View this post on Instagram
I realized recently, as I’m inching closer and closer to 40, that I don’t really have hobbies.
You know how there are some people who are always trying new activities or teaching themselves something interesting? Or people who have made it their life’s mission to master a craft or skill, just for fun?
My boyfriend is like that. In our time together, he’s taught himself to make beer, fish, and play golf. And each time he picks up something new, he dives into it fully. I’m talking lessons, YouTube videos, and using almost all of his free time to tumble down the rabbit hole of his new interest.
Me? I’m a creature of habit. Of routine. Of liking what I like and doing what I do.
Part of that might have to do with the fact that I’m an introvert. Well…an extroverted introvert.
I’m funny and friendly and a good communicator. I tend to connect well with others and make friends easily when put in situations where I need to socialize. The problem (but is it a problem, really?) is that I prefer not to put myself in situations where I need to socialize.
Growing up, my hobbies were reading and writing. Solitary activities.
I could spend hours each day sitting in my room reading books and writing stories. I would beg my mom to sign me up for snail mail book subscriptions (I’m pretty sure there’s a bin or two in my parents’ garage that houses the entire Babysitter’s Club series). Every time we went to the store, I found a reason to ask for a new notebook…even though I hadn’t finishing scribbling away in that last eight.
And lucky me, my childhood hobbies turned into my full-time, grown-up job. But can I still call it a hobby when it now pays my bills? And if my hobby is now my job, does that mean I need to find a new hobby?
And do my adult hobbies have to include the stress of unnecessary socializing? The anxiety of feeling like I have to connect with others just to learn something new? I feel like so many people I know are searching for ways to meet people, to make friends, to find “their people” and “their place” in an increasingly isolated world. And I get it.
But that’s not (always) me. (And maybe that’s not you.)
The truth is, I enjoy spending time with the people I love. I enjoy cuddling with my dog and taking him for walks. I enjoy watching TV shows and movies and documentaries that make me think and laugh and lose myself for a while. I enjoy creating and rocking out to playlists on Spotify. I enjoy trying new foods and sipping cocktails while catching up with my friends. I enjoy traveling and experiencing new places and going on new adventures.
And I enjoy laying around my house doing absolutely nothing—alone.
But while habit and routine and the joy of doing nothing appeals to my introverted self, I’ve also always been an eager learner. Someone who wants to know more and do more and take the world in, just in my own way while enjoying my own company.
Thanks to helpful suggestions from over 700 Elephant readers, I’ve put together a list of fun, mindful, introvert-friendly hobbies to immerse myself in.
If you’ve been looking for a new hobby—one you can engage in solo—my hope is that one of these will spark something within you:
1. Learn to play an instrument
4. Read one author’s entire body of work
6. Adult coloring books
8. Long walks or hiking
10. Pour painting
12. Caring for houseplants
15. Cultural dance
16. Growing your own vegetables
17. Praying with mala beads
18. Listening to audiobooks or podcasts
19. Making eco-friendly jewelry
20. Collecting vinyl
22. Nature photography
23. Paint by numbers
24. Refurbishing furniture
26. Crossword puzzles
27. Legos for adults
30. Volunteer at a local animal sanctuary
31. Paddle boarding
33. Tarot cards
36. Hula hooping
38. Learn a new language
40. Hand-write letters or cards to family and friends
42. Sound bowls
Are there any solo hobbies you enjoy that are missing from the list? If so, add them to the comments!
Read 14 comments and reply