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What Do You Guys Do In Your Spare Time?


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Hey guys,

I've been having trouble with depression lately and nothing seems satisfying to me. I'm going to a therapist, but eh...all the things she says are things I tell myself, but doing is the hard part. Definitely motivation problems going on. I don't want to do anything, yet doing nothing is making me miserable and moody. Today I got up to start cooking so that I have leftovers the whole week---it's great for those days where you just can't stand long enough to make anything, and yet you feel like you're dying of starvation. But I just can't find the motivation to do it. I know I just need to find -something- I enjoy to get myself back into a mode, but I guess I'm stuck in a rut.

All I've been doing lately is playing games and getting fat. Any suggestions? What do you guys do all day that is relaxing, won't injure yourself, and is fun/satisfying? Any hobbies that you swear by?

I'm joining YMCA soon to start doing physical therapy in their pools. I just have to get my butt over there sometime, it's hard when I feel like I can't breathe just by standing up. I'm trying to imagine myself going there but it's hard.

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Hi Melissa,

Sorry to hear you are struggling. I do whatever I can laying down when I am not well enough to be up. Read, suduko or crossword puzzles, study a foreign language, rent DVDs of a tv show that you've never seen before and watch from the beginning. Maybe you could do some gentle exercises laying down - maybe arm or leg lifts of some sort. Those are just a few ideas I can think of right now. Good luck starting therapy at the YMCA. I hope it makes a positive difference for you.

Hang in there!

~ Broken_Shell :mellow:

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When I am well enough I love to cook. I recently self-published my first cookbook. It took 100 times longer for me to finish it had I not been ill, but I would work on it little by little on days that I felt well enough to sit with my computer.

Cooking is so important to me, that I rearranged the way I do things to make it work for this orthostatically challenged body. I have a power strip on the floor and I bring my food processor and cutting board and mixing bowls etc. all down on the tile where I can crouch and cook away! That's one of the reasons why my kids did my first cooking video on youtube for the book .... because watching a woman cook on the floor, just doesn't have much sexapeal. LOL But on days when I can't stand up, I can usually still kneed dough for fresh bread on my hands and knees.

Even before the bad POTS crashes started I tended to enjoy very quiet and still hobbies. I could hold a camera in my hand for hours waiting for a hummingbird at my backyard feeder. I still enjoy backyard birding ... even if it is just from my window.

I also like to sew. Once again, I have my sewing machine on the floor -- and I crouch on my heels with the peddle under my tush. Too much information huh. :mellow: I have no talent as a seamstress. But I can take an old sheet and make enviro-friendly cloth napkins for the family to use instead of paper. And we save a few bucks! A while back when I was feeling a bit better, I took lots of my kids' old jeans and made a slip cover for our couch. I quilted some teashirts together for the seat cushions. Simple stuff. Fun to do. And I could do it piece meal a little at a time on days I felt good.

Finding ways to do what I love has been important to me ... from the kitchen to the bedroom! Don't worry, I won't go into THOSE details.

Giggles.

~EM

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I am very sorry that you are having such a hard time... I have been finding that there are days that I feel exactly the same... I think I must be home about 90% of the time since I got sick in Oct. 08'. On MY good days, I have been sewing anything I can get my hands on.. catching up on emails... polishing my nails... and my latest is starting a blog. At times I am so bored and frusterated that I just lay in bed... I think it's just about finding what fullfills you at the moment... This entire experience with POTS changes everyday for me and the emotional ups and downs can be tough to keep up with... I will keep you in my thoughts & prayers... I hope you feel better soon...

:mellow:

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I read somewhere recently that mild depression was common in POTS patients. Just an aside incase your interested...

I dont get depressed, i get frustrated! I find it annoying that I used to be able to play football with friends, or go stand around in shopping centres for five hours without a problem and now I cant even stand in a coffee shop for 10 seconds without feeling uncomfortable...

To combat this I try to keep myself and my mind busy with hobbies such as music production, fishing, bird watching (on good days) and trying to de-stress. My wife says I also spend too much time on the internet believing that if I continually research POTS one day I will happen upon a miracle cure :) Music production is very rewarding when it works out so that is what keeps me the most sane.

