Introducing: The “Joy of…” Series! 

Hi, everyone!

I am excited to announce an ongoing project that will be launched soon: the “Joy of…” series. As I wrote about here, my life has been defined by being disabled, and as such, I spend more time at home now, enjoying quiet activities. This is far from the life I lived during ages 19-29, which saw me spend most of my nights drinking. Since becoming sober in March 2016, I enjoy life so much more. 

What do I mean by “quiet activities”? It’s usually a single task, done alone (or quietly with others); anything slow and mindful; repetitive, but meditative. Here’s an example of some of the things I plan to cover:

-puzzles

-colouring 

-painting 

-collaging 

-learning something new 

-a morning routine 

-writing

and more… 

We live in such a busy world. I never used to have any time to myself – I would drive to work, over an hour away, every day, work for 8-12 hours, then drive the hour back home, and usually drink myself stupid to the point where I had to call in sick the next day, then do it all again. (Since then, my leg has worsened to the point where I cannot drive any longer than 5-10 minutes.) And this was all before I had a child. (She arrived in 2018.) Now, I REALLY don’t have any time to myself, but when I do, I use it wiser. 

After I left my job, I took up colouring, a hobby I had not engaged in since I was a child. My mom told me that I used to love colouring when I was a kid, and I wanted to know why I picked it up again so easily as an adult. So, I did some research. 

According to Bustle.com: 

“Those were the times you were wild and free, and you didn’t do something unless you really, really loved it. Chances are, you still have a lot of those same core interests.” 

This makes sense to me today as an adult. Because I’m hyper aware my time is stretched so thin (and it seems to be accelerating), how I choose to spend my free time is more meaningful. 

Colouring, for me, puts me into what is called a “flow state,” a term coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: one is so engaged in their task at hand that they lose track of time – but in a positive way; time well spent. 

This is very similar to mindfulness. According to Headspace.com: 

“Mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.” 

In other words, simply enjoying the time you’re spending with yourself. If negative or bad thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them and gently release them. Ultimately, practicing a mindful hobby can be beneficial to one’s mental health. I know that engaging in these various activities has helped me relax and I will literally forget about anything bothering me. Once I remember what I forgot, it seems so trivial. Or, you can think of it this way: a mindful activity is such that it makes you forget to look at your phone. I’m excited to share these various mindful activities with you all: maybe you can find one that will suit you. 

Before the series launches though, I want to give a disclaimer: if you can achieve a flow state without buying things (colouring books, pencils, puzzles, and other things I recommend), but by reusing or borrowing instead, I encourage that. If you need or want to purchase something, please do! I view these items as tools to achieve a mindful state, not as Stuff or Things. 

Do you engage in anything that puts you in a flow state? Comment below 🙂 

Sources: 

https://www.bustle.com/wellness/how-to-find-hobby-adult

https://www.headspace.com/mindfulness/mindfulness-101

Published by Erica Black

Erica was born with a rare disease called an arteriovenous malformation in her right leg. She is now an advocate for those with disabilities. She left the corporate world in 2016 to pursue a career as a high school English teacher and began to blog along the way. She has a BA in English Lit and minor in Creative Writing. Her writing has been featured in The Martlet, The Globe and Mail, Heroica, and more. She enjoys cats, reading, and her daughter.

6 thoughts on “Introducing: The “Joy of…” Series! 

  1. Nice quiet activities are so healthy and frigging great for your mental well being. In today’s world many often forget that quiet and silence is OK and that there is nothing wrong with doing nothing either. In this digital age we are often trapped by our phones and screens and So doing activities like coloring or puzzling is also a great way to escape the screen and just be human again.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: