Trying to figure out what to do during your days off or your evenings could be some tough stuff. It can feel a little cheesy trying to find a hobby as an adult, especially when one doesn’t include drinking or happy hours. When you don't know what to choose, all the options seem kind of lame: Knitting is for old ladies, sports have never been your thing, and if you pick up something like biking or gaming, you’ll feel like a little kid. But having a hobby doesn’t just have to be a time filler you do in between friend hangouts and work. It can morph into a passion that gets you excited, helps you recover from a long day, or gets your mind working. It helps you boost the quality of your life, and that’s why they’re so important to have.
But what if you’re not particularly passionate about anything? Where do you start? Well, first of all, everyone has a passion — you just haven’t discovered yours yet, probably. But don’t worry, there are a lot of easy (and painless) ways to find out just what it is. Below are seven tips on how to discover what you love to do and find your hobby as an adult. Get ready to feel fulfilled.
1. Take It Back To Your Childhood
If you don't know where to begin, think back to what you loved doing as a kid. Those were the times you were wild and free, and you didn't do something unless you really, really loved it. Chances are, you still have a lot of those same core interests.
Crafting blogger Sarah White at Lifehack suggested, "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." This doesn't mean you're about to go play hopscotch or creep everyone out in the sand box. Instead, use it as a springboard to discover what you loved doing. If it was tree climbing, maybe you can try wall climbing. If it was running through the backwoods of your house, try hiking. It's a starting point.
2. Try A Couple Of Ideas On For Size
If you're stumped where to begin, throw yourself into options and see how you respond to them. Sometimes doing something as easy as walking around a crafts or sports store can get you thinking. Blogger White recommended, "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."
Sometimes you have to physically see an option to get yourself curious about it, so go do some recon work in the store aisles.
3. Choose Something That Will Make You Forget About Your Day
If you're not into the idea of picking up a hobby just to occupy your downtime, try to think of something that makes you forget about the stresses and worries of your day. It should be something that helps you unwind and slip back into balance. If crocheting or learning a language feels like it would be work, then that's not the hobby for you.
Lifestyle blogger Elsie Larson at A Beautiful Mess suggested, "Running is my perfect 'alone time' hobby. I like to run with headphones and listen to my favorite guilty pleasure music. I have time to think. I forget about work. When I'm done I feel renewed. I love all of these things. It's also a good hobby for my personality type, because I can make and achieve small goals, which is a huge source of motivation for me. Right now I'm working my way up to a 10 mile run and it feels amazing to get closer and closer to my goal." When you find something that gives you a sense of me-time and answers to your personality and interests, you'll find something that's more than just an activity: It'll help enhance your life.
4. See If You Have Any Past Hobbies That You Forgot About
Maybe you already had a hobby, just you completely forgot about it. Though it seems like a weird thing to do, sometimes our hobbies might feel like projects and we don't realize they could become a running activity in our lives.
Larson advises, "Literally, look around your home and see if there are any neglected hobbies that you started but haven't completed. Last week our brother reminded Emma how she had been writing a children's book (this was four or five years ago), and she had totally forgotten about it! She never finished that project, and now she's thinking she might pick it up again, just for fun." Were you supposed to go to a trip to Italy a few summers back, and stopped picking up your Italian dictionary after the fact? Did you love taking photos during a past road trip, but haven't thought of picking up your camera just for fun? If you think back to a few projects you started in the past but then swiftly forgot about, you might have your hobby.
5. Notice What You Love To Buy As Guilty Pleasures
Is there a certain thing you just can't help but buy every time you're out shopping? The item might be holding the clue towards your next hobby. According to craft blogger Deborah at Creativity For Life, "Always checking out the latest fashion trends? Consider trying knitting or sewing. Do you love scented candles? Maybe you could make your own. Are your walls adorned with fine art? Try painting."
Are you always thumbing through short story books? Try writing your own. Are you always looking out for a chunky infinity scarf? Why don't you just make one? Your receipts might just hold the answers you're looking for.
6. See What You Want To Change About Yourself
Some people might have a hard time doing idle work that serves no purpose other than being fun. You know that feeling: When you're out at the movies or enjoying a long shopping trip, and you think "I really should be doing X instead." If you're always on the move and trying to hit a goal or better yourself, make your hobby fit that criteria. Pick one up that will help you change for the better.
Mark Manson, self-improvement blogger suggested asking yourself this in-your-face question, "What is true about you today that would make your 8-year-old self cry?" Meaning, what have you stopped doing just because it stopped being lucrative or adult responsibilities got in the way. Then, go after it. Chances are it'll give you a new sense of purpose.
7. Think Of The Last Thing That Made You Forget To Eat
What was the last thing you did in your life that made the time completely fly by? When did you have one of those moments where you checked the clock and were shocked you missed lunch or dinner because you were so absorbed in your work? Remember it, and then go after it, of pick apart the core ideas of what made it so special for you and see if you can find them in a different activity.
Manson explained, "It wasn’t until I gave up the games that I realized my passion wasn’t for the games themselves (although I do love them). My passion is for improvement, being good at something and then trying to get better...Maybe for you, it’s something else. Maybe it’s organizing things efficiently, or getting lost in a fantasy world, or teaching somebody something, or solving technical problems. Whatever it is, don’t just look at the activities that keep you up all night, but look at the cognitive principles behind those activities that enthrall you. Because they can easily be applied elsewhere." Look behind the reason why you love a certain interest, and see if you can apply it into a hobby. It's a lot easier than it first seemed!
Finding something that makes you tick outside of work can seem like a giant task in and of itself, but it's worth it to find something that makes you feel creatively and independently fulfilled, so try a few of these tips and see what happens. It may be easier to figure out than you expect.