Now that the weather is getting colder, the time for planning New Year’s resolutions will soon be upon us. A fresh start is often welcome after the excitement of the festive season, however, working to improve our mental and physical health isn’t easy, and many of us lose motivation before we’ve even begun. It is, however, an important matter that cannot be ignored.
You don’t have to wait until the New Year rolls around to work on a happier, healthier you, however – you can start now. Instead of dragging yourself to the gym every morning, feed your mind and body with a new hobby that speaks to your passion.
Feeling stuck? From scrapbooking to motorcycle racing, here are eight unusual hobbies you might not have considered trying.
If you’re not a strong swimmer, like 54% of Americans, why not try water running? It’s a great sport for anyone trying to overcome a fear of water, as it involves using the shallow end of the pool. This one is just what it says on the tin: it involves running up and down swimming lanes to keep fit. It’s a great resistance exercise, which will help soothe aches and pains and overcome injuries.
Water running is an unusual sport, so you will have to keep an eye out for classes in your area. Failing this, you can always start your own. It doesn’t need to be a group activity, either. If you feel empowered, you can rent a lane at your local swimming pool and just get running.
Cooking is one of the best hobbies to improve your mental health and flex your creative muscles, but why not take it one step further? With the rise of Instagram and food photography, “food styling” has become a popular pastime. So why not see if there are any classes in your area? Alternatively, you could cook up your masterpieces at home and start a social media account to showcase them. Not only will you have a delicious treat at the end of it, but you will also have some creative photographs to display your skills.
If it’s an adrenaline boost you’re after, motorsports is a fulfilling and exciting hobby. There is an empowering movement of women riders, so there has never been a better time to join the motorcycling sisterhood. Studies show that women make up 12% of all motorcycle riders in the U.S. and that 35% reported feeling happier and more confident than before they started racing.
If you think motorsports could be for you, find a women’s biking community to join in your local area and get to grips with the basics before you compete. Once you’re ready to start racing, be sure to download a manual to keep on your phone in case of emergencies. The Tradebit website provides Harley Davidson Repair Manuals, in addition to thousands of other popular makes and models, so it’s an excellent resource to utilize if you want to start biking.
If you’re a creative soul (or even if you’re not), scrapbooking could be an ideal activity to get stuck into during your spare time. Not only is it relaxing and meditative, but it also means you can collate all of your photos and memorabilia together in handy albums and books. You can be as creative as you like with this activity: you could take pictures with a Polaroid camera and stick them in a book, collect scraps of beautiful paper and create a collage, or you could journal your daily thoughts and ideas.
There’s no better tonic for a technology overload than spending time in nature. Most of us know of the physical and psychological benefits of fresh air and greenery, yet we spend way too much time attached to our digital devices. Reconnect with your natural surroundings by observing or photographing wild birds. If you’re a painter, you could try taking a palette and brush with you. If you’re attached to your smartphone, there are numerous birdwatching apps you can download and use.
One of the best things about this hobby is that it can be undertaken alone or as part of a group or club. So whether it’s solitude or social interaction you need, birdwatching has you covered.
Canning and Preserving
As well as being inexpensive and good for the soul, learning to preserve your food properly will save you hundreds of dollars each year. Think about all the fruits and vegetables you throw away or leave to spoil in your refrigerator. You can also make cheap, tasty gifts for family and friends this way (who doesn’t love a jar of homemade jam?). Check out your local thrift store for a book on preserving foods, or search the internet for a handy blog you can follow.
Learning an Unusual Instrument
Learning an instrument teaches discipline and keeps your brain active. It’s a wonderful outlet for stress or emotional difficulties, too. Plus, what with the number of online resources these days, it’s easier than ever to learn to play.
Choose whichever instrument draws you in, but don’t rule out more obscure options like the ukelele or tuba. You could always try a few before settling on one. You could even turn your new hobby into a moneymaking opportunity if you’re happy to play gigs.
If it’s knowledge you crave, becoming a documentary enthusiast will broaden your mind and fill your evenings. You could work through the educational titles on Netflix, or research a particular historical, geographic or political subject. You could even start a blog to record your findings or write them down in a learning journal.
Try That New Hobby Today!
Whether your passion is sport, creativity, music, or all three, choosing any one of these eight hobbies will keep your body healthy and your brain happy. What better way to round off the year than trying something new? You never know, your new pastime could lead to a lifelong passion or a future career.