I also try to make the most of the good days so that on bad days I can remember how much fun I had and to prove that its not all bad all the time.

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I have adapted for SO many years of this would you believe it's hard to answer this. You have gotten great answers.

I bird watch and squirrel and chipmunk watch...in warmer months watch flowers grow.

DVD's from library for me are HUGE. I watched all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls (GREAT SHOW by the way...i was never even aware of it when it was ON...not much for modern tv junk but it was delightful! Great show to fall asleep to. Even my room mate a guy watched it a few episodes behind me and got hooked. Great character driven show.

I photo edit a little bit. Listen to music sometimes...local talk radio. shows on BLOG TALK RADIO...(Use Firefox and ADBLOCKER for that site) HGTV at night. I distract so much.

My room mate got a new laptop with a webcam and I have made a couple of eyejot videos to send in email. It's free to sign up and send 60 second emails. So cool! Just have decent lighting..built in webcams aren't as good as the $100 ones but works to send fun stuff or sing Happy Birthday to people.

You learn to get creative.

Earthmother I love your tips for cooking!! I mix stuff up in batches or mix dry ingredients hours before making cookies or cakes...so i just add wet ingredients, mix and put in pan. I don't have the stamina to cook much but with "think ahead thinking" it's at least do able on those decent UPRIGHT moments days.

:)

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Hi Melissa,

I can really relate to what you're talking about. Up until a few months ago, I was having a hard time figuring out what to do with all my new "down time". I just did not have the stamina to do the activities that I filled my free time with over the past number of years. I tried a few activities that were new to me but nothing really clicked.

I decided to think back to the things I had really loved to do, even since I was a kid. I always loved music and played a number of instuments when I was younger. I had not played piano for many years, but decided I would try to re-teach myself. I have really been enjoying it and find it is a real escape sometimes from the "not so great" times we all have. I'm catching up a bit now and am quite proud of myself! I'm considering trying a new instrument - I'd love to try the flute, but I'm sure I would pass out cold. It takes more wind than I have now! Perhaps I'll try guitar. Take care!

Summer

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If I am well enough to do something, but struggling on the motivation front (which is a common occurrence for me), I need to have a goal or deadline or I just sit around watching TV and doing nothing. This could be meeting up with someone for coffee, arranging to go for a meeting, concert whatever. Generally, once I'm up and about I feel a great deal better than when I was hanging around the house. But I agree that despite this logic, it is unbelievably hard to put this into practice.

I have had to trade in some of my more energetic hobbies for more passive ones. I like to study new things. But I have to enrol on a formal course with assessments or exams because otherwise I would never get round to the studying. There is a distance learning university here which is perfect for this offering university level courses in smaller chunks so you can pace yourself.

I have stopped playing in orchestras and instead go and listen to concerts, opera, plays etc.

My other trick is the self-help books or get fit books. I read them and get inspired enough to go out and do something.

If I'm on a bad patch of health and been housebound for a while, I enjoy it if someone drives me into the countryside or nearby towns. Even if I can't go out and walk around, it's still nice to have a change of scene.

I do some charity work, which is mainly paperwork I can do from home and I feel I am doing something useful.

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Questions for yourself that you do not have to answer: Did I have a tendancy towards depression before POTS? Are you on beta blockers or any other meds that could cause mood changes?

I'm asking the above because I'm getting from your post that in addition to dealing with POTS, you also struggle with a low level depression. While it's obvious that having POTS totally can rearrange your life, and this is a major adjustment, one can have a mood disorder in addition that needs to be addressed. Obviously, I'm no psychologist, so take what I'm saying with a grain of salt.

But, if you are struggling with a mood disorder, in addition to POTS, people can suggest things to you on this forum, but you will still not "have the motivation" to do them. Our suggestions cannot "push" you no matter how good our suggestions are.

Honestly speaking, I think you and your psychologist have to work together to find the possible cause and remedy of your "lack of motivation" because that is beyond our ability on this forum. That's my opinion, because I get from your post that it is a bit more than just "adjusting" that is incapacitating you.

