I Asked 8 Amazing Breast Cancer Thrivers To Share Their Newly Discovered Pandemic Hobbies And This Is What Happened….
Lately I’ve been wondering what else I can do to find a sense of peace and joy these days. My new “oxygen” is spending as much time as possible being outside. I go on early morning hikes every other day with my dear friend Emme. We found this amazing trail just 5 minutes from my house and it’s really the ultimate escape! We even go when it’s raining. The trees form a canopy so we don’t get wet, and the sound of the rain drops trickling all the way down through the forest is just so…..Zen!
I also love doing outdoor activities with my daughters, Maya and Erica. Just recently Erica and I packed a picnic lunch and went over to the Nyack Beach State Park, about 20 minutes away from us. We hiked a bit, then settled in right at the water’s edge for our picnic. We could practically touch the Tappan Zee bridge, it was so cool! After we ate, we just chilled out on our picnic blanket and looked at the sky. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that bring us the most joy and serenity.
But what else is out there? Well, I asked some of the amazing ladies in our community to weigh in and let us know what they’ve been up to. And I’ve gotta tell you, I’m feeling really INSPIRED! From watercolor painting and playing the piano to dancing and needlepointing….by the time you’re done reading this, you’re going to want to try at least one of them! Check these out and you might even consider taking one of these up as a new hobby…..
“I picked up watercolors during chemo. An art therapist asked me if I wanted to sit in a quiet art room while I waited for my infusion. I said yes. And she taught me a thing or two about watercolor paint.I always knew I appreciated the arts but never thought of myself as an artist before. I am so glad I found watercolor painting because it seriously helps keep my mind calm, passes the time, and as an added bonus, it helps me imagine places I haven’t been to yet, but hopefully will get to once we can all travel again. I’d recommend it to anyone! Art heals. For reals.”
– Andi Oller @andioller
“I love playing piano, whether it is a Broadway tune like Chorus Line’s “What I did for love” or serious classical music from Rachmaninoff or Haydn. I play every night after I finish my work. It allays my anxiety. Often, I post videos of my piano playing on my social media accounts. People need some calmness in their lives.”
– Anne D’Innocenzio @adinnocenzio
“I picked up needlepoint to help me feel sane during the great pause. I’ve been longing for a hobby that was outside of work and found an amazing creator on Etsy that had beautiful patterns – so I dove right in. At night I commit to one strain of yarn, sometimes I get two…but it’s enough to distract me from my crazy day and unwind while still being creative.”
– Dana Donofree, Founder of AnaOno Intimates
“In the midst of these uncertain times it’s easy to get overwhelmed and anxious. I know for me it definitely has triggered some PTSD from cancer as I navigate through COVID. I’ve been so grateful for the intentional and unintentional pockets of joy in the midst of the crazy. Fitness has always been a huge tool of stress relief and those endorphins can lift my mood every time! The feeling of thanking my body for the good that it does and appreciating its strength helps me come back to my blessings. Also reaching out to my friends and breasties has brought laughter and comfort! Lastly but not least, my faith has anchored me when the storms of life seems too much to bear. Reach out if you need help during these times, find joy in your body and what it can do, and I hope you have some faith to hold you tight in the storms!” ?
– Asha @dearcancer_itsme
Photo by Holtz Photography
“Quarantine allowed me to discover some new passions and to fall back in love with old passions. I was able to go to the dance studio with one of my best friends to teach virtually. We became very close and it allowed me to get back in shape. It is time I was so grateful for and almost wished it didn’t come to an end. A new passion of mine is baking bread. It was something that I was also scared of doing because it takes a lot of time and precision. I loved it and really enjoyed the results. The other thing I did during quarantine was virtual bingo and virtual happy hour. It was nice to talk with family and friends and look forward to something that day.”
– Maggie Kudirka @baldballerina
“During Covid what has kept my sanity is making time for doses of nature. The nature I was able to experience in Central Park and nature in the Hamptons. Nature is calming to me. It helps me get centered and think clearly.“
– Christina Wilson @christinasnyc
“During these pandemic times I’ve found that getting outside to enjoy the beauty of nature whether it’s going for a daily walk or getting out on the water have been calming for me. There’s nothing better than cozying up with my cup of coffee, a good book, and working on my summer tan. It’s been a great way to decompress and being on the water is good for the soul.”
– Christy Greenleaf @christy_topher_greenleaf
“I used my sewing skills to make Get One, Give One face masks — each purchase also donates one in need to someone on the COVID-19 frontline, including medical staff, essential workers or cancer patients in active treatment. It’s helped me to help others and feel like I’m giving back in some small way.I also try to get outside as often as I can…MASK ON, of course! ?”
– Rachel Park @survivormoda.rachel
Thank you to all who participated, and for giving us a serious dose of inspiration as well as some new hobbies to try! Stay safe out there and be well. XO