As kids and teenagers, our schedules were full of sports, activities, camps and clubs. As we get older, our lives become busy and over time we lose sight of doing things, just for fun. It can feel intimidating and overwhelming to take on something new as an adult. Not to mention how it can feel like we can’t justify prioritizing something that is simply for fun and not work or family related.
But finding a hobby as an adult can be such a wonderful way to learn something new, meet people, relax and have fun. We often feel like we don’t have enough time for hobbies or that it will cause added stress. When in fact, people engaging in hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood and depression. Engaging in hobbies is also said to improve mental health and wellbeing and make you more relaxed and happy. Hobbies are a way of expressing who we are and taking time for ourselves. Engaging in a hobby is a version of self-care and you will be so grateful you took this time to honor yourself and your creativity.
The truth is, it’s never too late to try something new. While it might feel a little scary to get out of your comfort zone, the reward of finding something that brings you joy just for fun as an adult is immense. If you need a little help getting started, here are some ideas for different hobbies to consider trying. You never know what you might discover about yourself in the process. Have you started a new hobby lately or are you thinking about it? Let us know in the comments.
Finding Hobbies As An Adult
What did you enjoy as a child?
As children, we are often very clear about things we enjoy. As we get older, we can lose sight of the activities that make us happy as we are swept up in work and family. When considering possible hobbies, think back to what you enjoyed doing as a child. Did you enjoy baking with your mom or painting in art class? How could you channel these hobbies now? Try a cooking class or start a baking club with friends. Join a painting class or purchase some materials to begin painting at home.
What sparks a flame inside you?
We all have things in our lives that make us feel truly alive. When we think about them or do them, we feel this energy and passion erupt from deep within us. This is how I feel when I’m teaching kids or yoga to adults, writing, reading, dancing or hiking. Make a list of all of the things that bring fire and spirit into your life. How could you turn one of those things into a hobby? Don’t limit yourself! If there isn’t a class or club available in your area, could you gather a group of likeminded folks and create your own club or group?
Carve out time.
Why is it so hard for us to carve out time for ourselves? Our culture tells us we must constantly be working or serving our families in order to be productive and justified in our actions. But despite what society tells you, you deserve to take time for yourself. It is so important and beneficial for our own happiness and mental health to take the time. Not to mention, you will be so much happier and more relaxed in your job and family life if you do. Consider where in your day, week or month you can take some time and put it on the calendar so you won’t miss it. Discuss it with your family or other responsibilities you have and make sure everyone’s on board so you will be able to take this time and feel good about it, guilt free.
Hobbies To Try As An Adult
Did you love painting in art class as a child? Or maybe you have recently discovered the relaxation and meditative state of Paint By Numbers. Try a painting class or invest in an easel and some paints and try experimenting at home. I recently read about someone that began watercolor painting with their child during the pandemic and it has now turned into their own hobby and business. Try something with your child and see how it helps to spark that inner child within.
Resources for Beginner Painters:
Drawing is such a relaxing and wonderfully creative hobby. When I used to teach, my third graders loved to draw as a way to wind down after recess or while listening to a read aloud. I loved that each child would have their own unique style and it was rare that students didn’t participate. As adults we put labels on ourselves like, “I’m not artistic” or “I can’t draw” but don’t limit yourself. There are so many books and resources you can use to get started. Read books, watch video tutorials, take a class and begin to learn your style. There is no right or wrong way to draw. Try it out and see what happens.
Resources for Beginner Drawers:
- Draw Your World: How to Sketch and Paint Your Remarkable Life
- 100 Days of Drawing
- Keys to Drawing
- Drawing for the Absolute Beginner
KnittinG, Sewing & Crocheting
Knitting, sewing and crocheting are other incredibly relaxing and meditative hobbies. The wonderful thing about these hobbies is you can make yourself cozy items for the cold winter ahead. You can also make gifts for the holidays. Homemade gifts are always the best, made with love, time and thoughtfulness. All of these activities involve dexterity and fine motor skills that we often don’t use as adults. It involves patience, attention to detail and great focus, which can be so beneficial to give our brains a break from the constant stream of thoughts.
Writing is a wonderful form of self expression and so easy to start. All you need is pen and a notepad. Maybe you start by journaling or writing poems. It could be as simple as jotting down thoughts from the day. There really are no rules and truthfully the more you write, the easier it becomes. Put pen to paper and see where it takes you.
Some friends of mine have a book club and it is a fun way to guarantee a gathering each month. It’s hard to get everyone there each month with family responsibilities, but it’s so nice to be able to join when it works. We rotate activities and who picks the book each month. Sometimes we don’t even discuss the book but it’s just a nice excuse to get together with women and enjoy each others company. Reading is so fun and it is lovely to have a group to share it with. If you are more of an avid reader you can structure things for your meeting by bringing questions or topics to discuss related to the reading. You can gather over rotating dinners at members houses, go out to restaurants or meet for coffee or a walk. The options are endless!
Dancing is such a fun way to let loose and open up. If you loved dancing as a child or teen but have since lost it a bit, try to rekindle that dancing flame by joining a class or workshop. There are so many different types of dance to choose from you could pick something you know and love or try something completely new. You could try anything from hip-hop to jazz or tap or even belly dancing! Why not? There are some great fitness apps that have dance classes included now too. Check out Obe Fitness!
Walking and hiking are fairly easy hobbies to take up because you can simply walk out your door and go down the road. It doesn’t involve investing in supplies or signing up for anything. Invite a friend along or maybe schedule a weekly walking group if you enjoy the company. If you enjoy your walks solo try going to quiet walking and enjoy the sounds and sights without distractions. You could try new paths or routes and discover a new favorite adventure!
Yoga is such a wonderful hobby to take up, because it is so incredibly beneficial for your mind, body and soul. In fact, yoga incorporates breath work, meditation and movement so it hits so many parts of health and wellness all within one activity. I love yoga because it helps me get back into my mind and body and feel ready for my day both physically and mentally. It also helps me work through challenges in my life and reach clarity when I feel stressed or overwhelmed. Try joining a local yoga studio and begin by signing up for one class a week. Or even better, join an online yoga class forum like Glo and do yoga from the comfort of your home!
Do you love pottery and have you always wanted to make it yourself? Join a local ceramics class to learn the trade. Ceramics isn’t something you can really do independently, so you will need a teacher to help you get started, provide materials, machinery, etc. This is something I have wanted to try for a while.
Did you do theater as a child and have since lost sight of it? Audition for a small role at a local theater to begin getting involved or maybe volunteer to help out back stage to get your toes wet first. This will help you find out if it is something you are truly interested in. Putting yourself out there like this can be so vulnerable and scary. Maybe ask a fellow theater friend to join you in this new endeavor.
Did you love playing ice hockey in high school, but your equipment has been sitting in your garage for a decade now untouched? Me too! Or maybe you’ve always loved tennis or snowboarding but just haven’t made the time for it recently. Find a buddy to join you or maybe take a lesson to get back into the swing of it. There are so many sports leagues and club sports in every town that are always looking for new members. Pickleball is and indoor or outdoor sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It’s taking over and everyone seems to love playing! See what is available around you and have some fun with the joy of a little competition and exercise.
Love to sing? Join a church choir or acapella group. Search local listings for other singing opportunities in your area. It’s never too late to explore something new and maybe even break through the fear that has been holding you back!
Do you have a hobby you enjoy or are thinking about trying? Let us know in the comments below.
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