Why photography is important for my mental health

How many times have you been told by someone that when you’re feeling down you should get yourself outside, or better yet go for a run? It’s no secret that getting out and excersis has a possitive effect on your mood and health, it’s why doctors and therapists recomend it so often.

I now live in a house of runners, my mum got the bug first last year, I joined in and finally my brother gave it a go not long back and got that same bug. Before the running they were both active in walking and my brother was adamant that he would drag us up every mountain we came across (I’ve summited two so far, but I’m yet to do Snowdon even though that’s my most local mountain range). By observing them I can 100% agree of the benefits of getting out and excising has on your mental health.

But what happens when you can’t join in with those activities, what do you do then?

Me and exercise have always been a thing. I was a competitive dancer growing up and just had too much energy for my own good. I joined in with the mountainering with my family but found it unexciting. Then when I was 17 I developed anorexia and exercise took a different role all together. I tried running when I was recovering but then at 19 I developed a whole new bunch of problems with my feet that limits my mobility to this day, meaning I had to hang up my running shoes once again.

Going outside walking and exercising are both incresingly difficult tasks for me now, what really sucks for a 20 year old who’s trying to gain more inderpencae and hates sympathy. So how do I try and keep on top of my overall mood when my usual activities aren’t always an option? 

It’s simple, I pick up my camera.

It’s not often you will see with my without my camera, I got it in 2014 and it’s one of my most prised possesions. I use a Nikon D3200 and have no plans of upgrading it any time soon – I only use it for causal amature photography and for media for this blog. Maybe one day if I start using it more professionaly I will consider getting a more advanced DSLR, but I’m happy as things stand at the moment. 

Both my parents enjoy photography, esspecially my mum. She worked with film and video and has a far more impressive bunch of kit than I do, despite it being older than me. It was through them that I picked up the hobby that is photography. 

Before my blog I just took photos for the sake of it, having my camera made going out for walks tloratable. No longer was I bored when we went out walking with no direction or destiniation, I had this amazing device that let me try and capture the world and I how I viewed it. Once I had played around with it for a bit my parents tried to guide me in how to take better images. I learned that I viewd the world slightly diffrently to those around me, so my photos didn’t always make secnce. I was less intrested in pretty landscaprs, instead prefering to capture weird textures or enviroments. Now that I’m blogging I have more direction in what I need to be chosing to take photos off, but sometimes I do just go out and take photos for the fun of it. Unless specified, every photo you see on this site was taken by me. 

Sure its sometimes difficult for me to take my camera, there are days where I’m using both my crutches I feel uneasy about having my camera dangling around my neck (I have a nervousness about the camera strap breaking and as a result, my camera being obliterated as it hits the ground). But on those days I simply use my phone insted. 

All in all, my camera gives me incentive to go outside and explore. It’d be so easy for me to stay indoors and sit in front of a screen all day, but I don’t want that. I’m a natural outdoors person who gets cabin fever so quickly. Taking photos offers me a distraction from the pain I get from walking, I can often walking for twice as far when I have my camera because I’m not focused on my pain. Yes I’m still in pain, but I’m having fun at the same time and it helps me ignore it and manage it for as long as I can.

I’m off to university in a few weeks and I can guarantee you that my camera will be coming with me, it’s just too important to be left behind.

So what about you, do you have any hobbies that help you get out and about?


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