During 2020, it seemed that everyone and their dog was taking up a new pastime. People were searching for ways to fill all those hours that had suddenly become available from being told to self-isolate.
Initially, the most popular choice of activity for many was inactivity. Subscriptions to Netflix and the relatively new, Disney Plus, rose by millions. TV shows were binged, old classics revisited, and any type of movie available devoured.
Video gaming saw a similar significant rise in its user base, although there is a little more activity in that form of entertainment. After a while though, many people started to seek out something else to do. Creative hobbies and challenging pastimes were taken on.
But should it have to take a pandemic to get people to learn new skills, or try different activities, and why should you carry on now?
How to decide on a new hobby
For many, deciding to take up a new hobby is a gut instinct kind of thing. An urge to suddenly master watercolors, or to learn how to knit, comes from somewhere deep inside. For others, it might be something that they have spotted on the TV or the internet. A little seed of inspiration perhaps.
However, you should take a few steps before deciding on a new hobby. Jumping head into any new activity often leads to it being cast aside prematurely.
Ask yourself these questions before deciding which hobby to go for:
- Why did you stop your last one?
- What are your goals?
- Why do you think this is a hobby for you?
- What is your budget?
The first question matters especially if you are in the habit of starting new hobbies and then ditching them. For every budding Eric Clapton practicing away, there is another guitar gathering dust in the basement.
Think about why you want to do the hobby you are considering. What do you ultimately want to take from it?
And consider your budget. Some hobbies are relatively free, and others cost a fortune. If you decide to go skydiving all over the world, you better have a good bank balance.
Example hobbies for you to consider, and why they are good
No one should really enforce their views on what would be a good hobby for someone else. Hobbies are often very personal things, and some of them are done in solitude. Not all hobbies are social, nor should they be.
Here are some suggestions though to get your brain thinking, and also some reasons why they are good.
Learn to play an instrument
This was one of the most popular new hobbies of the pandemic. It needn’t cost a lot of money either. One easy way to get into music would be to get a low-cost ukulele. You can then use Chordify to understand and learn ukulele chords for quick progression.
Music is great for improving concentration and understanding how to persevere and be patient. All useful skills.
Gardening and growing vegetables
A lot of people decided to be more self-sufficient during the pandemic. This may have been after their 99th Ubereats delivery, or it may have had something to do with shortages.
Many people feared shortages during lockdowns and took to their gardens. Surely the benefits of knowing how to grow your own veg don’t need explaining?
Learn a new language
Many adults stop trying to learn a new language once they leave school. If you are finding yourself at home a lot dreaming of when you can travel again, this might be the perfect pastime.
Yes you will be learning, and that might not seem as fun as scuba diving, but a new language can make so many differences. Your travels will be easier, you will be able to communicate with more people, and it may even help you change your career.
Exercise, by bicycle or on foot
After all those hours of Netflix, some exercise would be a good idea. Beginning an exercise routine doesn’t have to be trying. Perhaps start with regular walks with friends. Enjoy being outside. Alternatively, buy a bicycle, if you still can.
One retailer in Washington DC told the New York Times that they had sold all their entry-level bikes. They had also taken more pre-orders than ever before in 50 years of trading.
Exercise comes with numerous benefits including improved confidence, and reduced risk of a variety of ailments. In short, you should live longer, and you’ll feel better about it too.
Apparently, there are some very good mental health benefits to cooking. There are also the more obvious ones. If you learn to cook you will never be reliant on instant noodles again.
Plus, your family, friends, and partner will also get enjoyment from your new hobby when you serve them dinner.
None of these hobbies has to be expensive at all, and in fact, some are practically free. If you already have the internet and a laptop, then learning a language can be as simple as finding the right tutor on YouTube.
Taking up an instrument can be more expensive so look for entry-level models, and second-hand ones. You can bypass expensive lessons in some cases and use online resources. There are tools and apps to explain chords in guitar for beginners. And these will help your guitar playing progress in a rewarding fashion.