• Han Butler

Mental Health Recovery: 9 Therapeutic Hobbies To Try

Updated: Jul 20

Photo by Elly Fairytale

Mental Health recovery can be a real roller coaster ride. Being in recovery doesn't mean that your mental illness suddenly disappears forever, it just means that you've had a massive mindset shift and you're more in control of your mental health and well-being. During recovery, it's super important that you keep yourself calm and centred, which you can do by adopting some healthy habits and hobbies.



Many studies have shown that Yoga can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Yoga isn't always about flexibility, it also allows you to refocus your energy and create mental clarity, awareness and calmness.


I forgot just how therapeutic knitting was until recently, and how inexpensive of a hobby it can be. The amazing LoveCrafts were kind enough to send me some beautifully coloured yarn and knitting needles to make a scarf. I haven't knitted anything since I was a child so I honestly wouldn't have known where to start, but luckily LoveCrafts have literally thousands of free knitting patterns for you to choose from and download as a pdf.

Due to the difficulties I have with my right hand, I couldn't knit without help, so my Nan and I decided to make it together. Unfortunately with the current pandemic we're being kept separate, but I absolutely cannot wait to continue knitting the scarf together once this is all over. Doing it together with my Nan, and her having the chance to teach me how to knit, not only helped my mental health but hers too. I'll be sure to share the finished product with you all on Instagram.


I've never been a fan of exercise, but since being in isolation I've really warmed to it. So much so, that I actually look forward to my workout sessions. Why? Well I've noticed that after my work outs, not only do my stress levels dramatically drop, but I feel so much happier and energised for the day. You don't have to join a gym or buy fancy equipment to get these results either, just have a little look online or on YouTube for exercises that will suit your mindset and goals.


Colouring in is honestly one of the most therapeutic hobbies I have ever adopted! If you haven't already, order yourself an adult colouring book. Colouring in effects our brain in pretty much the same way as meditation does. It allows us to rest our busy minds and create a state of mindfulness and serenity.


Okay, with this one I want you to go and order some seeds if you haven't already got things to plant. Then whenever your mind starts to wonder to a place of negativity and anxiety, I want you to plant a seed. When you're watching that flower bloom, I want you to remember that something incredibly beautiful came from your struggle.


Going on a digital detox every so often is incredibly vital, and not just when you're in recovery. Social media has the power to bring us all together, which in the current crisis is something that I'm extremely grateful for, but it is also a hotbed for trolls, negativity and hatred. So, and I know how hard this can be to do, when you're scrolling through social media and your anxiety heightens or your mood drops, I need you to take yourself offline. At least for a minimum of 12 hours, turn your phone off and do what ever you can to improve your mood and make you feel good.


Journaling is a tried and tested technique to improving your mindset. There is so much you can do in a journal to: maintain a routine, keep on track with any medication, keep a steady exercise routine, maintain a happy and grateful mindset. If you want some ideas, take a look at my Journaling Pinterest board.


You don't have to be a "talented" painter to paint. Painting is actually a really great outlet for your emotions. You can do a pretty picture if you want, or you can just throw paint on to a canvas. Painting is a way to let go of whatever emotion is overwhelming you without having to say a word.


Being hands on and building something, whether it's a bird house, a garden deck, a shelf or a lego castle - it can be incredibly therapeutic and beneficial to your recovery. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, but focusing on building something will distract your mind, focus your energy and not to mention it'll be super rewarding once you're finished.

What helps you during your recovery?

Love, Han


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