Time to take up a new hobby this spring?
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Spring is here, and as lockdown restrictions gradually ease in different parts of the country, it feels like time to do something new.
We’ve all heard stories of people who have achieved all kinds of things during lockdown, whether writing a novel, learning a language or musical instrument, or doing the Couch25K. You know the sort! Whereas for many of us lockdown has been really tough, either because we’re key workers, have children to homeschool, or have been directly impacted by Covid-19.
But now things are gradually changing, perhaps it’s time to try and find that little bit of precious time for yourself. And that might include taking up a new hobby.
Before you jump in with both feet, think carefully about what to choose. Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do but never been able to? Don’t just do the first thing that comes to mind: you will most probably give up after a while unless you really want to do it. This is just for you, so don’t be influenced by what anyone else is doing, choose something that genuinely interests you.
One aspect that can put people off taking up a new hobby is the cost. But there are many activities around that need not cost you very much at all to get started. You may want to invest a bit more money in your hobby later on if it’s something you decide to stick to and want to get more involved. But you can get going with many hobbies either cheaply or even for free.
Here are ten hobbies that you can start to enjoy without breaking the bank.
We mentioned earlier that many people took up running during lockdown. In fact, NHS England reported around 1 million downloads of the Couch25K app during the first lockdown. You may not consider yourself a runner, and perhaps think that you would never be able to do it, but the Couch25K programme has proved many people wrong who had thought just the same. Definitely one to consider if you want to get fit for summer – and it’s completely free.
If you like the idea of getting fit whilst out and about in the fresh air, but don’t want to run, another really good alternative is walking. This has become a very popular form of exercise over the last year. It’s estimated that around 40% more people are walking for exercise now than before the pandemic.
The beauty of walking is that you can start local, exploring the streets, parks and other landmarks of your town or city. But as you become more confident, and as travel restrictions ease, you can plan longer walks further away from home, and perhaps even join walking groups or holidays.
Many of us see gardening as a chore rather than as a potential hobby, but gardening enthusiasts insist that it can improve both your physical and mental health, and greatly reduce stress. If you like the idea of transforming your garden and helping things to grow, you could adopt gardening as a hobby to enjoy as well as knowing that you are improving your home. Win-win!
If you want to get started with gardening websites such as the RHS provide useful information for beginners, and there are many gardening tutorials on Youtube. You may also find local evening classes in gardening or garden design once Covid restrictions are lifted.
4. Learning a new language
Of course another thing that many of us hope to be able to do sometime soon is to travel. So another useful hobby could be to start learning a new language. It can be exciting to learn something new, especially if it is something that may be useful at some future stage.
There are a variety of online language courses available, and some are free, such as Duolingo. If you find that you enjoy learning your language and want to speed things up, you may want to consider an evening class later so that you can enjoy conversing with other learners.
5. Arts and crafts
Whether you want to learn more about art – for example the history of art – or learn to paint or draw, there is lots of help out there. For information-based courses start by looking for free online courses and Youtube tutorials. There are also similar resources if you want to have a go at drawing or painting, or you may want to pay to attend a social event such as Brush Party, where you can have a go with expert tuition in a fun environment.
If you prefer to flex your creative muscles in a different direction you may want to consider making clothes or jewellery. As well as being an enjoyable hobby, this could save you a lot of money. Who knows, you may even discover hidden skills and talents that could open up new work or business opportunities. You can start small by following Youtube tutorials then perhaps enrol for a local class in dressmaking or jewellery making if you want to take things further.
Music can be a wonderful hobby in many ways. You may decide to start following a particular band or genre of music. You could get a lot of satisfaction from learning more about the music, building up your own collection, and starting to go to gigs when possible.
Or you may want to make music yourself. Perhaps you have always loved to sing? Now could be the time to take that further by joining a choir. There are many choirs around the country – for example Rock Choir – where you can join up without having to audition and have fun singing with others.
It may also be time to learn to play an instrument, either from scratch or going back to the piano, guitar or other instrument you used to play. Youtube has many tutorials that could help you to get started, then if you decide to take it further you could consider having some lessons to help you move forward.
If you have always dreamed of being a writer, a very good place to start is journaling. Journaling can take many different forms but the basic idea is to start writing regularly just for yourself. Whether this is a diary of events, to record your thoughts and ideas, or to start forming short stories or poems is completely up to you.
You may also want to add photos to your journaling, giving you the opportunity to develop your photography skills as well as your writing. If you enjoy doing this you may decide to develop it into a blog, either for yourself or to publish online. And who knows where that may lead?
8. Cooking or baking
Cooking and baking became two popular activities during the lockdowns. Particularly during the first lockdown, many people became enthusiastic bakers, with banana bread topping the charts.
The surge of interest in baking and cooking was borne partly out of necessity. Because no-one was able to go out anywhere to eat, it made sense to try and prepare a more varied menu at home. But there were also economic reasons for spending more time and effort cooking, such as using leftover food wisely, and saving money on food shopping.
But even now that restrictions are easing, many of us are still interested in developing our cooking or baking skills and why not. If this is something you enjoy then keep at it, and set yourself goals of things that you are going to make. Not only will you enjoy a lovely new hobby, but your family and friends will also enjoy the fruits of your labours.
Yoga emerged as another popular form of exercise during lockdown. It is an excellent and cheap hobby to take up because of all its mental and physical benefits. You can learn many of the basics of yoga just from Youtube workouts, and do it comfortably in your home even if you have a small space. As the weather improves, and you become more familiar with what you are doing, you can also exercise outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
So if you did a bit of yoga during lockdown – or wish that you had but never got round to it – now is a great time to get going. And if you take to it and want to do more, it’s a good idea to look round for a yoga class to join so that you can learn more and improve your yoga skills.
Last but definitely not least is dancing. If you enjoy dancing and have not been able to get out and do it during lockdown you will feel like you’re missing out. Spring is a great time to restart! Either look for a local dance class: you may find one in a community centre or church hall, or if you belong to a gym that is reopening they may offer them.
If there are problems with either finding or attending a class, there are many dance workouts online. Just try searching Youtube for the particular genre of dance you are interested in. This should be enough to get you started, then later you may be able to get involved in a class or live dance events.
Whatever new hobby you want to take up as lockdown restrictions ease, we hope that it is something you enjoy and that brings benefits both to you and your family.
All of the above ideas for hobbies are either free of charge or cost very little money to get started. But if you need a financial boost for any reason this spring, do check out our unsecured personal loans to see if we can be of help.
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