Hobbies can keep minds sharp

Leisure time can seem like a luxury for many adults. While it can seem like there’s little time in the day to do more than tend to responsibilities at work and at home, people might have more time to pursue leisure activities than they realize.

In its 2018 American Time Use Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 96 percent of people age 15 and over engaged in some sort of leisure activity on an average day. Leisure time also seems part and parcel of daily life in Canada, where the average person age 15 and over spent roughly one hour per day engaging in active leisure, which includes activities like drawing, playing an instrument and dancing, and more than two hours per day on passive leisure, such as watching television or reading books.

How people spend their leisure time might affect their perceptions about that time. For example, few people may consider watching television an “activity,” though the American Time Use Survey found that watching TV occupied more leisure time, nearly three hours per day, than any other leisure activity. Finding new hobbies that encourage active participation can make leisure time more memorable.

≤ Think back to your childhood. Hobbies you once enjoyed as a child may have long since been forgotten, but it can be fun to reimmerse yourself in such interests. Adults who loved to play sports as a child can no doubt find adult leagues in their area, while once budding artists might want to dust off their easels and visit a local paint and sip facility.

≤ Reinvent something you’re already doing. Another way to find a new hobby is to consider the things you already do and see if there are ways to make them better. For example, cooking for a family each night might be made more enjoyable by enrolling in a cooking class, where you can meet fellow foodies while fine-tuning your culinary skills. If you love to read, start a community book club.

≤ Expand your horizons. It’s easy for anyone to say “no” to something new, but especially so for adults accustomed to their routines. But men and women who are willing to try anything are more likely to find something new to be passionate about than those who shy away from the unknown. You don’t have to make a big initial commitment when trying a new hobby, but approach any new ideas or suggestions with an open mind.

Finding a new hobby as an adult can be tricky. But approaching activities with an open mind may help people uncover new hobbies they can be passionate about.


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