Team LSW's Happy Hobbies
In our stressed out society, it can be hard to slow down and stay present. Leisure time is often spent inside scrolling on screens, increasing our already sky-high cortisol levels and encouraging our bodies to remain in fight or flight mode. In this blog post, we’re looking into the positive powers of hobbies and how they can become an effective way to practice mindfulness and access our flow state.
Available in a variety of forms, whether that be creative, physical, cerebral or socially-oriented, hobbies are an enriching experience that provide an opportunity to learn new skills and embrace challenges. This not only allows you to practice patience, but also enables the chance to build resilience.
More importantly, when we engage in these activities, our mind moves into the present and accesses our flow state, which has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and promote feel good neurochemicals. As clinical psychologist and author of Joy from Fear Carla Marie Manly, PhD explains, "As a concept coined by the field of positive psychology, a flow state is that space of joy and heightened focus that results from absolute immersion in a favoured activity. Sometimes known as being 'in the zone,' a flow state creates a sense of oneness, with no division between the physical body, the mind, and the activity".
In this way, hobbies are a beneficial tool for our wellbeing that can be utilised as a form of meditation. Here are the LSW team’s favourite, fulfilling hobbies…
Lili - Founder and Creative Director
For a long time now, I’ve loved to cook. For me, preparing a meal is a really mindful activity. As I cook, I make a conscious effort to concentrate on the aromas, tastes, textures and sounds of the food, which refocuses my mind into the present moment.
While I’m on walks or before bed, I love to listen to audiobooks. Running a business and being a mother has left me with very minimal time for reading, so having books in audible form is far more practical. I also enjoy podcasts! They’re packed with pockets of wisdom and never fail to leave me feeling inspired.
Mark - Managing Director
I enjoy climbing mountains (with occasional pit stops at local microbreweries!). I find that it clears my thoughts as I focus on my breathing and footwork. Recent ventures have included the Yorkshire Three Peaks and Slieve Donard - the highest mountain in Northern Ireland. When I conquer the climb, and arrive at the top, it’s incredibly rewarding.
Helena - Sales and Marketing Intern
Most days, I like to start my mornings right with an early gym session before work. The hour spent exercising is my ultimate form of (sweaty!) self-care. The endorphin hit is effective in boosting my mood and energising me for the day ahead.
On weekends or during holidays, when I have the luxury of more free time, I love to unleash my creative side and visit ceramic cafes with friends. I find pottery painting to be very meditative, as you are forced to turn off a higher level of thinking, let go and give in to the unpredictability of it.
Milly - Social Media and Events Intern
Whenever I’m back home, I love to play badminton with my dad. It’s a tradition we’ve always taken part in together as father and daughter. As I’ve officially fled the nest, it is important as ever to maintain our bond and playing badminton is a fun and active way to spend quality time with each other.