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Here Come the Grannies!

I’m in my 30s now--have been for a few years. And the more time I spend in this decade of life, the more I realize that growing up is not what I thought it would be. There’s a lot of freedom, and with that, a lot of responsibilities. 


When I was in my teens I’d imagined that I would be taking full advantage of that. Having a career job meant more money which meant I would be able to do more in my head. Date nights with my husband. Traveling every chance I could. Girls nights out. And constantly looking for the next thrilling event. Now, keep in mind that I entered my 30s while the pandemic was still a recognizable thing, so maybe this isn't the experience of everyone, but I’m learning that what I had envisioned for myself isn’t where I have ACTUALLY been finding my happiness. 


I’ve been slowly coming to terms with the reality that embracing my inner granny is actually bringing me more peace and joy than I imagined it would. So hear me out, constantly being on the go and in the know of everything, just feels EXHAUSTING (and a little depressing honestly). Maybe that’s just the way of the world now with the internet and social media but it is feeling like a lot. Concerts. Traveling. New restaurants. Events. All of the things I would have looked forward to pre-pandemic, don’t rank nearly as high on my priority list anymore. 


Cartoon characters Bluey, Bingo & Muffin dressed in granny costumes

Now don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate those things, in much less frequent intervals than I once did. These days, it's the stereotypical “granny activities” that have been bringing me joy and peace in life. Here are a few that I have been loving.


Gardening

Gardening provides a tangible connection to the earth, offering a grounding experience that can soothe the mind and spirit. Engaging in activities that require tending to plants or flowers provides a sense of purpose and motivation, which can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with symptoms of depression. These living things are relying on you to care for them and meet their needs to keep them alive. Furthermore, if you are able to tend to plants outside, you are being exposed to sunlight, facilitating the production of vitamin D and naturally boosting your mood. The physical activity involved in gardening, from digging and planting to watering and weeding, promotes movement and exercise, contributing to overall health and vitality. Then, my favorite part, witnessing the growth and flourishing of plants nurtured with the love and care offered fosters a profound sense of accomplishment, mirroring the impact that self-care can have for our own bodies if we treated them the way to treating our plants. If you are growing plants that need to be tended to and then continue reproducing, such as cut flowers or vegetables, you will also be able to share the fruits of your labor with others. Whether it be a bouquet of freshly cut flowers or homegrown vegetables, this can help improve connections with others and enhances feelings of generosity and altruism. I also like to think of gardening as a communal activity. There is so much to know and learn about gardening that its almost inevitable that you will need/want to connect with others who have different experience to find advice and share experiences. Human beings are wired for connection, what better way to do that then over a shared interest. In essence, embracing hobbies like gardening not only nurtures plants but also nurtures the mind, body, and soul.


A variety of flowers, white, orange, red, pink growing in a garden surrounded by green gass

Mall Walking

Yes, you know exactly what I mean. Getting up and walking around the empty mall before anyone is there or the stores open their doors.

Okay... I really just mean walking in general but when I think of grannies walking, it's always in the mall with their clean, white shoes and heads held high. Engaging in regular exercise, whether it's through mall walking or strolling outdoors, offers a multitude of benefits for both physical and mental well-being. The physical activity involved in walking prompts the release of endorphins, the neurotransmitters known for their mood-boosting properties, leaving us feeling invigorated and uplifted. If you were to take your walking routine outdoors this can even enhances the physical benefits, as it exposes individuals to natural sunlight, facilitating the production of vitamin D and providing a refreshing dose of fresh air. Additionally, walking provides an opportunity for personal enrichment and relaxation, as individuals can listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts, immersing themselves in art, education, or entertainment while nourishing their souls. Stepping it up even further, walking with someone transforms the activity into a social and connecting experience (again, humans for wired for connection), fostering meaningful connections and a sense of community. So here we are again with another "granny hobby" that enhances mental and physical well being.


