When I was at grammar school I used to write letters a lot. I used to have at least one penpal on each and every continent there is (well, almost) and I used to love it. Coming home from school the first thing I’d do was run to the post box and check for new letters. Sometimes my mum would even ring me on my break to tell me that someone sent me a box with gifts – just imagine the excitement! Having penpals made me so happy – it helped me improve my English, it was my creative outlet, it was an easy way to socialise for a girl living in a tiny village in the middle of the Czech Republic. And I suppose in a way my hobbies such as penpalling has carried on throughout my life – I used to write short stories, all my school literature projects were letters to famous people, I started a blog.
? Why don’t people have hobbies anymore?
Back when I was younger the first thing you’d ask someone new you’ve just met was what were they into. What were their hobbies. What were the things they enjoyed doing. We don’t do that anymore. I can’t recall the last time anyone asked me that question. But I do recall when I put the question to someone and the bland response I got back (I don’t do anything – I go on the internet – I watch Jezza).
We don’t have hobbies anymore.
Hobbies were a thing in the 90’s. They were a thing in the 00s even. Where have they gone? They have been replaced by the internet, by social, by work, by our newly discovered ability to say no more.
? So why should you have a hobby if they’re not a thing anymore?
Instead of saying no to everything, I say – say yes more. Say yes to yourself. Hobbies can be incredibly powerful. I have probably way too many of them (from blogging to playing the ukulele and growing ficus plants) but I can reassure you that picking up just one new hobby will:
get you out of the rut
fill your head with new ideas & boost your creativity
rest your tired brain
refresh your learning skills
make you happier
increase your productivity at work
release oxytocin & improve your mood
open up a world of new opportunities
help you to make new friends
make you more confident
? Which hobbies should you try?
So, what are you doing tonight? Playing the flute? Drawing a picture of your cat? Or perhaps you should try one of these!
✏️ Learn to play the piano
✏️ Make your own family tree
✏️ Learn a magic trick
✏️ Throw a pot
✏️ Create a cactus embroidery
✏️ Paint a colourful plant pot
✏️ Try a morning yoga flow
✏️ Learn to play the ukulele
✏️ Make a scrapbook of your holiday memories
✏️ Go for Parkrun
✏️ Make a homemade cheese
✏️ Write an eBook on your favourite subject
✏️ Build an allotment
✏️ Join a reading club
✏️ Learn to draw portraits
✏️ Go swimming
✏️ Cook an authentic French dish
✏️ Join a salsa class
✏️ Learn to play the harmonica
✏️ Go to a self-defence class
✏️ Learn HTML coding
✏️ Learn to speak Russian
✏️ Renovate a vintage typewriter
You can pick up any of these from the comfort of your own sofa by searching for online courses, buying study books or you can find local service professionals via Bidvine who can teach you all of the above (literally, all of them – I’ve checked!). Bidvine is ever so easy to use – you just enter your postcode and the activity or the hobby you’re interested it and it pulls together a list of all your local providers. I’ve searched for a yoga instructor on it before and have had a few local trainers e-mail me directly in just a couple of hours with their offers!