I'm sorry if I offended you, but I want you to get the help you need, and I'm suspecting your psychologist is saying to just "think" your way out and rearrange your thoughts and all will be well, but sometimes we cannot do that.

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^ I agree with you, and I'm in no way offended, but it's so unfortunate that both my doctor and my psychologist are afraid of putting me on meds because of my history of side-effects. Bleh. I have had depression issues since my teens, but POTS since I was a little kid. Though I think the depression came from my home-life. ***** having two unrelated conditions conflicting like this, because it's hard to focus on both and they both effect each other. It's nice to know that people are able to have a satisfying day though despite their conditions... I'm hoping to achieve that.

Some weeks I have crazy motivation to where I end up hurting myself trying to do much, but I always relapse. I like reading everyone's posts on this subject because it seems everyone is able to adjust somehow---that gives me hope. I'll keep working with my psychologist and we'll see what needs to be done. In the meantime I'm just going to push myself to "do" and perhaps I can get my ball rolling so-to-speak. Thanks for your advice! I have some things in mind after reading this thread, and I think if I'm able to get up at a decent time tomorrow I can start on something!

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Like Ramakentesh, I tend to get more frustrated than depressed (I think it depends on either our tempers or our fight/flight response...I found out early that flight was impossible so I've always fought!)

I think that a great deal of our depressions are stages of mourning and acceptance for the expectations of our lives changing or dying. This is not what we have planned to do with our lives! It is natural and a stage, sometimes recurring, of our illness.

Melissa, for you, I know you have incredible creative talents and energies. If there was some way you could harness it, I KNOW firsthand that you would feel better. When I was incredibly depressed in the middle of my worst POTS crash ever, I kept thinking: "If I could only start a project..." So I did. (It was my own memorial since I thought I was dying...as long as it was unfinished, I would not allow myself to die.) I poured myself into it as best I could, tools nearly flew across the room in frustration because of the tremor, but I was creating even just a little bit. I worked larger, I worked looser, I did quick sketches and looked for reference for other future projects (that I had no idea if I would ever be able to do.) Art is my drug, it is my therapy and my passion. I think it is also yours. I know you want illustration, but right now try watercolor, painting, sculpture, assemblage, pottery.......anything......everything. The satisfaction of having something created and the absorption of creating lifts your mood far better than any drug.

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Thank you so much for your encouragement =) I'm actually feeling a lot better right now. I haven't been posting lately because I didn't think posting about my troubles (that everyone else is having) would help me, but it has. I stayed up all night searching for answers and I think I really believe in my plan now. I enrolled for my last two BFA classes after this summer, I'm going to graduate, and I'm going to start those illustrations early so that I won't get stressed out during tight deadlines! In the meantime, I'm going to cook, exercise, and start a routine that I think I will enjoy. I'm excited =)

I'm sure tomorrow I'll have another de-motivation factor pop up, but I think I have the determination to get through it. You guys all have found the strength, so I know I can! I've been through a lot in my life, and I can't let this stop me from having the life I deserve.

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Thank you so much for your encouragement =) I'm actually feeling a lot better right now. I haven't been posting lately because I didn't think posting about my troubles (that everyone else is having) would help me, but it has. I stayed up all night searching for answers and I think I really believe in my plan now. I enrolled for my last two BFA classes after this summer, I'm going to graduate, and I'm going to start those illustrations early so that I won't get stressed out during tight deadlines! In the meantime, I'm going to cook, exercise, and start a routine that I think I will enjoy. I'm excited =)

I'm sure tomorrow I'll have another de-motivation factor pop up, but I think I have the determination to get through it. You guys all have found the strength, so I know I can! I've been through a lot in my life, and I can't let this stop me from having the life I deserve.

Chin up! Stylus or pencils out! Create, Create, CREATE! May the Muse be with you!

