a certain amount before the next session, or you could set a different goal where you want to make sure you speak a little bit more at your next meeting. There's so many examples, I'm sure you get the gist. 

#2 Hobbies can increase your productivity. 

I know I struggle with this but sometimes you can so easily feel unmotivated and feel like you don't complete everything you want to finish in a day. It definitely can be a difficult thing to stay motivated, especially when your mental health is low. If you take part in a hobby that you do weekly then it can help with your practise of scheduling, or gives you a routine to get into which ultimately can help with your productivity. 


Parkinson's Law: You may or may not have heard of this before, Parkinson published an essay in 1955 in the Economist where he discusses the topic of how much time we take to do things. To put this in simple terms if I wanted to write a blog post but I said to myself I've got 5 hours to write it, then it is mostly likely that the blog post will take me that long. However, if I said I needed to get it written in 30 minutes then it would be more likely that it would take me 30 minutes - "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." It's quite an interesting law to look into, so if I have sparked your interest then please do have a search online and have a read. 

Examples: To link this to the subject of hobbies, if we often schedule them, if we were out playing football you'd normally have a set amount of time for it, especially if it's a club, so in the long-run this can also help us with scheduling and working more efficiently on other things, therefore increasing our productivity. 

#3 Hobbies can help you relax and unwind. 

Hobbies as a whole can really help you to relax. Even if it's a strenuous activity which involves a lot of running around, exercise is brilliant for our mental health, if you find that in the week you're usually stuck inside at work or school all day getting out for some fresh air and running around can really help you to feel refreshed and relaxed, it distracts you and stops you thinking about work. It's really healthy if you can find something to help you unwind from work, I always find that my mind stays more positive when I leave work at work, as soon as you leave that office, that's it.  


Examples: Outside hobbies like walking, running, cycling, rugby etc can help with getting you that fresh air that you need, as well as helping with your mental health, it helps with your physical health, it's also great for you skin too. You can opt for something that's more chilled like, arts and crafts, board games, reading, listening to music and so on, these are really good at helping you to unwind at the end of work day. 


#4 Hobbies can help you feel connected with others. 

Linking onto hobbies helping you to relax and unwind, you can always take part in something with your friends or family. You don't have to do a hobby by yourself, so it can help keep you connected with others and let's you build up a life-time of happy memories with each other. Talking to others can really help you when you're feeling stressed, anxious, or anything along those lines, so when you take part in a hobby with someone else you might find that you start talking about how you're feeling to them. Sometimes it can roll off your tongue without thinking too much into it because you're in a relaxed environment and your surroundings and how you might be feeling whilst doing that activity can help make it easier for us to talk about these things that might be playing on our minds. Also, you might start a new hobby which can help you with meeting new people, therefore creating new friendships, or you might even meet someone you end up getting together with and having a family together. 


Examples: For instance if you started going to the gym, you could go with friends and that means you get to catch up with them a few times a week - or however many times you go to the gym. As well I find because gyms have classes that you can go to they're a great way to meet new people who you might find are interesting in the same things as you. 

#5 Hobbies can give you a sense of purpose. 

Sometime it's difficult to feel like you have a sense of purpose. I've often felt that way, I didn't see that I had a purpose in anything and it's a really negative path to go down. This can be common in older people who now live alone, have finished work, and don't really partake in any hobbies or activities therefore making them feel like they have no purpose. It's not just hobbies that can help with this, but even the smallest things like owning a pet, they can give you a sense of purpose because you know that they're there and you need to give them fuss, give them their daily meals, make sure they're clean and so on. Having a hobby that you might go to once or a few times a week can give you that sense of purpose, it might be that you're really good at that hobby so when you go to it you help and support others. It's something to look forward to, you know that on Tuesday you have to be at that certain place or do that certain thing. 


Examples: A big example could be that perhaps you started your own hobby and now others come along to it, that helps give you a big sense of purpose because you're running the activity and you can also spend you time encouraging others to come along to it. Perhaps you take part in a team hobby, you can feel needed and wanted because you're apart of that team. 


There's probably so many other advantages for taking up a hobby so please let me know in the comments below. Also what is a hobby that you like to do? Can be anything from being apart of a team or reading a book, let me know in the comments below! 

