The blog challenge prompt for today is: What activities or hobbies do you participate in that help build hope for you?
I tend to believe that having hobbies and meaningful activities is important to all people. But I think it becomes critical when facing any sort of life altering chronic health issue. It has certainly been critical to my sense of hope and mental well being over the years, which has positively impacted my physical well being.
I often refer to my hobbies and activities as my projects. I love having projects to do. It engages my mind as I plan and problem solve. It engages my body as I physically carry out the project. It distracts me from my symptoms. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to not only be completing projects but having overcome the obstacles in the process. It helps me to feel like a productive human being. Plus, it gives me stuff to focus on outside of myself.
Here are some of my activities and hobbies:
1. This blog: I love the writing. I love sharing my life and getting to know others in the chronic pain community. It has been a consistent form of therapy and camaraderie.
2. Making our house a home: We moved into a blank slate about a year and a half ago. After unpacking, the task of settling in immediately started to occupy my mind. These projects have been well documented on this blog: covering the windows, my first wall collage, true blackout window coverings, summer round-up, fall round up, and my winter round up. I'm not even half done with with house projects so this will continue on for another 2 years I'm sure. The process is slow but I really love it.
3. Housework: Okay let's get this straight right away - I AM NOT SAYING HOUSEWORK IS A HOBBY OF MINE. But, if I'm honest I do often find the regular activity of cooking, cleaning and such to be satisfying. There is an element of immediate gratification to clean piles of freshly laundered clothes or dust free shelves or clean countertops. It was dirty and now it's clean. And boy does a clean, tidy space make me feel good. I don't function well in a messy or dirty space. It clutters my mind and suppresses my motivation. Plus, housework is always present - it's routine and I find great comfort in routine.
4. Going out: Any successful trip out into the world is great. In fact it is cumulative. The more successful interactions I have with friends of family outside of my home the more confident and hopeful I feel about future ones. Everything from grabbing a meal with a friend to a gathering with some family; having lunch out with hubby to running errands can build hope in me.
The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association - See more at: http://www.ahmablog.com/#sthash.6ubRar5G.dpuf