Whether retirement is on the horizon or has already begun, more free time equates to an increased opportunity to fill your days with enjoyable activities.
Individuals facing busy schedules are often forced to push hobbies to the sidelines, as more pressing things, such as a job, household responsibilities, and parenting tasks, are accomplished. Once retirement arrives, a newfound freedom in your schedule may occur, and there can be plenty of hours to devote to the hobbies and pastimes you find enjoyable.
According to research, hobbies can have many benefits. They may serve as an emotional outlet or a way to relax. Hobbies can keep the mind and hands active. They also allow for quiet time and mind wandering -- which can free up creative thinking. Hobbies can also serve as a means to connecting with people and opening up new groups of friends.
There are many hobbies you can consider, depending on physical health and abilities. These may be hobbies you once enjoyed in the past or new activities to expand your horizons. And hobbies need not be crafty in the traditional sense, just about any activity -- even being a mentor -- can be a form of a hobby.
Starting a hobby
When deciding on a hobby, you can first take an inventory of your skills and interests. If you have always been handy around wood and construction, perhaps a woodworking hobby will be enjoyable and also may work as a source of income revenue.
Other activities that require the use of the hands and mind include knitting, needlepoint, painting, puzzles, quilting, scrapbooking, and crocheting. These can keep the mind active and improve dexterity and fine motor skills.
Next, you may want to consider the costs surrounding a hobby. While something like taking photos may have relatively low costs, collectibles, exotic sports, sports cars, and travel could become expensive. It's important to weight the costs against your finances to ensure that you will be financially comfortable while engaging in this particular hobby.
Explore what your friends are doing. If you want to get into a new hobby, ask neighbors and friends what they do to keep busy -- and try it out. You just may find that you're naturally inclined to do this type of activity and enjoy it.
Visit a local hobby shop or craft store and browse through the aisles. See where your attention is drawn and give that activity a try. From building model trains to cultivating an herb garden, there are dozens of ideas to try.
A hobby can take the form of volunteer work, teaching, mentoring, joining a martial arts class, taking classes at a college, and even caring for a pet. If you are the type who likes to interact with other people instead of engaging in a solitary hobby, consider one of these types of activities instead.
Once a hobby is started, it is not set in stone. If you find you do not feel motivated to do this hobby, try something else. Remember, the days are now yours to fill, so maximize time spent with activities you can enjoy.