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and that perhaps it has inspired you to take up a hobby! Thank you so much for reading, and as always, chat soon. 


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72 comments

  1. A great post and I agree with all of these.
    Having hobbies always helps me to focus and to not think about how I am feeling. It gives me something to do and helps me relax especially if it's been a bad week or just been a bad day. I also find that if I do hobbies with other people, it helps me to connect with them and this can be helpful if I ever need to talk to them in the future.
    Chloe xx

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    1. Thank you! Yes exactly, they're a good distraction for sure and can really help you to relax. Glad you liked the post! :) xx

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  2. lovely post chloe! hobbies are so important to have. one hobby i love and need to pick up again is crocheting. it was really calming to me and it’s the perfect thing to do this time of year! xx

    mich / simplymich.com

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    1. Aw thank you! Ahh yeah that does sound like a relaxing hobby! xx

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  3. Whatever your hobby is I agree this is so important! For me it's running and exercise which sounds so weird to some people x
    Morgan // www.justmorgs.com

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    1. Yeah definitely! Exercise is a great hobby, really helps keep you physically and mentally healthy! xx

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  4. What a brilliant post, having hobbies and fun is so important! Also thanks about mentioning Parkinson's Law. It really made me think about how I approach my life and hobbies!
    Laura / https://laustworld.blogspot.com/

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    1. Aww thank you! It's so interesting to learn about, I really enjoyed reading into it for this post :) xx

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  5. I found this super interesting. For me, hobbies help me be creative. Even if it's just for a few moments out of the day, it helps :)

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    1. Aw thank you, glad you did! Definitely, gives you some time to just relax and forget about your worries! xx

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  6. I totally agree with one, three and five. If I'm ever going through something and need a distraction, I always throw myself deep into whatever I'm working on/ reading etc. The focus really does help and give you purpose. I think it's great to funnel your energy into stuff like that too. And if it's something like blogging where you can actually build a community or make an income, that's even better!! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. Yeah definitely agree, having something you can really focus on is such a great help! Glad it helps you too! :) xx

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  7. Hobbies are literally so important, they help me so much, it allows me to have time to focus on myself, doing something I love!
    https://lifeofellabella.blogspot.com/2018/11/my-5-tips-on-getting-dog.html

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    1. They really are, and I'm glad they help you a lot! xx

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  8. Hobbies are great for your mindfulness and mental wellbeing! Hobbies do give you some sort of focus in your life and that's such a good thing! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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    1. Yes they definitely do, they're great as a distraction sometimes and also great at giving your a purpose and something to focus on! xx

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  9. I def agree - hobbies are amazing! Among many things I can't do right and stresses me out, doing my hobby relaxes me, makes me happy, and makes me feel competent. I'm not out to compare myself to anyone but I feel like I am pretty good at my hobby - and personally, that's drawing! (: It helps to do it more frequently than I do it now, but I know it truly does help my state of mind!! Lovely post girl xx

    Geraldine | https://geraldinetalks.com

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    1. I'm glad hobbies help you too, they really do help with making you feel relaxed and happy they're brilliant! You're fab at drawing :) Thank you so much xx

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  10. I totally agree with you about why having hobbies can help your mental health! I agree that it gives you something else to focus on. I found myself super distracted and not feeling as down when I was playing games and doing other things. YES on feeling connected with others. If you're doing group activities, it helps to talk to other people and such. Thanks for sharing all of this!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. Aw glad you liked the post and I'm glad you agree too. It's always good to have something to focus on, I totally agree with the group activities, it's so fun as well to be with someone else partaking in a hobby! xx

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  11. Agree with this 100%, they are a successful distraction if nothing else! Do you have any hobbies that have worked for you? I used to work on my planner religiously, but as my health deteriorated I've had nothing to plan - so I could do with suggestions!

    xx Emma
    the25lifecrisis.com

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    1. Yes definitely a great distraction! Some that are great for me are blogging for one, when I'm writing a blog post or reading them I can focus so much that time just flies by but I'm enjoying it at the same time! My other hobbies that help are probably going out for walks, cooking new recipes (that's one of my favourite things to do at the moment), playing video games, or doing a workout (can be somewhere else or at home), these have all helped my mental health, especially if I'm having a bad day I try to do one of these! xx

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  12. This is so true... hobbies distract us and help calm the mind. I enjoy working out or being outside in nature.

    www.fashionradi.com

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    1. Yeah exactly, me too, love going out for walks! xx

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  13. This is a great post! Blogging is still mainly a hobby for me and it definitely gives me a sense of purpose and has made me much more confident too!

