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6 Creative and Fulfilling Hobbies to Take Up After the Holidays

6 Creative and Fulfilling Hobbies to Take Up After the Holidays

As the year 2016 is comes to an end, it is about that time to start thinking of new year’s resolutions. Of course, there is no need to go to the extreme of saying “new year, brand new me.” Perhaps you just need to try something that would help with self-improvement. Basically, you can take up a new hobby and start to add a new skill to your resume.

Pick something that is fulfilling and that can help you grow in a direction you wish, this way it will be fun learn. Here is a list of hobbies that you can try, or at least use as inspiration to find something you’ll gladly master. All of these hobbies can also help you earn a living, so you do not have to consider them as a waste of time but as a personal investment.

1. DIY

You can become addicted to DIY projects, which basically translate to craftsmanship. You learn how to create furniture out of items you don’t use, or garden decorations, or any sort of accessory. These are really popular and they give you a chance to add a unique touch to your home. Moreover, you can start creating jewelry or ornaments, since these are sold on etsy for good price.

When you are honing your skills and researching, you are improving your coordination, your creativity, and also learning how to fix various things without relying on a handyman. Also, it gives you a good skill set to build a tree house or something else your children will enjoy. So in a way, it is a skill that can also contribute to quality family time.

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Just pick something you find interesting and that you would like to master and start searching for tutorials. It is a good skill to know and a wonderful hobby, so there is no way you can go wrong with this.

2. Photography

    Can you be patient and wait for a perfect moment to capture something majestic? Do you love visiting different places and traveling? Then photography is a hobby you will enjoy. Bear in mind however that the more you commit, the harder it will get. You’ll start to learn photo manipulation, you will start to save money for better equipment, and you most definitely become a perfectionist.

    As a budding photographer, you will also most likely want start mastering Photoshop, then begin searching for cheap travel deals just so you can take new pictures. Plus spending time on Google Earth will definitely become your thing, because good photography is all about location.

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    If you have a serious interest in this hobby, you should go through this guide for beginners, to find the best camera for your purposes. You can go through Photoshop tutorials and see what the procedure for uploading stock photos is, in case you eventually want to make money from your photography.

    3. Making Videos

    You can also make video material and upload it on various networks that support it. Many people have made a fortune from vlogging, making videos and entertaining or educating people. It really looks like a fun and easy way to earn money, but don’t be fooled. Making videos requires a lot of devotion, but it is still really fun hobby. You’ll need to acquire a good camera and a good microphone for starters, and you’ll also need to have an idea about the theme of your channel and the topics you’d like to cover.

    Once you have the idea, you need to write a script for a video, then film it, and then comes video editing. This can also take awhile if you are still new to how the software or video editing tools are used, but mastering the basics should not be too difficult.

    It is definitely a hobby you will grow to like and if you upload quality content frequently, people will notice you. Almost anyone who succeeded claims that it took at least two years for the videos to be noticed and featured, so it is a question of determination.

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    4. Gaming

    In addition to making videos, you can take up gaming as a hobby. Games actually offer quality material for a video topic. New games are constantly coming out, and people who are not certain whether they should buy them want to see a video review, so the two hobbies can go hand-in-hand.

    The gaming community is very wide today, but if you were never intrigued by video games, you probably won’t like this hobby. Alternatively, you can go with board games, which are are also fun as you can play them with your friends, and if you are invested enough, you can even start designing them. It is really a fun hobby and it is great for all ages.

    5. Gardening

      If you have knack for aesthetics and harmony, and if you like plants and decorating, then gardening is definitely a hobby for you. It takes patience, but allows you to practice peace and serenity while you create your own slice of heaven, and is relatively inexpensive as a hobby. You will need seeds and a place to grow plants, so without a backyard it is not really possible. Sure you can collect and cultivate plants indoors, but it kind of defeats the purpose of gardening.

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      If you get good at this, people might call you to redecorate their garden, or you can even increase your home’s property value. However, profit should not be the main motivation here; you should pick up gardening for the sake of creating beautiful gardens and cultivating plants.

      6. Cooking

      Finally, you can always take up cooking as a hobby. You will most likely love it, and what’s more your friends will love you for it, so everybody wins. It gives you a chance to become good at something that is generally needed and there is a lot of room for you to be creative.

      You have seen how a lot of people have become famous simply because they are good at cooking, they even have their own TV shows, and some of them get to act like real prima donnas and yell at their underlings. Not that you should be that way, this only shows how a hobby can grow into a passion and lead you to fame.

      Much like gaming, cooking can be a topic for your video-making hobby. As mentioned, you can be creative so that people will view it just to see something new. Another upside is that you probably have all the necessary equipment, you only need the ingredients and some good recipes.

      To sum up, the year 2017 offers a lot of possibilities for improvement, and you can turn that quest for improvement into a hobby or hobbies. Hopefully this list inspires you or at least pushes you in the right direction. Pick something that you find fun and interesting; the learning experience will be more pleasant and you will therefore advance at a rapid pace.

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      Djordje Todorovic

      Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

      How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

      1. The Inner Critic

      This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

      The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

      Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

      2. The Worrier

      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

      The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

      This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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      This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

      The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

      4. The Sleep Depriver

      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

      The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

      How can you control these squatters?

      How to Master Your Mind

      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

      For the Inner Critic

      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

      • They rile up the Worrier.
      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
      • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
      • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
      • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

      Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

      For the Worrier

      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
      • Muscles tense

      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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      For example:

      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
      • Muscles tension

      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

      Breathe in through your nose:

      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
      • Focus on your belly rising.

      Breathe out through your nose:

      • Feel your lungs emptying.
      • Focus on your belly falling.
      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

      For the Sleep Depriver

      (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
      • Shut down your thinking.
      • Calm your feelings.
      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

      The Bottom Line

      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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