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Finding hobbies to pick up in your spare time is super important.
Deciding to pick up a hobby is simple.
Knowing which one to choose can be the hard part.
Your friends may swear by their cool hobbies and try to convince you to do what they are doing.
I’m sure they mean well, but their ideas might not always be a fit and this is what makes picking what’s right for you a little tricky.
If you keep telling yourself time and time again, “I need a hobby”, then I have a few tips about how to make choosing some easier. I’ll clarify what are considered hobbies, share examples of indoor and outdoor hobbies and discuss some good hobbies to pick up.
Now, let’s start from the beginning.
What are considered hobbies?
Simply put by the Oxford Dictionary, a hobby is “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.”
There are easy hobbies to pick up such as such as meditation, reading, listening to podcasts or even audio books. You can also try to something much more involved like woodworking, candle making or canning tomatoes.
There are so many examples of hobbies that my blog post would need to be 10,000 plus words long to even attempt to write about every single one. For this reason, I chose to include great hobbies I think are easy to incorporate into a busy lifestyle. Many are low cost hobbies to try. I also chose hobbies that appeal to a variety of age groups.
An article in Psychology Today explains some of the benefits of having hobbies:
- Provide structure to your schedule
- Help you form new social ties
- Make you attractive to others
- May help you better handle stress
Maybe you know it’s important not to overwork yourself or you’re just looking for something fun to look forward to in your spare time. It could also be that you’re just bored with life and need a hobby. If you’re stuck and not sure how to proceed, read on.
What is a good hobby to pick up?
This is the million dollar question. The best way to find one is by trial and error. Test drive a few you think you might like and see how it goes.
As I mentioned above, maybe you start with easy hobbies. Or, think about taking up some hobbies online such as virtually visiting famous art museums or zoos.
Peeking at rare books and documents is one of the most unique things to do in New Haven, CT and you don’t even need to visit in person. Many of these rare items can be viewed online.
This might be one of the best free hobbies ever for nerdy types. And, it can fall under the “hobbies at home” category when you’re stuck inside or want something to do indoors.
Approach Hobbies Similarly to The KonMari Method of Tidying Up
Imagine your ideal lifestyle
What is your desired outcome? While being super specific is best, sometimes we just have a general sense of what we want to do and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s a discovery process and you can get a clearer picture as you go, but at least come up with a general idea for now.
Commit to the process
Marie Kondo makes it clear from the start that you have to commit to following through on tidying up. It’s also true when you’re looking for a hobby. Dedicate time to finding one. The only difference is you might have to try a few hobbies out before you find something you like and want to stick to doing.
Ask if it kind of sparks joy
Ideally, everyone wants to do something that lights them up inside, but it doesn’t always happen on the first try. Perhaps it might not be the best criteria for choosing a hobby in the beginning because if you set the bar too high, it’s easy to get discouraged.
How do I find a hobby that I love?
Start with what I call The Danny Zuko Rule ™ to find a hobby. If you’ve ever watched the movie Grease, John Travolta’s character Danny Zuko tried out for a number of sports in order to impress his love interest Sandy.
Most of the sports he tried out for weren’t a fit. He finally settled on track. I don’t know if it sparked joy exactly, but he stuck with it and eventually got a varsity letter.
Hitting home runs is nice, but in the beginning, aim for just getting on base when it comes to your expectations of choosing a hobby. Don’t give up on searching if you don’t like the first few you try. You may eventually find a hobby that you absolutely love to do, but you have to try some out or you’ll never know.
What are some interesting hobbies?
Interesting is subjective and what you consider appealing can be very different from what I think. Scan through a list of hobbies and choose something that sounds good to you or see my suggestions below.
Take my “I Need a Hobby” Quiz
If you know you need a hobby, but don’t know where to start. These questions can help you sort out your thoughts a bit.
Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing a hobby:
- Why do you want a hobby?
- Are you planning to be indoors or outdoors?
- Do you want to commit to something structured or do it at your leisure?
Types of Hobbies to Pick Up: Including Hobbies To Do Alone or With Someone Else
For the sake of organization, I purposely highlighted general indoor and outdoor hobbies that have a low barrier to entry.
In my opinion, they are interesting, budget-friendly and can be woven into a busy schedule. Most of them are fairly easy hobbies to pick up. I tried to avoid time consuming hobbies.
