Every man needs a “thing”. Something that motivates him. Something aside from work that gives him a sense of purpose. And, if nothing else, something to put in his Tinder bio other than, “enjoys consuming nutrients and breathing oxygen”.
Now more than ever, hobbies play a vital role in our mental – and sometimes even physical – wellbeing. They help us to unwind, de-stress, meet new people and make new friends. However, if you’re on the hunt for one, it can be a little daunting. There’s just so much out there worth trying. So, in order to help you make an informed decision, we’ve whittled it down to 15 failsafe options that are perfect for the modern gent.
Mastering An Instrument
Your neighbours may not thank you at first (particularly if you opt for drums or the violin) but learning how to play a musical instrument is ultimately one of the most rewarding things a person can do. The best part is you never stop improving. There are always new challenges and there’s even a social side to explore when it comes to forming a band and jamming with fellow “artists”.
Getting Behind The Lens
There are few things more satisfying than perfectly capturing a moment in time. Photography is a fantastic skill to master, and now that everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, it’s never been easier to give it a go. Try practising your shooting style with your phone before you go investing in the latest camera tech though.
Working With Wood
There’s something deeply satisfying, perhaps on a primal level, about whittling away at a piece of wood to create something new. Woodwork is an age-old hobby that can bless you with not only hours of entertainment, but also a way to conjure up birthday and Christmas presents without ever having to spend a penny.
Getting Creative In The Kitchen
As long as you’re not trying to channel Heston Blumenthal when the closest you’ve ever been to a stove was leaning over it to put a ready meal in the microwave, experimenting in the kitchen is a therapeutic way to refine your culinary skills. Why not try learning a few new recipes and eventually you’ll be confident enough to venture off-piste. Still, leave the dry ice and flambéing to the pros, eh?
Speaking of off-piste, taking up skiing or snowboarding is one of the most enjoyable ways you can possibly keep fit. Granted, not all of us are lucky enough to live near the slopes, nor is a trip looking particularly likely for the next 6 months or so, but there are plenty of dry and indoor options around so you can get some practise in before you tackle the real thing.
Putting Pen To Paper
You don’t have to be Oscar Wilde in order to try your hand at writing. Whether it’s penning short stories, a novel, or even just keeping a journal, putting your thoughts down on paper can be therapeutic and it’s a great way to expand your vocabulary while keeping your mind supple at the same time.
When asked why he wanted to climb Everest, legendary mountaineer George Mallory famously replied, “because it’s there”. That about sums mountaineering up, and you simply either have that urge or you don’t. If you do, you could be on the verge of discovering a new lifelong hobby that will take you to faraway places, introduce you to new friends and make you feel more alive than you ever thought possible. On the downside, you’ll also discover how expensive rope is.
Whether it’s bombing down forest tracks at breakneck speed or cladding yourself head to toe in Lycra and trying to smash your personal best on Strava, cycling is a great way to stay in shape and occupy your free time. Good for the heart, great for the head and once you’ve forked out for your equipment it’ll rarely cost you a penny.
For the average guy, the thought of being able to conjure delicious beer out of thin air is akin to growing a money tree. While the latter is still sadly out of the question, with the right equipment and a bit of studying there’s no reason why you can’t become a competent home brewer. Drinks on you.
Giving Something Back
Not all hobbies are about personal gain. A lot of people like to spend their spare time helping others and giving back to the community. If you’re searching for a meaningful way to use your spare time, why not look into volunteering at a local charity or getting involved in some community service work at the weekends?
Learning To Defend Yourself
You’ll probably never need to use it, but even so, learning a martial art is a tried and tested way to build confidence, make new friends and stay in shape all at the same time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner – many gyms offer free introductory courses, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next Bruce Lee then you can go along and try it out without spending a penny. Likewise, there are plenty of instructional videos available online to try while the dojo is shut.
Mastering A New Language
For those of us who only speak one language, going away to a foreign country where even the children are bi- or multilingual can be a little embarrassing. However, spend your spare time learning a second tongue and you need never experience that feeling again. Whether you go all out with night classes or just do a few minutes a day on an app like Duolingo, learning new languages is one of the most useful hobbies there is.
Yoga & Meditation
Barely a day goes by that you don’t feel like tearing your hair out with stress at one point or another, but such is modern life. Perhaps that’s why calming activities such as yoga and meditation have become such a popular means of keeping both mind and body fit and healthy. There are certainly less beneficial ways to spend your spare time.
Exploring The World
If we’ve learned anything over the past 12 months, it’s that being confined to your home only increases your desire to see the world. Discovering new places and meeting new people is what living life is all about – so if it’s a new hobby you’re looking for, why not start planning that dream trip you have been putting off and book the first ticket out of here as soon as life returns to normality?
Climbers are some of the most physically fit people you will ever meet, and it’s no wonder. Hauling your body up sheer cliff faces using only your fingers, arms and legs unsurprisingly burns some pretty serious calories. No suitable spots nearby? Don’t let that stop you; get online and find your nearest bouldering gym. Most are fairly cheap and given that walls don’t tend to reach much over 15ft, you’re a lot less likely to injure yourself.