Hobbies are great for getting us out, about and socialising. But, sometimes you want to spend some quality time on your own. We’ve rounded up some of the best hobbies to do alone. None of these hobbies are weather or skill dependent. So, you can start straight away!
Why do hobbies alone?
There are many reasons to start a hobby alone. Sometimes, we don’t enjoy the same hobbies as our friends. Or, perhaps our children have grown up and moved out, leaving more time for activities alone. Introverts looking for a relaxing hobby might find an abundance of social occasions overwhelming. It could be, however, that you simply enjoy your own company.
Whatever the reason, spending time on your own doesn’t have to feel lonely. In fact, solitude and loneliness aren’t the same at all. Loneliness relates to a lack of strong relationships with others, while solitude is simply the state of being alone.
The Collins Dictionary adds that solitude especially relates to being alone “when this is peaceful and pleasant.” So, what are some fun things to do by yourself while you enjoy a little space?
What are fun things to do by yourself?
It can be a struggle to squeeze new hobbies into your daily routine. So, all of our suggestions fit the following three criteria to make things a little easier. None of these hobbies:
- Are weather dependent
- Require too much initial skill
- Need expensive new equipment
Podcasts and audiobooks
For the audio novice, podcasts and audiobooks can seem very similar. They’re actually two very different formats. Audiobooks are recordings of full books or short stories, be it fiction or non-fiction.
Podcasts, on the other hand, take a different format. Presenters usually host podcasts, focusing on a specific topic that they discuss in daily or weekly segments. If you do find yourself feeling a little lonely, both audiobooks and podcasts can make for fantastic company.
Choosing an audiobook over a paper copy might seem like a strange choice, but it has wonderful benefits. Firstly, the format is becoming so popular that most major books are available, and a lot of indie titles too. Secondly, there are some fantastic narrators who bring stories to life in new ways.
Thirdly, you can listen to an audiobook while you go about your other activities. It’s like an addictive TV series that you can play wherever you are. You can listen on a walk, cleaning, doing crafts, gardening… anything that doesn’t require too much thinking! It’s always worth looking for sales to avoid paying too much for your audiobook.
Podcasts are a little more hit and miss than audiobooks. But, they’re usually free and when you find the right one you’ll have regular content to listen to for a long time to come. It’s a little like listening to friends chat about a topic you like!
Choosing a podcast can be overwhelming. Podcasts apps are full of professionals and amateurs alike who produce audio content on almost any subject. Rather than scrolling endlessly, it’s helpful to search for podcast reviews online. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or on forums.
Writing as a hobby
In theory, if you have a pen and paper or a laptop, you’re good to go. In reality, writing requires a little more planning. Staring at an intimidating blank page with your pen poised at the ready is a sure way to get stuck with writer’s block.
There are a couple of ways to avoid this. Writing prompts are an excellent tool for budding writers and experienced authors alike. A prompt is usually a sentence or two that details a scene for you to expand on. You can search online or buy a book of writing prompts that suits you.
Another way to get writing is to take a little notebook around with you or use a notes app on your phone. Whenever you see something interesting, funny, or poignant, you can jot it down for later. You might write descriptions of people, places, or incidents. This way, when it comes to writing, you have a ready-made starting point.
Learn something new online
Online learning is becoming the norm for many. This is partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic turning the world virtual, but also due to the ease and simplicity of learning online.
You can learn almost anything online these days. From cookery lessons to craft-making and academic courses, many online classes are free or heavily discounted. Future Learn, a UK based e-learning company, had 883 online courses available in 2019. Well known universities are among the main content creators for these courses, some of which are free.
Online learning is excellent for languages too. Apps and websites like Duolingo, Babbel, The Open University and even BBC Bitesize have an abundance of resources for all levels. Learning a language takes regular practice. Doing a little bit every day will help you make faster progress.
Mindfulness and meditation
Meditation might not be the first hobby that springs to mind. But, it’s among the most beneficial. If you’ve not tried meditation before, you might not realise how simple it is. Apps including Calm and Headspace have become incredibly popular with people who wouldn’t otherwise have tried meditation. They give step-by-step sessions lasting as little as five minutes.
For some people, meditation is a way practising mindfulness. The headspace website describes mindfulness as:
“The idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment”.
This can be helpful to people who find themselves distracted by events that aren’t happening right now. This could be worries, work stress, daily-life tasks, or anything else. Having meditation as part of your routine can help you calm down and focus on one thing at a time. Quite a useful hobby, indeed!
The final two hobby suggestions in our list were kindly provided by Dave from The Yorkshire Dad of 4.
Walk, jog, run
Getting out and about on foot alone is a great way to spend some time with yourself. Whatever your level of fitness you can get out and explore right from your front door and it's such an inexpensive hobby anyone can do it. I am a runner but I also enjoy a good walk, usually with my dogs, and it is definitely something I'd call a hobby. It's great for your physical health, sure, but it's also so good for your mental health too. Don't be afraid of the weather either, a run in the rain makes you feel superhuman and makes the good endorphins you produce while running ten times stronger.
You don't need a super-duper DSLR camera to do photography as a hobby - your smartphone will do. Get out there and explore your local area and challenge yourself to create photos that catch the eye. Even on your smartphone, you can use plenty of free apps to edit your photos and be a little more creative with your time. I love to combine photography with my walking and I rarely go out with my camera these days, and even if I do I still have my smartphone with me.