    Soph - https://sophhearts.com x

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    1. Thank you! Yeah me too, blogging has made a big difference for me, glad it has helped you too! :) xx

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  14. Thanks for sharing.
    So inspirational
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

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  15. Great post, Chloe! Definitely agree with all these reasons. I started blogging as a hobby, I was lacking something of interest to do and I noticed it so much more when I moved in with my boyfriend (he has soon many hobbies!) and it's definitely helped me connect with people and feel like I have a purpose!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad blogging has helped you, it's helped me loads as well :) xx

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  16. I agree. It’s so important to have a hobby. Having children I barely have time to have any but I definitely count blogging as a hobby of mine. It has really helped with my anxiety xx

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    1. Aww yes it definitely counts as a hobby! Glad it has helped with your anxiety :) xx

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  17. I agree - hobbies are so important. My mental health is so much better when I'm going to the gym, even if I'm not losing any weight or getting any fitter!

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    1. Ah yes, I found going to the gym super helpful for my mental health too, I think it was the classes I went to because they ended up being really fun being with others but also the exercise was doing me good! xx

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  18. I know when I'm going through a stressful time, my hobbies take me away from all the drama and let me relax & allow me to reflect on the situation. Great post.
    Cheryl

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    1. They really do help a lot, glad they've been beneficial for you :) xx

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  19. I used to have a really hard time getting out of the house when my anxiety or depression got bad. I found that getting out with the family and just being among blue skies has become a huge help. I get the kids in the double stroller, grab the dog and just stroll around talking about the trees and nature. Its a good way to decompress and makes me happy as hell!

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    1. Aw I'm so glad that it has helped you, I love going out for walks, there's something about being outside in the fresh air, especially when you get to go on walks with family too :) xx

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  20. great post dear , have a nice day ...

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  21. I love this post :) Honestly, hobbies keep me sane. I'd be lost without mine they definitely give me a sense of purpose. I love your approach to this subject. Great share. Rach x

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    1. Aw thank you so much! Glad you liked the post and yeah definitely, they help me so much too! xx

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  22. My blog is my hobby and I feel like I’ve gotten all your mentioned and more out of it.

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    1. That's great to hear, glad your blog has helped you, I'm the same as well :) xx

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  23. What a great post! Definitely agree with everything you said in this post! As a food blogger, my fave hobby is developing new recipes in the kitchen. I love the whole process of coming up with fun new recipes, testing them out, taking the pics, sharing them. That part doesn't even feel like "work" to me (the sharing part is the "work" part lol). But my hobby definitely gives me a sense of purpose and helps me connect with other foodies.

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    1. Aw thank you! I'm glad your hobby helps you too, I love trying out new recipes too, one of my favourite things is cooking a new recipe with my partner and then both taste testing it! xx

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  24. I agree with so much of this! I'm not having the best time personally at the moment, but by focusing on my blog, which is my hobby, I have something to work towards and am really enjoying having something seperate from work.

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    1. Aw I'm sorry to hear about that, I'm glad your blog is helping you though. I'm the same with my blog, it really helps me to have something to focus on and it's something I love doing :) xx

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  25. Great post and such an important one too, Chloe! When I was at the lowest point of my anxiety, I had absolutely nothing to look forward to, barely any hobbies or anything to focus on and I'd get episodes of panic that my days seemed black and I never knew if that'd change. It was awful. That's when I started blogging and it really did save me!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you were able to find something that could help you, blogging seems to have helped so many people, and its wonderful to see! xx

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  26. Aww this is spot on!
    When I was having a particularly bad time I took up knitting and it actually really helped - it gave me something to do, I could focus and switch off at the same times (if that makes sense) and also I now have around 20 scarfs.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

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    1. I'm glad you found something that helped you and gave you something to focus on, and yeah I totally get that, when you take up something you love especially if its relaxing its so easy to just switch off as well. Aww haha that's great though, everyone can have scarfs for Christmas! xx

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  27. Loved this post! I struggle a lot with anxiety and depression as I have gone through cancer twice but I found exercise and now running helps me so much! I think exercise is such a great way of coping.

