These 10 unique hobbies run the gamut from the creative to the nerdy, from the indoors to the outdoors, and everything in between.
“A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away.” – Phyllis McGinley
There were many years in my life when people would ask me what my unique hobbies were and I’d stare at them blankly.
“Hobbies?” I’d ask. “Well, my work sort of is my hobby. Music and web design: they’re what I love and enjoy.”
And while there’s nothing wrong with that answer (or with loving what we do), I’ve learned over the years that developing true hobbies – that is, activities that we do sheerly for the enjoyment of them and outside of how we make our income – can enrich our lives, increase our happiness, and allow us to bring fresh energy and fervor to our working hours.
Not sure where to begin? I’ve got you covered. These 10 unique hobbies are all over the map, and there’s surely one that will catch your eye.
Learn to play a musical instrument.
You’re never too old to start learning a musical instrument. I repeat: you’re never too old to start learning a musical instrument. And here’s a tip: as you think about which one you might want to learn, rather than focus on logistical elements such as size or volume, think about what instrument you love the sound of above all else. I promise you, that’s the one for you.
Plant a garden.
Love fresh-cut flowers but don’t love the price? Try growing your own. Love organic vegetables but don’t love the price? Try growing your own. There’s surely almost nothing more rewarding than enjoying a bouquet of beauties or a salad of fresh veggies that are made up of all the “fruits” of your labor.
Make a collage.
Collage is a fantastic way to get creative if you don’t have an artist’s handstroke. Here’s a tip: instead of cutting out literal shapes in magazines (such as a basketball or a person’s head) rip out pages that have colors and textures you’re attracted to, and then cut different shapes from those textures and see what you come up with. There’s no wrong way to make a collage. It’s one of the most unique hobbies you’ll find. You also might check out Soul Collage, a totally unique process of creating your own “collage cards” that can help you with life’s questions, or check out my post on Creating a Vision Board for more.
Take a yoga class.
I know it can be a little scary going to a yoga studio when you’re a total newbie. But the reality is, yogis tend to be an incredibly warm and welcoming bunch. Almost all yoga studio websites have good information on which classes to take if you’re a beginner. Remember, you don’t have to be a vegan or a hippie or a meditator to enjoy yoga – anyone can.
Some people go nuts for puzzles, and for other people, puzzles just drive them nuts. You’ll never know which kind of person you are until you try. On the next rainy afternoon when you find yourself with some free time, head over to a craft store and get a puzzle that calls to you (I’d recommend a 250 piece puzzle to start). Spread out the pieces on a large table, get yourself a tasty beverage, and just let your eyes wander for those matching pieces. It can be surprisingly relaxing, and you might even learn some Life Lessons as a result. Check out my post Benefits of Doing Jigsaw Puzzles: 3 Life Lessons for more!
Learn to cook.
I’m convinced that one of the greatest things about the Internet is that every single one of us could cook a new recipe every night for the rest of our lives and never repeat the same recipe. And remember, browsing recipes and finding one that tempts your tastebuds is half the fun.
Embark on a home DIY project.
I’ll admit I was wary of using Pinterest for quite a while, but once I got started? Watch out! You won’t find more ideas for home improvement projects anyplace else. How about a painted accent wall in your bedroom? How about a backsplash in your kitchen? The sky’s the limit.
Take a pottery class.
Ever wonder how it feels to sit at a potter’s wheel, shaping a ball of clay spinning in your hands? Find out! Pottery classes are offered at most art centers, so check out the one closest to you. And an added perk? You’ll have a basketful of holiday gifts by the end of your class.
Go bird watching.
Have you ever been with a person who actually knows all the birds’ whistles and calls? It’s quite amazing. The benefits of bird watching are two-fold: you get to learn about and appreciate the beauty of birds, and you get the added benefit of being outside and getting exercise. It’s pretty much guaranteed to make you feel good.
Learn to brew beer.
Hint: if you want to learn how to brew beer, make friends with someone who already knows how to do it (and does it regularly). People who brew beer love to talk about and geek out over the process. The great thing about learning to brew beer if you will basically always have an excuse to host a party!
Get a coloring book.
My friends back in Brooklyn bought me an “adult coloring book” several years ago, and it didn’t see the light of day until just this year – but am I having fun now! Here’s a hint: I find coloring is much more rewarding when I know I’m coloring it for someone. Have someone you care about pick out their favorite page and tell you the colors they love. After you finish it, put it in a frame and give it to them. It makes an amazingly personal gift.
Take a knitting class.
Learning to knit can be extremely frustrating if you’re starting out all on your own – so instead, join a knitting group! They make a great little community, and they’re a fantastic place to ask questions or get help. And a bonus: Knitting is a productive hobby because everything you make will have a purpose, and that’s extra rewarding. And if you’re looking for something a little easier, cross-stitching is a fantastic easier alterntaive.
This is hands down one of my favorite hobbies. Walk out your door with no agenda, no plan, and no destination in mind. Look for images or views that catch your eye, and take photographs of anything you like. Set that inner critic aside and just enjoy it.
Learn a new language.
Is there a language you’ve always wanted to learn? Make it a hobby! Learn either by registering for a local class or signing up for an online course such as Rosetta Stone. And for extra credit, find someone in your community who speaks that language, and try to work out a trade for their time (perhaps there’s something they want to learn that you could show them?).
Practice doing nothing.
Recently I’ve realized that sometimes the sweetest way to spend my free time is by simply doing nothing. Sitting on my couch with a warm cup of tea and just gazing out the window at the trees can be most enjoyable and a much-needed break for my mind. Try it and see what you think.
I hope that one of these 10 unique hobbies struck your fancy! I find that loved personal hobbies allow me to savor and enjoy my free time (and particularly my alone time) to a much higher degree. Have fun!