Also, I chose a mix of hobbies to do at home alone along with other hobbies to do with friends and family.
Take exercise for example, many people find it hard to exercise. Carving time out of your schedule to workout or just conjuring up the motivation to do it can be a struggle.
If you want a hobby that is focused on physical activity, then you can kill two birds with one stone. A hobby you like can also help you stick to exercising regularly. I believe it’s one of the best hobbies to pick up.
An Example of One of My Economical, Cool Hobbies
Home workouts via YouTube videos can help you stay in shape. I think of it as a default “home hobby” when I have to be indoors. However, I have to push myself to do it. Ideally, I prefer biking.
Biking is enjoyable and I completely forget that I’m exercising. Plus, I get the added bonus of being outside.
Cost can also be a factor when it comes to biking. Unless you’re a mountain biker or you prefer to own a high priced bike, you can purchase a bike inexpensively. I think it’s one of the most inexpensive hobbies out there.
Look into Cost Per Use
Although I’m no biking expert by any means, you can purchase a bike at a place like Walmart for roughly 120 -150 dollars. Purchasing a bike can be a wise purchase if you get enough use out of it.
People overly focus on the total cost, but think about the cost per usage to determine if it’s a smart buy. Take the cost and divide it by the number of times you’ll use it.
If you spent $120 for the bike and ride your bike once a month for a year, that’s $10 per ride.
Say you ride that same bike every weekend, that’s $2.30 per ride.
Once you keep the bike over a year, you slice the cost per ride in half.
The cost to ride it once a month for 2 years is now $5 per ride and once a week is 1.15! Now that’s a cheap hobby that will keep you in shape too. It’s perfect for guys and gals!
Investing in affordable and fun hobbies that you’ll do a lot are smart buys, you can figure out how to make your dream list of hobbies a reality sooner than later.
Interesting Hobbies to Pick Up (Outdoors)
Here are some healthy hobbies to start. Try sports or exercise-related activities such as:
Attempt “water hobbies” (activities that involve water) such as:
Explore science and nature (I love visiting sunflower farms in CT)
Indoor Hobbies to Do Alone, at Home
I share information about collection hobbies I’ve taken part in along with a list of common indoor hobbies. Once again they are meant to be economical and fairly easy hobbies to pick up and realistic bucket list ideas for 2021. Most of the indoor hobbies listed towards the bottom can also be done outside.
Aestethic Hobbies to Pick Up
If making something that is pleasing to the eye is a requirement for the hobby you choose, there are many aestethic hobbies to pick up. I think of them as DIY hobbies with a nice looking end result.
Home Improvement can be a hobby. If you like to be super practical while making things look attractive, maintain your dwelling space nicely. Beautify the exterior of your house by gardening.
Planting perennials is a budget-friendly option since you buy the plant once and take care of it as it comes back each year. Depending on what you choose to plant, it can be a low maintenance hobby or something more involved.
Either way, you don’t have to keep buying annuals that only last a season. For example, I have irises on the side of my house that require very little attention. I have rhododendrons and azaleas which bloom nicely.
Though I’m not an avid gardener, I purposely planted lower maintenance choices that bloom at different times so there’s always something pretty to look at through most of the warm weather months.
Design is One of the Best Aesthetic Hobbies
There are so many types of design you can try as an aesthetic hobby. Here’s a list of a few off the top of my head:
- Fashion Design
- Graphic Design
- Interior Design
- Garden Design
- Architectural Design
Other Aesthetic Hobbies
Here are some aesthetic hobbies that might require some artistic ability if you want them to look presentable. If they don’t come out the way you like, that’s okay. Just enjoy the process.
- Restoring cars
- Making jewelry
Collection Hobbies to Try
Some people choose to collect items like antiques, coins, comic books and baseball cards as a hobby. No matter what you decide to collect, once you start accumulating items, you’ll have to decide where to put them.
Do you want to display your collection to some degree or not? Are you showing it to friends and family or is it something just for your own viewing pleasure?
Fan cave alert! I created a baseball room that houses some of our favorite memories of fun things to do in Boston, Massachusetts. The room is beige and green to echo the colors of a baseball field.