    Samantha | https://believeinamiracle.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! I'm sorry to hear that, but I am happy that you have found hobbies that help you out, exercise helps me out too, it always makes you feel so positive afterwards it's great! xx

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  28. Gosh I couldn't agree with you more; I wouldn't know what I'd do without my numerous hobbies! They're the only things that keep me sane when I've had a rough day at work. I love drawing and, of course, blogging!

    Lizzie Bee // Hello Lizzie Bee

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    1. I'm glad you have hobbies that help you! I used to love drawing, I haven't just sat and drew something in ages. But yess, blogging is fab! xx

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  29. Great post Chloe - I’ve taken up Yoga this year and love it, so good for mind and body. I’ve also tried to practice my piano more. Love making small improvements x

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    1. Thank you! Yes I've heard how amazing yoga is, I've not tried it out myself yet but there's still plenty of time. That's pretty cool, I would love to get back into piano, I played it for 3 years and slowly stopped but I do still have a keyboard :) xx

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  30. I had heard of Parkinson's law but I never knew what it was, and that's so interesting! I really enjoyed this post, it makes me feel like I should have had a hobby when my mental health was at its worst. But thankfully I have blogging as a hobby now, just need to take it a bit more seriously without letting it stress me out!x

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    1. Yeah I didn't know too much about it, it's pretty interesting isn't it! I feel like I should test it out a bit more. Thank you, glad you liked the post! Blogging is a great hobby, it definitely helps me with my mental health but yeah you do have to try not to let it get on the top of you! xx

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  31. Definitely. I like to walk and read. I love to blog but sometimes I just don't have the energy to do any of it, then I get annoyed with myself that I've wasted hours.

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    1. Yeah blogging can be difficult sometimes, especially if you're feeling tired you just don't really feel like doing it! Glad walking and reading helps though, I do love going out for walks! xx

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  32. Such an interesting post! So true as well! I find this with my blog and my studying! Something keeps me busy and focused on something and gets me out of my head. Thank you for sharing!
    Lauren x | www.bournemouthgirl.com

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    1. Thank you! Yeah blogging is great for keeping you busy and focused! xx

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  33. Such a good post, I completely agree that having hobbies keep you busy! Love your posts about mental health, they're a) so helpful and b) super interesting to read. Thank you for sharing!
    Abbs xo
    https://itsjustabbsxo.wordpress.com/

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    1. Aw thank you so much, glad you like those posts! xx

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  34. This is such a great post Chloe! I hope you are feeling better lovely, I also had a bad time with depression and anxiety last week and wasn't able to do much. It's taken a while to feel slightly better and catch up with all my favourite bloggers. I really enjoyed this post and 100% agree, hobbies can really help with mental health. When I was feeling low all I wanted to do was do something arty like colouring to take my mind off things, it really helped me to relax. Parkinson's Law is so interesting - I always learn something new when I visit your blog. Thank you for sharing your suggestions and hope you are having a better week. Hugs! <3 xxx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Thank you! I had a good weekend so that helped, but can't seem to shake this at the moment. I'm glad you're feeling slightly better, it takes time sometimes and taking time out for ourselves is so important. Aww I'm so glad you liked the post, and they're great aren't they, doing something arty and creative is always so fun as well so it really does help take your mind off things!

      Aww you are the cutest, thank you so much! I hope you continue to feel better too <3 xx

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  35. Great post.

    Having a hobby is definitely helpful for me. It can even pull me out of a dark place sometimes by giving me something else to focus on and allowing me to relax a little.

    I've recently got into cross-stitch which I really enjoy. I also consider gaming a hobby, which is another thing I like to do to take my mind off all my negative thoughts.

    merkitty.co.uk

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    1. Thank you! They're so great at keeping your mind busy and giving you something to focus on. Yess I would also class gaming as a hobby, I definitely play a few games to help me take my mind off things too! xx

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  36. So very true. I love hobbies that force me to think in the moment. Anything where my mind can't wonder into thinking about the future too much!

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    1. Yeah they are great for that, keeps you distracted for a while for sure! xx

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