“Isolation, boredom, having low self-esteem, low ego, and strength really starts, for us as humans, to wear us down,” explained Ozark Center Director of Crisis Services, Debbie Fitzgerald.

…That’s why mental health counselors like Fitzgerald encourage everyone to find a hobby they really love.

“It’s fun to experience new things, but it structures time and just helps restore some balance in life,” Fitzgerald continued.

It’s also part of being a well-rounded person to help bring positivity to our mental health.

“We need to look at all aspects of our life–our physical health, our emotional health,” Fitzgerald added.

A hobby you enjoy doing can also make a significant impact if you’re having a bad day and feeling down about yourself.

“If you have a hobby, you might leave work or you might leave school, and you might go to that practice of football, or basketball, or soccer, or T-ball,” Fitzgerald added. “Or, you might go to your ballet, or your jazz class, or your gymnastics and you do well in that same day, and then you realize, ‘Wow, I am good at that.'”

Hobbies also keep us stimulated and learning.

“If you get a new hobby, it also stretches you to grow and to try new things, and keeps life interesting,” said Fitzgerald.

And if you’re wondering where to start — a quick social media search could point you in the right direction.

“A hiking club, or a biking club, or a book club–there are many things that are low-cost that are available in the community,” Fitzgerald added.

On the other hand, take note if you’re withdrawing from socializing, or if you notice someone else withdrawing.

The right question from friends, co-workers, school mates, and family could make a big difference.

“‘Hey, I’ve noticed that you have not been to practice lately. You haven’t been to work, and is there anything I can do to help you?'” said Fitzgerald.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health and needs someone to talk to, we urge you to call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1(800)273-TALK.