A Hobby to Help with Bad Feelings

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.

Everyone has their outlet to getting stress out. For many, it’s exercise. For others, it’s music. But my suggestion is entirely different. Based off my personal experience, I suggest genealogy.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since I’ve been in elementary school. Although I’ve gotten much better through things such as medication and therapy, I still have bad days, as I’m sure everyone does. And genealogy has helped both my anxiety and depression.

For me, I have a hard time relaxing. Researching genealogy gives me a break from the rest of life, while still be somewhat productive. But, this productivity is only for me. It makes this activity non-stressful, but also an excellent tool for relaxing.

It also helps with my depression. I had the feeling that I was better off dead and I didn’t matter, but when I research, I realize that I’m part of something. I’m part of a family that has changed the world. It makes me feel like I belong and like I’m a member of society, regardless of my depression.

I know that this isn’t an option for everyone. For me, it’s an option because I live with my biological parents and we’ve preserved many records. But for other people, maybe take a different route. Maybe research your best friend’s family. Or don’t research genealogy. Just do research something that makes you feel happy, or better than normal.

If you do take the genealogy route, I would suggest Geni.com and/or Ancestry.com as they are both free. It provides some amazing insights while helping to maintain levels of depression and anxiety.

Regardless, I recommend finding a hobby or an activity that helps manage your depression and anxiety.

Have you ever talked to your child about your family history? What other ways do you think looking at your family tree and history can help with mental health? Is this something you’d do with your child?

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