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Original photo by Ellie Eshima

The Value of Having a Hobby as an Adult

Remember when you were a child and you had a hobby you were absolutely crazy about? You couldn’t wait to get to your weekly class or spent all your time crafting something in your room.

As we grow up, we tend to neglect our hobbies. The older we get, the busier our lives are. We accumulate responsibilities and struggle to stay on top of tasks and errands. We’re led to believe that (young) adults can’t afford to waste an hour of their time to do something they enjoy. Or we’re so stressed out because of school or work that finding energy to do something feels impossible. Especially when you have no idea what you’d like to do.

But the truth is, hobbies are great. And no, you don’t necessarily need to turn them into a side hustle, become a professional or spend a lot of money. You don’t even have to be serious about them at first. You can be creative or outdoorsy, you can try a bit of each and see what you like. Even if you don’t end up playing tennis twice a week, you will make your life more exciting.

When I was at school my hobbies were reading and learning languages. The moment I got into the university these things became something I had to do regularly for my degree. Don’t get me wrong, I still read for fun and listen to the Spanish songs every now and then. But I remember the pleasure of learning a new language just for the sake of it. Just because you like the way it sounds. The feeling it gives you. Or cuddling up with a book that’s not a part of your course reading list and enjoying every page.

A few years ago I regularly got confused when someone asked me what my hobby was. At the time, I didn’t have one. But now I sure have the answer.

This past year I took up walking in the nature, practiced yoga at home, took care and propagated my plants, decorated my space. I want to try out pottery and hiking, crafting and drawing, may be growing some herbs at home and making home-made tea. Some of the hobbies I tried didn’t stick and others stayed only for a few months. In the autumn, I collected leaves. In Christmas time, I created DIY home décor. I got rid of expectations and enjoyed every activity as long as I was hooked – and then I let it go freely.

Hobbies create the state of absolute concentration, also known as the flow. They let us turn off the noise of the world and focus on ourselves. Hobbies keep us energized and inspired, make us more exciting partners, friends and individuals. I personally love seeing adults passionate about something outside their work and family. Adults who set time on a Sunday morning for the hobby that fires them up.

How does one start a new hobby? There’s no recipe, really. You just need to go out in the world and give it a try as if you were eight again. Allow yourself to get excited about any tiny or crazy idea that crosses your mind. Allow yourself to quit. Experiment. Any hobby you try can be a fun activity for a day or, perhaps, a lifetime.

Leila Askerova

Helsinki '22

English major with a love for slow life and all things cozy.
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