Jennifer

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Hi,

Sorry things have gotten rough lately. I am a lot like how you describe in sometimes you just don't feel like doing anything. You start something, but it is boring or annoying, so I stop. I have a short attention span and frustration limit with things. Like if I am on the computer and it is acting up, I would rather leave it alone than figure out why it keeps being abnoxious... Or just that I don't have the energy to do things. Like I start a task and realize, wow! I don't have the focus, brain power, or energy to hold my arm up like that today.

So, what do I do?... Continue to try and figure out the puzzle that is me... Dr. appmts., testing, med trials, figuring out/possibly doing tilting the head of the bed, shopping for and trying compression, and everyday survival things (drinking, eating, grooming, sleeping) pretty much take everything else out of me. I try to do things in small chunks like cooking or cleaning. It can be a wonderful day if I can just have the energy to fill up my water pitchers at the kitchen sink! When I feel decent I like to go shopping (groceries, necessities, library etc).

For fun things to do in spare time... I spend a lot of time on the computer (searches, work, writing etc.), I watch too much TV (I also fell in love with tv series on dvd! Good to be able to pop in and watch as do other small tasks. I especially like comedies.) I also like to when I am able to get my self to and from the library, check out current movies on DVD, and you can get 10 at a time. It is really nice when having a bad time or new med trial and unable to drive self anywhere. Shopping in store (when can) and online. Music. Started writing and blogging. Reading if I have the concentration. Not sure... I am pretty boring. But, I don't have energy for much else.

I hope that your classes go well!!! Congrats on signing up!!! :)

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My POTS has gotten alot better (hence me only posting once a year or so) but I used to do alot of video-gaming. It made me feel like I was doing something productive even though I wasn't. I mostly played online games with other people like World of Warcraft, but I used to play a ton of Racing games online as well. Blogging is also a good way to fill up time.

Good luck,

Lauren :)

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Hey guys,

I've been having trouble with depression lately and nothing seems satisfying to me. I'm going to a therapist, but eh...all the things she says are things I tell myself, but doing is the hard part. Definitely motivation problems going on. I don't want to do anything, yet doing nothing is making me miserable and moody. Today I got up to start cooking so that I have leftovers the whole week---it's great for those days where you just can't stand long enough to make anything, and yet you feel like you're dying of starvation. But I just can't find the motivation to do it. I know I just need to find -something- I enjoy to get myself back into a mode, but I guess I'm stuck in a rut.

All I've been doing lately is playing games and getting fat. Any suggestions? What do you guys do all day that is relaxing, won't injure yourself, and is fun/satisfying? Any hobbies that you swear by?

I'm joining YMCA soon to start doing physical therapy in their pools. I just have to get my butt over there sometime, it's hard when I feel like I can't breathe just by standing up. I'm trying to imagine myself going there but it's hard.

i know what thats like the depression thing anyway.... I have been playing alot of guitar and writing music to get it out, i also like to workout when i can, i also sometimes do relaxation techniques when i can. I also like to play video games =D. Id say learn guitar or a instrumet nothing is better than actaully getting it with your hobby.

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I have to say that Gilmore Girls is one of the best shows I've ever seen. I thought it was a teenage show, but a guy I met and briefly dated told me about it. Saw the whole thing on DVD last year. They also have reruns on ABC Family.

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the premise behind the initial question wasn't exactly the same, but there was a post that was very similar this past fall wherein myself & others offered some other thoughts/ ideas/ experience. as a matter of fact i sort of wrote a book :) . here's there link: What do you do to entertain yourself? hobbies, etc.?

as a follow-up to the tome i wrote then i've since learned to knit, as well as to do felting with knitting or crochet (as opposed to needle felting...haven't tried that). i also finished my "movie project" which entailed watching all of the academy award best picture winner's from the inception of the award ceremony (1928). i'm now casually making my way through anything i haven't already seen from the American Film Institute/ AFI's top 100 list.

i can't remember whether i mentioned it previously but if you (&/or anyone else) is interested in starting or further developing just about any craft or hobby the library is generally a great resource; i have reserved/ checked out a LOT of "how to" books there rather than buying them myself...everything from beading to orchids to felting to knitting & crochet.

hope this helps,

:unsure: melissa

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