Q: How can I pick up a hobby?

2 min

You know you have time for things outside of work…but what do/should you dedicate it to? Especially when you don’t have a favorite hobby in particular…

Dear Ellie,

I’m a pretty busy person, but something I’m realizing is that I don’t have any hobbies really…

I know I WANT to have a hobby, but I’m not even sure where to start in discovering what I want to do.

What would you do? 

~ Hobby-less Hannah in New Hampshire

Kay, today’s Dear Ellie columnist, has just the pep-talk we all need:

Hey Courageous Cutie,

First and foremost, I applaud you for having the honesty with yourself to acknowledge that you want something new for yourself, and the objectivity to say you don’t know how to go about it.

That’s harder than you know, don’t ever stop doing that for yourself! 

When I first started my career, I was really guilty of deeming my work as my hobby. I felt validated in working extra hours, working at coffee shops on the weekend, or sleeping (ha!)

BUT. It was exhausting.

And when something went poorly with work, I felt wholly burdened because I had made my entire life work. It wasn’t a pie chart of work, friends, hobbies, etc. 

This might sound silly, but I went to Pinterest and searched for hobbies. All types of things came up! Creative, adventurous, scary, relaxing.

One of the most difficult things for me was choosing things that I was actually interested in. There were a lot of hobbies that I liked to think of myself doing (acrylic painting, for example) but I thought back to times I had tried painting and hated it. I made a list of 5 things I was interested in, and came up with step 1 for each of them. 

Hiking was one of those things.

My step 1 was going on a trail walk with a friend. I didn’t buy any new clothes or shoes, just went with what I had. And while I probably don’t need to mention this, you’ll know if you enjoy it while you’re doing it (or sometimes after, in the case of hiking. It kicks your butt but you love it at the top and after). 

So here is my advice for you: make a list of hobbies and write down what your step 1 looks like. Be soft with yourself and know that if you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it again.

At the very least, you’ll get to experience going outside of your comfort zone! 

Hugs + Lashes,

Ellie + Kay

Kay Transtrum

Kay is a creative marketing junkie, hiking and kayaking junkie, and band geek. Helping others feel seen and heard, and to know that they are truly not alone in their journey, is Kay's mission in life.

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  1. I have a bunch of hobbies, and I can attest that this is the best way to get started. Small steps lead to big things!