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How Do I Find a Hobby? Your Guide to Breaking Boring, One Hobby At A Time

Between work and home, Gen Z and adults of all ages are struggling to find the time for fun. Hobbies are at an all-time low.

Group of people having a scenic picnic atop a mountain.
Credit: Unsplash/Arthur Poulin

Younger generations are facing a crisis. With real-life interaction at an all-time low, internet use and loneliness seem to be at an all-time high. Fun might seem like a silly word meant for children, but silly hobbies are something we’re missing drastically in adulthood.

Fun, in the words of Merriam-Webster, is something that provides amusement or enjoyment. Something so simple, yet so easily forgotten. Take a moment to think back to your last week. What did you do for fun? If you’re thinking about a project you did for work or school, you’re going in the wrong direction.

While it is good to enjoy the everyday, mundane things, fun is an activity you do solely for your pleasure, not obligation. Loving your work is great. Being a scholar is as well. But it shouldn’t be everything. Hobbies are just as important.

Tons of Americans find themselves burnt out after a long day. Whether that day was filled with classes or the classic 9-5, most adults tend to worry about dinner and sleep once everything is said and done. In the words of the Californian rock band Christian Death, don’t “start your two-day life on your two-day vacation.” Waiting for the weekend is just not cutting it.

The loneliness epidemic

One of the main reasons hobbies aren’t being incorporated as often as they should be is the loneliness epidemic. While not a true illness, isolation and lack of social interaction are affecting thousands, if not millions. More on this “epidemic” can be found in this article by Maya Sargent. Simply put, between work, school, and home, most don’t interact with friends outside of their immediate loved ones on even a weekly basis.

Black and white image of person's hand on the window facing representing loneliness.
Credit: Unsplash/Kristina Tripkovic

Not only does loneliness affect mood, it has physical effects as well. According to NPR, the physical consequences of loneliness can include an increased chance of heart disease, stroke, and even dementia.

“There is an epidemic of loneliness in the United States and lacking connection can increase the risk for premature death to levels comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, according to a new advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General.”

Juana Summers
,Vincent Acovino,Christopher Intagliata

Maintaining hobbies and setting aside time for fun go hand-in-hand with increasing socialization. When you do something you love (especially outside the comfort of your home), those who love it too will find you.

How to incorporate hobbies into everyday

Three women having fun reading together outside at a picnic table.
Credit: Unsplash/Alexis Brown

It is no secret that life is tiring. The last thing you want to do after a long day is get up and get right back out. However, hobbies don’t have to be that intricate. While social interaction is extremely important, enjoying something you like to do alone is a step in the right direction.

Take a hobby as simple as reading, watching TV, or going on walks. Making time for these things is crucial when it comes to having fun. Make sure you are actively enjoying these hobbies though. Watching a show might be a good time, but it can become debilitating if you are doing nothing more than looking forward in silence.

Socked feet kicked up on table having fun watching Netflix.
Credit: Unsplash/Mollie Sivaram

A great way to ensure you’re getting in those “fun hours” is to look at your day from an outsider’s perspective. When you’re on your phone, look outwards and realize what you’re actually doing. Once you become disillusioned with whatever social media app you’re on, you realize that if someone were to be watching you, you would just be lying in bed giggling every few seconds…for hours…and hours.

Actively enjoying things doesn’t mean your hobbies must be exercise and running marathons. It just means you’re putting your mind and body to work when doing the things you love. So, if you want to binge-watch that show, who’s to stop you? But make a game out of it. After every episode, pause it, and speak to someone about what you viewed. Maybe even write about it. And boom, that hobby has just become active.

Best hobbies to try

While hobbies can feel exhilarating and even affirming, depending on which activity you enjoy most, Gen Z is facing the problem of toxic productivity. With rent at all-time highs and jobs getting more interviewees than ever, this generation struggles to healthily balance work and play. Some steer severely into one, while completely abandoning the other.

Collage of hobbies including guitar, painting, pottery, puzzles, and planting.
Credit: Shutterstock image editor, Vadim Kaipov, Priscilla du Pereez, Ross Sneddon, Sarah Brown, Vicky Hladynets

There are plenty of lists online showcasing a plethora of hobbies for all ages, genders, and backgrounds, including this list by Burlap + Blue. However, let’s delve into some hobbies that are both low-cost and low-effort.

  • Reading
    • Join an in-person or online book club.
    • Set a goal to read daily.
    • Read before bed and unplug.
  • Walking/Hiking
    • If you have pets, let them join.
    • Go out on your lunch break.
    • Get a group of neighbors together to walk on a certain day or time.
  • Swimming
    • Depends on location and weather.
    • Take a class.
  • Redecorating (This can be done with things you already own)
    • Thrift cheap decor.
    • Rearrange already existing furniture in your home.
    • Use abandoned paints, trinkets, or pictures to liven the space.
  • Writing
    • If you’re creative, try poetry, novels, or short stories.
    • Write an essay or drabble on something you thought about today.
    • Journal, it’s good for emotion control and stress relief.
  • Pick up an Instrument
    • There are plenty of cheap instruments in antique stores or Facebook marketplace.
    • Set a time every day to practice.
    • Remember you don’t have to be good, you just have to have fun.
  • Go to Local Shows
    • Depends on location.
    • Many underground artists or local/travel theaters have cheap or even free performances.
    • Invite a friend or go alone. Immerse yourself in the crowd.
  • Games
    • It seems silly, but entertaining yourself with games is an ancient practice.
    • Play with family or friends.
    • Many bookstores sell fun, creative games that you may have never heard of.

Go have fun!

If nothing listed calls to you, there are endless lists and blogs surrounding niche interests and hobbies for everyone. The main takeaway here is that there is something for you to enjoy outside of work and school.

At the start, it may feel like an extra burden to incorporate time for “silly” hobbies and activities. But we must enjoy every single day, if even for only a moment. Don’t hold out for the weekend. Because you’ll find that you wasted almost 70% of your life sitting in wait.

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Written By

Hello all! I am a writer from Baltimore, Maryland currently pursuing an English degree at Ohio University. I write in a variety of mediums including poetry, shorts, novels, articles, and screenplays.

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Priya Thakur

    March 14, 2024 at 3:53 am

    I love your writing style! Great article Simone.

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