We also found wall decor at local stores, but I wanted to decorate with some unique and meaningful items to give the room a personal touch.
Luckily, I found some sports collectibles, pillow covers that we made ourselves and added others sports-related items along the way.
Outside of what we already own, I think adding a transit map of the T in Boston would be a unique touch to the room.
Now if you want to create a fan cave or just start a acquiring a few sports-related items, find heritage banners, framed photo pieces, autographed items and more, check out this site that carries a wide array of sports collectibles.
Another unique hobby I came across is ticket collecting. This is something I actually do and didn’t know it counted as a hobby.
Is it just me or is ticket collecting one of the most interesting hobbies to pick up? Saving tickets from concerts, sporting events, etc. is concrete evidence of a life well-lived and gives you a free souvenir from the experience you purchased.
Savor memories from trips you’ve taken, reflect on past adventures and relive fun stories. Be sure to store them somewhere for safekeeping. It’s one of the best hobbies for adults and kids of all ages.
Devote time to doing this new hobby one hour per week or on rainy days. Maybe it’s one of your new hobbies to do when you’re bored or classify them as “evening hobbies.”
Or, maybe it’s something you categorize as one of your “free hobbies” or something you do when you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It’s really one of the cheapest hobbies that can bring a lot of joy to your life.
Luckily, I don’t have to waste any precious free time or resort to boredom cures online. I have my great hobbies to get into at home to cure my boredom in a snap. I plan to put a collage together with them. It’s one of my simple bucket list ideas for the winter.
Here are some ways to do so:
Transit Map Collecting
Gathering up transit maps or maps of your favorite areas in general can be one of the most fun and economical hobbies to pick up especially if you like to travel.
It’s another way to infuse the memories from a trip into everyday life. In the near future, I plan on displaying a transit map from Boston as soon as I get my hands on one and it’s something you might want to consider doing as well.
As a child, there simply weren’t as many great hobbies to have as there are today. When I was a kid, I desperately wanted a hobby.
My mom suggested stamp collecting. Gathering up gems of postage stamps past was appealing, but unfortunately it did nothing for me. It somehow missed the mark, though I wanted to like it.
Shortly after, sticker collecting became a big craze. Buying stickers filled the void of what stamp collecting lacked for me.
Puffy stickers, scratch and sniff stickers and others with googly eyes hit the scene in a big way. There were even stores solely devoted to selling stickers.
My daughter found my sticker collection on my shelf and she readily caught sticker fever too and wanted a collection of her own.
Not only is collecting stickers fun, it’s a flexible, economical hobby that’s great for almost all ages. Laptops and water bottles seemed to be covered in stickers nowadays.
People can acquire them year round no matter where you live too. Some people start very young like my daughter and continue to collect them over the years while others try it for a short time.
Do this hobby in short spurts in your free time or for longer periods of time if you choose. Sticker books are great, but you don’t have to formally stick them on books. Put your collection wherever you like!
Find some cool transparent stickers, funny stickers, glossy stickers and more!
Other Interesting Hobbies to Pick Up Indoors (or Outdoors)
These ideas are categorized as cheap indoor hobbies, but many of them you can do outdoors as well. For instance, my husband and I mostly cook indoors, but if you have a grill or an outdoor pizza oven, you can cook outdoors too.
Check out these budget hobbies:
- Bullet Journaling
- Watch movies (outdoors with a projector or your phone)
- Audio books
- Ted Talk
- Meditate and learn to listen to yourself
If these hobbies sound a little too tame and you’re thinking you should type in “unusual hobbies” or “eccentric hobbies” in the search engines, hold on. Wikipedia kills in on covering ever hobby known to man. Well, almost.
I found out about ticket and transit map collecting there, but I never knew that gingerbread house making and robot combat were a thing. Apparently, they are. Here’s an extensive list of hobbies.
Conclusion for The Coolest Hobbies to Choose
Picking up a hobby doesn’t have to be hard. Whether you’re searching for indoor or outdoor hobbies to do alone in your free time or ones to do with someone else, they don’t have to be super pricey or time consuming.
Scroll one of the hobbies lists mentioned, pick up a hobby and soon enough you’ll have interesting hobbies to look forward to for years to come. And, maybe they’ll be as cool as Danny Zuko!
What hobbies do you have? What are the coolest hobbies?
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