Need A Change? Here Is How To Find A New Hobby
How To Find A New Hobby And Change Your Life
Preface: The Hobbies Of Your Mind
You've decided, for whatever reasons, it's time you had a hobby. But what hobby is good for you? Your neighbor, Clarence, has been happily gardening for years, and all he's got to show for it are weeds. Your Aunt Mabel paints portraits day in and day out, singing while she paints, and all her portraits look like cantaloupes with hair.
Do you want to end up like them? Yes! Happy and singing while your hands are busy doing something you love - yes, that's what hobbies are all about.
And how do you go about choosing a hobby? Well, that's a question only you can answer. Here are some suggestions getting you on the road to pursue your favorite hobby
Ask yourself how you want to feel
Hobbies present an escape—they can help us get out of our head and calm down. You stand to learn a lot about yourself by asking yourself how you want an activity to make you feel: Mentally engaged? Distracted? Relaxed? Socially connected? It can also be helpful to consider what your life is missing, like creativity or physical activity, and allow that to guide your choices. Acknowledge that you have different needs at different moments, and that is just fine. There’s no such thing as one perfect hobby.
Don’t invest a ton of time and money in a new hobby immediately. Start small and ease into an activity to figure out if it’s right for you. You can always do more later,if you find it is something you like. If you’re wondering if paintballing might be a good fit, join an outing or two with a local meetup group. Or if pottery seems like a good pastime sign up for a one-time pottery class, rather than a set of eight.
It’s also smart to resist the pressure to over-commit. Some people enjoy learning a sport like martial arts or swimming, but they are not interested in competing. As one hobbiest explained, “You spend enough of your day pushing yourself. Relax, hobbies are supposed to be fun.”
Keeping an open mind and not dismissing potential hobbies—even if they seem out of your wheelhouse—is key. A couple recently went hiking in San Francisco, where they live, and someone handed them a pamphlet of plants to look for along the trail. Instead of tossing it, they paid attention—and have now embraced foraging as a new hobby. We’re wired as humans to be curious and open. But in this "burned-out world," we sometimes forget that. Next time someone hands you a flyer, or invites you to an event, seize the opportunity. It could introduce you to something you never guessed you’d love.
Take a trip back in time
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? The answer could point you toward an appealing hobby, according to some researchers. If you wanted to be a major league player, what can you do now that fulfills that urge for you? Joining a softball team or coaching neighborhood kids could help reignite a long-dormant passion.
The nostalgia doesn’t have to stop there. Revisit activities you loved when you were young, like drawing pictures, putting together model kits, collecting things, or building clay figures. Doing so is a very good place to start. It allows you to feel comfortable. Childhood delights can easily evolve into adult hobbies.
Take a Course
Community Colleges often offer courses on arts and crafts, and other interests which you may be able to turn in to a hobby. Have you dreamed of being an author? Enroll in a Creative Writing course. You love small pets? How about taking a course on Dog and Cat Grooming.
Some skills can be learned online. There are plenty of e-courses on just about everything. Graphic Design, Website Design, Playing Guitar, Photography, etc. You may even find a free course to get you started.
Keep a list
Some people use a whiteboard to keep a running list of all the things they find fascinating. Interests and moods change from day to day, but you may just notice a pattern of your interests. That pattern may just lead to your next favorite hobby.
Be Positive, Give Yourself Permission
Hard working people sometimes get the impression that it is wrong to spend time on leisure activities. But actually, studies show that people with hobbies suffer less from stress and anxiety than those who don't engage in pastimes. So don't feel guilty. Feel good about your hobbies.
Think of discovering new hobbies as an adventure. Hobbies can add fulfilling new dimensions to your life. Enjoy them, enjoy the process. You just may have more pastimes and hobbies in you than you realize.