“What is your ‘COVID hobby’?”, “Have you tried anything new recently?”, “How are you spending lockdown?”. These are questions that I have often heard in conversation with family and friends over the past few weeks. With changes to routine and lifestyle over the past few weeks, many have turned to trying new activities or finding creative ways to spend their time. For myself, ‘paint-by-numbers’ has been the new activity that I have tried during lockdown. It has occupied numerous hours over the past few weeks and I have found it helpful for relaxation.
For some, they may hear these questions and feel the pressure to be productive and motivated. They may even feel a sense of judgment or feel ‘lazy’ for a lower activity level. Or they may feel frustrated as others presume that restrictions would allow them the time to ‘try something new’.
As you read this blog, there is no sense of expectation to go away and try several new activities. I understand for some, that schedules can in fact have become busier and more demanding. I am writing this blog to however encourage you to consider whether there is a place for being creative or trying new things over the coming weeks. In particular, I am going to note one benefit of giving new things a try- it can provide a sense of achievement. When starting ‘paint by numbers’, I was unsure myself whether I would enjoy it or whether I would be ‘wasting my time’. What I found though is I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it and how much I began to look forward to my time painting. I was surprised by how easily I began to enjoy an activity that I normally wouldn’t even consider. Once I had finished the painting, I felt a strong sense of achievement.
I have spoken to clients, family, and friends who have likewise felt the same as they have tried a new activity. Although the initial motivation may not have been there, once they began giving a new activity a try, a sense of achievement began to emerge. It may not be an activity that they continue outside of the coming weeks, but nevertheless brought a sense of satisfaction. What activity might it be for you? Paint by numbers? Knitting? Gardeningof the box? You might not even have to finish the activity, even just ‘giving something a go’ can provide the same sense of achievement.
Michelle Dean (M Clin Psych, BA (Hons – First Class), brings her genuine care and compassion for people, along with her keen insight and analytical abilities to her work. Michelle is registered with Medicare and is also an approved practitioner in the NSW Workers Compensation System.
Through her various roles, she has developed a deep understanding of how these difficulties develop and impact on people in different life stages. Michelle has been able to assist her clients in developing skills to manage their anxiety and depression, along with enabling them to develop a healthy sense of self and greater self confidence. Michelle is a high calibre and compassionate professional and she is wonderful at being able to see the complexities of a clinical presentation and bring her therapeutic work down to a manageable and structured approach.