Wondering what to do with our free time has always been an anxiety-provoking question. Surfing the internet and watching television for hours can only stave off boredom for so long. Yet, signing up skiing lessons or a pottery class are expensive ventures that might just fuel that anxiety even more. So how can we expand our minds without breaking the bank? Here are some completely free hobbies.
Book club. A book club requires two things: a library card and a group of friends and acquaintances who love to read. Book clubs are best preserved on a schedule. Discuss genres that everyone’s interested in, and chose a book that can be easily finished within four to six weeks. Make sure to meet the same day every week or month; that’s the only way to stay on track.
Hiking. No matter if you live in the middle of a concrete jungle or out in the sticks, there’s almost always an accessible hiking trail. Go on your state’s National Parks website and search around for the trails and parks closest to you. Hiking is a completely free way to get into shape and build a one-on-one connection with nature.
Learn a new language. Thanks to technology, educational tools that once required forking over hundreds of dollars are now free. That includes learning a new language. Duolingo is a free app that teaches you the basic words and phrases to complex sentence structure of dozens of different languages. You can hone your new language skills by finding sitcoms and movies in different languages for free through Netflix or YouTube. Of course, practicing on your own or conversing with a friend doesn’t cost a dime.
Origami. The Japanese art of paper folding is a 100 percent free activity as long as you have a recycling bin filled with discarded paper. True origami doesn’t include glue or tape. The practice relies on strategic and decisive folds to create shapes and animals. If you have some string or floss handy, you can turn your art into a mobile or a hanging wall sculpture.
Singing. Although singing alone in the car or in the shower is just a basic part of being human, when it comes to singing in public, many of us are terrified to get on the mic. You don’t have to pay a singing coach, there are hundreds of free online tutorials on how to sing on key. No one should sit out during karaoke. Learning to sing is a fun, no-cost hobby that builds confidence and reduces stress.
Pick-up games. There’s usually a basketball court or soccer field in every neighborhood. Pick-up games usually convene around dusk, when everyone’s off from work and the sun isn’t too hot. Skill isn’t a very important factor. All that’s required is a willingness to have fun. Most of the time, people who join pick-up games are total strangers, and build friendships through the sport. It’s a great way to get to know people without comparing career tracks and social statuses.
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