Having a hobby is a great way to relieve stress, a creative outlet and a way to meet new people. In fact, there are lots of ways hobbies are good for you. But if you don’t have a regular leisure activity that you enjoy, it can be difficult to decide which one will be enjoyable for you. Here are some tips for finding an interest that fits your personality and interests.

What is a Hobby?

Hobbies are simply anything you do that’s for fun. You aren’t getting paid to do it, it’s something you like to do with your free time that helps you decompress and connect with other people.

For a lot of people these days it seems like their only leisure activities are watching television and catching up on Facebook. That’s a shame, because hobbies—from rock climbing to collecting silver spoons—can have real benefits.

Why Hobbies Are Important

Hobbies often provide a creative outlet that you might not get in your everyday life. They allow you to do something that’s just for you, that can help you forget your daily problems, unwind after a hard day and give you a lot of pleasure.

If you can find like-minded people in your area, an outside pursuit can also be a great way to meet new people and experience new adventures, whether that’s taking on a new trail or going to a knitting convention.

Look to Your Past

Are there things you enjoyed as a kid that you might still enjoy as an adult? Maybe you had an awesome record collection, loved to sew clothes for your dolls or were always out on your bike. Those are all things you could pick up again as an adult that would make great hobbies.

Or there may be hobbies in your home right now that you started but have recently neglected. Maybe it’s time to finish that crochet project or pick up the guitar again.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

If something from your past doesn’t immediately jump out at you, it might be useful to hit the crafts store, the sporting goods store or the nearest music emporium or book store. Browse around and see what captures your attention. Maybe you find yourself drawn to the cookbooks or the scrapbooking section; this can give you a clue as to what you might be interested in.

Start Small

If you’re adding a new thing into your life, you have to take time and focus away from something else. The good news is that most of us have a lot of time we’re not using well, either because we’re spending a lot of time online or watching TV or just wasting time we could be spending on our hobbies.

See if you can carve out a half hour or so every day or every other day to explore your interest. If there’s a way to start small, such as going to play pool at a bar before investing in your own table or buying a craft kit instead of a ton of supplies, that would be best in case you find that hobby isn’t for you after all.

Finding a Hobby that Fits

Of course everyone is different and your personality does play a role in what sorts of hobbies you’ll like. If you don’t have a lot of patience you might feel like quilting might be too much for you, but exploring quick sewing projects might be a better choice.

Maybe you really like hanging out with friends, so you need to take a class or have n interest that you can do with a group. If you travel a lot, something portable or that you can do anywhere is helpful; if you’re a homebody you might love to be surrounded by a cool collection.

Think about the things you already like and how they might expand. If you’re always ordering fun drinks, maybe you could learn to make some at home. If you can’t resist the colors in the paintings at your favorite restaurant, perhaps you should pick up some paint or a camera and explore color in your own way.

The truth is you may not hit the perfect activity for you right out of the gate, but you can have a lot of fun trying out new things and exploring what’s out there. Do some web searches, visit the library, don’t be afraid to try new things, and soon you’ll have a hobby that provides you with a lot of fun and stress relief, too.

Still stumped? Here are 10 Inexpensive Hobbies You Can Start This Year

Featured photo credit: 6SN7via Flickr

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