We're now over halfway through January and maybe you've been dabbling with the idea of taking up a new hobby. There is something rather satisfying about taking up a hobby just for you. Taking time away from family-life, work-life and all the other things we get lost in and doing something just for your own happiness and enjoyment is really powerful. We're big fans of hobbies here at WWD and they don't have to be expensive! We've put together a clever little list of hobbies and all for under £15 pounds...
Come now people, don't judge until you've tried it! There's a reason sewing has both survived and thrived throughout the ages. Not only will your clothes and soft furnishings be one in a million, but you can feel quietly smug knowing you are doing your bit for the environment and bidding a haughty farewell to fast-fashion! Embroidery in particular has had a modern reboot and if you don't have the patience to get stuck into some embroidery then we highly recommend The Profanity Pixie on Etsy!
According to Knitting Authority, knitting is the new...well...sewing! Deeply relaxing and economical to take up, in no time at all you too can have a wardrobe full of unusually long scarves! Local hospitals are also always in need of knitted hats and blankets as donations for their premature babies.
3. Dance, dance, dance!
There are a plethora of styles to choose from. There's tap, urban, and adult ballet to name but a few, keeping fit was never so much fun! It's also a great way to meet new people. Take advantage of the internet if you are more comfortable learning without an audience. Or just whack on that Lizzo soundtrack and get dancing around the kitchen.
4. Cooking & Baking
We've all seen "Bake Off". This is a hobby that could eventually take you places and most importantly once perfected will produce prolific quantities of cake!
Did you know that singing has a multitude of health benefits? From lowering stress levels and strengthening your immune system to helping to improve posture. There will be plenty of local singing groups in your area and if you struggle to find one you love, start your own! It also feels great although your neighbours may disagree...
6. Painting & Drawing
You can begin with a simple HB pencil and a blank sheet of paper. If you happen to have a wood-burning fire you will have access to all the charcoal you could wish for! Grab your supplies, pack a lunch and fill a flask before setting out on a ramble to your nearest viewpoint and get sketching.
7. Walking & Rambling
It's amazing the things you will start to notice whilst walking for pleasure. Walking is also a great way to foster a peaceful mindset. Of course, trekking poles and matching outfits are entirely optional.
There is something incredibly liberating about running recreationally. Great for clearing away the mental cobwebs, you will delight as your overall fitness levels improve and you develop the chiselled legs of an Olympian sprinter. As with cycling, there are running groups all over the UK should you prefer some company.
Most smartphones have incredible cameras with amazing spec. Take a break from Instagramming your breakfast and get outside and take full advantage of the stunning autumnal light. Free printing websites mean you could also make a gift of your shots too.
If you are anything like me, you too will have a perfectly good bike quietly rusting away in the shed out of sight where it can't taunt you, but take it from me, cycling has a lot to offer! A cheap and green way to get around town in these days of spiralling transport costs and as with running, all fitness levels are catered for should you choose to join a cycling group. Head to the London Cyclist website or Google "cycling groups near me" and use apps such a Strava to plan your routes in advance.
Is there a novel or a poem or two just waiting to get out? Would you like to pen a screenplay or are you more of a songwriter with a basement full of lyrics? As with most commercial writing, you would need to perfect your craft but with the growth of the internet, the demand for remote writers has never been greater.
Remember libraries, my friends? Dusty, quiet places, great when that report is overdue and you're avoiding your boss? These days, having a local library is very much a bonus and expanding your mind is always free! Not only are they great for everyday research but you can also look into free online courses and perhaps set yourself a target for the New year. Check out our virtual book group starting January 31st for plenty of reading inspiration and conversation.
Nothing beats the feeling of genuine gratitude volunteering affords. Man or beast, the choice is yours. Volunteer on a farm, (which just might come in handy post-Brexit), alternatively, there are a wealth of humanitarian charities crying out for volunteers. Visit www.gov.uk/find-charity-information for a full list or visit WWOOF a global initiative which partners volunteers with organic farmers and Community Farms.
14. Amateur Dramatics
As with creative writing, reading or voluntary work, amateur dramatics can help you develop a host of skills you can utilise in your everyday life. From expanding your vocabulary, developing your short-term memory, concentration and improving communication skills. "Am dram" is also great for meeting new people...just sayin'.
15. Short Courses
Always wanted to learn coding or how to upholster that dilapidated chair in the basement? The internet is awash with both free and fee-paying courses. Perhaps set yourself a challenge for 2020 to take a course which may help to advance your career. Whatever you decide to go for, we'd love to see you in action!
Lifestyle Editor, Véronique Astwood
Véronique is a writer, reader and consummate wanderer. A virtual collector of the beautifully crafted – be it jewellery, shoes, hats or buildings! Her goal is to help you achieve the tangible and intangible lifestyle of you deserve.
She has been working as a freelance writer, blogger and ghostwriter for over ten years and has created her own blog.
If you'd like to submit a guest lifestyle blog, you can contact Véronique; firstname.lastname@example.org