Sure, this year will be inevitably busy with various commitments and responsibilities. Despite the hectic nature of life, it’s important to find time to pursue your interests. You’ll be exhausted after a long day of school and/or work and will want to come home and unwind, but here are 6 hobbies to try in your downtime.

  1. Painting

You may be thinking “I’m not artistic or creative.” Well I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. Watch Youtube videos, go on Pinterest, buy books, or maybe ask a friend for advice. Start off buying a few small canvases, some brushes, and some acrylic or watercolor paint. Sometimes it takes hours of practice and a few failed creations to find your untapped skills.

  1. Photography

There numerous forms of art and photography qualifies as one of them.

You don’t necessarily need the most expensive camera, especially when you’re starting out. You can start small with a camera such as a Nikon D3300. While it may be a bit of an investment, it is a great DSLR camera to begin with. If you become skilled and enjoy it, you could possibly take up photography as a side job.

  1. Sign up for a Pottery Class

Pick a weeknight or weekend that you’re not busy, and give pottery a try! You’d be surprised at what you can do with your hands and a little clay. Vases, jewelry trays and holders, sculptures, plates, and many other pottery projects make excellent gifts, especially since they’re handmade and come from the heart.

  1. Hiking

Nature is truly taken for granted by our country in the day and age of technology. Pick a day and unplug. Even if you can’t tackle the world’s tallest of peaks or exquisite views, there is so much of the world to be discovered, even locally.

  1. Volunteer

It was once said that “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” Dedicate some time from your month– or week– to spend helping others. You can volunteer at your local animal shelter, food bank, hospital or Veteran Affairs, the opportunities are unlimited. Though you may not be paid any money, you will definitely receive something in return: gratitude.

  1. Take up a Martial Art


Martial Arts tend to be practiced predominantly by males. Shatter some more glass ceilings and try out a class. You will be surprised how much it will boost your confidence, knowing that you can better defend yourself. Personally I recommend combat Hapkido, it’s defensive, meaning it is only to be used in a situation in which you fear for your life. Taking martial art or self defense classes also provides you with valuable information such as:

  • Understanding of legal issues associated with self defense

  • Survival skills

  • Knowledge of human anatomy

You may also find that it’s a way to relieve stress or let out aggression.

Emmalyn O'Connor