What Should My Next Hobby Be?
The grind sets in pretty quickly - the 9-5, days planned out in ten minute blocks, productivity as the beacon of all that is good and worthy… From our GCSE days, we’re encouraged to establish a consistent work routine and stick to it. Little do many of us know, said routine tends to make itself nice and comfortable in our lifestyles and is mostly there to stay pretty much until retirement.
Now, we’re not saying that’s a bad thing. Working hard and setting goals is incredibly rewarding and, as advocates of academic endeavour, we’re strong supporters of dedication and commitment here at Tutor House. However, a lack of variety in your life can have disastrous effects on your mental equilibrium.
An endless pattern of work-eat-sleep-repeat might feel like all many of us have time for sometimes. But failing to inject colour into your routine is the quickest way to burnout. Going that extra mile to clear your schedule a couple of times a week for a bit of me time is worth its weight in mental health gold. So, when you’re shopping around for your next hobby, here are a few suggestions to consider. Who knows, we might even be able to help you out with a few of them...
1. Learn a language
Learning a language was up there with making sourdough bread as the nation’s hobby of choice during the pandemic and it’s easy to see why. There really is no better way of shaking up an arid, monolingual day-to-day than inviting a foreign language into your life.
While grammar and vocabulary learning can feel a little arduous, the rewards that lie at the end of the road make it all worth it. There are few skills in life more exhilarating than being able to communicate with people from another country. If you didn’t consider yourself a ‘language person’ at school, don’t let that hold you back - there’s no time like the present to start afresh with a new teacher!
2. Learn an instrument
Far too much apprehension exists around the idea of learning an instrument as an adult. An unfortunate mix of “I’m too old” and a fear of making mistakes results in not enough people following their passion and pursuing their musical goals.
Learning an instrument has time and again been proven to be excellent for mental dexterity, helping keep your brain active and sharp from the moment you start learning. Plus, it’s a wonderful means of self-expression that can help ground you at the moments when you need it most.
If you’re sick of being told about the virtues of reading for pleasure, indulge us just a little longer. Because, whatever your genre of choice may be, there really is no greater joy than settling down with a cup of tea and losing yourself in a book you love.
Plus, reading’s getting cooler by the minute. Whether you’ve stumbled upon one of the numerous ‘bookstagram’ accounts on your insta feed or enjoy indulging in a bit of ‘booktube’ from time to time, these days you won’t get far on the internet without being bombarded by reading recommendations. Take advantage of this - deciding what to read next has never been easier! Plus Tutor House has plenty of reading lists for you to check out if you’re still scratching your head.
If reading’s your thing, chances are you’ll become curious about writing at some stage. Writing comes in many different forms. Whether you’re blogging, journaling, perhaps trying your hand at short stories or even a novel, producing written content in some form is a brilliant creative workout for your brain.
You don’t have to be Shakespeare to set pen to paper. Writing serves people in all sorts of different ways. It might be emotionally cathartic for some and a means of artistic experimentation for others. Wherever you land on that scale, there’s no right or wrong way to approach this hobby. Give it a try - you might just uncover a new passion!
5. Learn to code
The image of the techy hipster who sits in coffee shops coding all day might feel like a tired cliché at this point. But, come on, if we’re being honest with ourselves, who wouldn’t want to be able to casually develop an app in their lunch break?
As our world becomes more and more tech-driven, it’s getting harder to deny that those who know how to code are quite simply one step ahead of those of us who don’t. Whatever way you look at it, a greater understanding of our increasingly computerised universe and the ability to move within it are enviable. Plus, coding is great for testing your problem solving and logic skills and an incredibly productive way of killing time on the commute.
By far the most grounding hobby we can think of has to be cooking. After an emotionally taxing day at the office or in a classroom, there’s nothing like returning home for an evening of loving preparation of your favourite meal. Pop on a podcast and give yourself over to the comfort of chopping, simmering and a delicious dish at the end of it all.
Cooking is not only a calming and satisfying activity in itself but a great way of developing a positive relationship with food. Making meals from scratch helps you better understand what’s going into your body and the importance of producing food that is nourishing, healthy and beneficial for your lifestyle.
7. Take up art
You don’t have to be an art history aficionado to experience the pure joy of putting pencil (/pen/paint brush/sponge) to paper. Whether you’re oil painting, drawing or creating sculptures, there’s no limit to the areas you can explore and the techniques you can try out.
The best thing about art is that there are no rules - none whatsoever! The aim of the game is to be as experimental and free-flowing as possible. And for those of us exhausted by the prescriptive, rule-based lives we lead, a bit of letting loose is often exactly what we need.
8. Explore crafts
If you want to flex your creative muscles, but Art (with a capital A) is a little impractical for your tastes, crafts are an excellent alternative. Crafting is a fabulous means of productive creativity and can be both therapeutic and a great money-saver!
Whether you’re making jewellery, decorations for your home or whatever else you might turn your hand to, the satisfaction of producing something you intend to use is wonderfully addictive! The web has a plethora of excellent sites available if you’re stuck for ideas on what your next crafting project should be.
9. Take up a sport
Physical activity is a great way of connecting to your body and centering yourself after a long day of work or study. From running to rugby, there are so many options but if working out is the furthest thing from your mind when you’re settling in for some me time, there are plenty of gentle ways of moving your body which might be more to your taste, the obvious one being yoga.
Yoga, with its calming flows and grounding mental nourishment, has a habit of sneakily transforming the lives of those who do it, even the more sceptical among us, so give it a try! Other possibilities include pilates, swimming and walking; there really is nothing like a long walk to help clear your mind.
So far, this list has generally been geared towards solo activities for those who prefer to unwind the comfort of their own company. And it’s true - introverts are having a bit of a moment in the media right now - but extroverts, we haven’t forgotten about you! If you like to be around people during your study breaks, why not take up volunteering?
Whether you’re reading to stroke victims, helping out at a food bank, or registering as a helpline volunteer, working with charities is a wonderfully worthy activity sure to give you that warm fuzzy feeling we all need from time to time.
What will your next hobby be?
If you’re anything like most of our students here at Tutor House, you’ll be getting your head down for the pre-exam grind around about this time. But a strict diet of non-stop work won’t benefit your sanity levels in the long run. Never forget to make time for yourself and experiment with new and interesting activities. A rich cache of different ways to spend your weekends might just make those working hours that bit easier.