The older you get, the more intentional you have to be about making time for things you enjoy.
Reconnecting with what you liked as a child can be a great way to find hobbies.
Hobby-seeking with a friend can take some of the stress out of the process.
It's the question that everyone in a new job or group dreads, "So what do you like to do for fun?"
For a question that's asked at pretty much every work or new social gathering, it's one I've always struggled to answer.
"Go to brunch with my friends" or "Gossip over chips and salsa and margaritas" always felt like the wrong answer.
This year, I decided to do dry January for the second time, but instead of making it about restricting myself from drinking, I tried to focus on filling my time with more things I liked to do, which brought me to the harsh realization that I really didn't have any hobbies.
When I was in school, I was part of the drama club, the school newspaper, student council, the step team, you name it. If there was a team to be a part of (that didn't require too much running) I was in it.
So, what happened? How did I get to 31 with no idea what I liked to do outside of hanging out with my friends?
Since January, I've set out to figure out what I like to do and to do as much of it as possible. Here's what I've done to get back to my creative, younger self, and if you're like me and have recently realized that your life has somehow morphed into work, gym, couch, repeat, maybe some of these things can help you too.
Remember what you liked to do as a child
When I was younger, I loved to write. That was the whole reason I got into journalism. But somewhere along the way, writing turned into something I had to do rather than something I loved to do. I wanted to put the fun back into writing, so I looked up some local creative writing groups and joined one.
It was nerve-wracking to read my writing in front of a group of strangers face-to-face but it definitely got my creative muscles flowing again.
Literally google 'hobbies'
I was starting at ground zero so I did the only thing I knew to do, I googled.
I searched crafts near me and discovered that Brooklyn has a ton of drop-in classes from cross-stitching to clay pinching, and crocheting. All of which I tried. I fell in love with cross-stitching but discovered quickly that crocheting is not my calling and left an hour into the class. You can't win 'em all.
Ask a friend to join you
Early on, I knew that hobby-seeking was something I was going to need to recruit a friend for.
As someone with social anxiety, the thought of going to a class by myself was almost enough to drive me right back to my couch.
As it turned out, several of my friends were looking for hobbies too. Together, we tried a candle-making class and a perfume-making course. Both were fun, but a bit too expensive to become my go-to hobbies.
Get involved in your community
Unless you live in an extremely rural area, chances are there are lots of activities going on in your neighborhood. I was bored one weekend so I decided to see what activities Somewhere Good, a local Black-owned creative hub in my area, was hosting. Thirty minutes later, I was in a flower-bomb-making class molding little "bombs" of soil and flower seeds to throw in abandoned areas and beautify the neighborhood.
Giving back to your local community can be a great way to feel fulfilled. Reach out to some community organizers and find out what events are going on around you.
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