Crocheting/Knitting

Hear me out on this one. It is SO cool to do something with your hands that’s not related to technology. You can make useful things out of seemingly nothing. Engaging in crocheting or knitting offers a myriad of benefits for mental well-being. These crafts provide a creative outlet that allows individuals to express themselves artistically (through color, design, texture) and channel their emotions into tangible creations. The rhythmic and repetitive motions involved in crocheting or knitting induce a state of relaxation, similar to meditation, which can reduce stress and anxiety levels. Focusing on the intricate details of stitches and patterns fosters mindfulness, encouraging individuals to be present in the moment and cultivate a sense of calm and inner peace. For me this is done through the counting that can be required and paying attention to the subtle shifts in the work as the project progresses. This hobby isn't meant to be focused on achieving a goals or the outcome necessarily, but if you do complete a project start to finish it can give a sense of accomplishment, in turn boosting self-esteem and confidence. Again, these crafts offer opportunities for social connection and camaraderie, whether it's through sharing patterns and tips with fellow crafters or participating in knitting circles. So pick up those needles or that hook that is shoved in a drawer somewhere and get to crafting!


Caucasian hands with painted blue, sparkly nails crocheting with wooden needles and navy blue yarn

Baking

I always associate the best baked goods coming from the generations above me. Not only that but my grandma always made everything from scratch and seemed to have a recipe for EVERYTHING. The process of measuring ingredients, mixing batter, and watching it transform into delicious treats provides a therapeutic outlet for creativity and self-expression. The sensory experience of kneading dough, the aroma of freshly baked goods filling the kitchen, and the anticipation of tasting the final product stimulate the senses and can evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia. Baking also fosters mindfulness, as individuals focus their attention on the present moment and immerse themselves in the task at hand, temporarily escaping from stressors and worries. Moreover, the act of sharing homemade treats with loved ones or neighbors (again, wired for connection!) promotes a sense of community and strengthens relationships, enhancing feelings of belonging and fulfillment. Treats, mindfulness, and connection, this sounds like the trifecta!


Going to Bed Early

There’s just not a reason in my mind to stay awake when your energy for the day is gone. So if that’s 7:30pm, good night world (without a second thought given)! Prioritizing an early bedtime can significantly benefit mental well-being in various ways. Adequate and quality sleep is crucial for cognitive function, emotional regulation, and overall mood stability. Going to bed early (or following the sun's pattern) allows individuals to align with their natural circadian rhythms, promoting better sleep quality and duration. Adequate restorative sleep enhances concentration, memory retention, and problem-solving abilities, leading to improved mental clarity and productivity during waking hours. Moreover, a consistent bedtime routines establish a sense of structure and predictability, which can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. By ensuring sufficient rest, individuals are better equipped to cope with life's challenges and setbacks, fostering resilience and emotional well-being. Embracing an early bedtime not only rejuvenates the body but also rejuvenates the mind, paving the way for greater mental health and overall well-being. Fore more on the benefits of sleep don't forget to check out out our previous post about optimizing sleep for wellness!


Caucasian arm sticking out above a white and gray comforter against a white wall

As I navigate through my 30s, I've come to realize that adulthood isn't quite what I expected it to be. While I once envisioned a life filled with constant excitement and adventure, I've discovered that true happiness lies in embracing the simple joys of everyday life. Whether it's tending to my garden, taking leisurely walks, crafting handmade creations, whipping up delicious treats in the kitchen, or simply prioritizing a good night's sleep, these "granny hobbies" have become essential pillars of my well-being. Through these activities, I've found connection, creativity, and a sense of fulfillment. As I continue to embrace my inner granny, I'm reminded that true happiness isn't found in the hustle and bustle of life but in the quiet moments of joy and contentment that come from nurturing the mind, body, soul, and personal connections. So here's to slowing down, savoring the simple pleasures, and finding peace in the midst of life's uncertainties.


Caucasian, female with brown hair, Brooke Halliday

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Could not agree more.....my happy times are in the outdoors. Also, a family dog that always wants to go with you! 😀

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