Minderful Reading

What Are Micro-hobbies and Why are They Great?

Some hobbies aren’t meant to be forever—by design.


Some hobbies aren’t meant to be forever—by design.

Minderful_Wave_long_yellow-1

Some have dubbed the last two years as the rebirth of the hobby, which was in grave danger of extinction as recently as 2018—social media played a big part in making everything into a side hustle that sucked the joy out or its leisurely nature. With the advent of mindful changes towards doing things for the benefit of the mind (and nothing more), hobbies have begun returning to their roots.

Hobbies are back because we need amateur pursuits. We need no-obligation activities that don’t stress you out when you don’t have time for them. And we need to engage in things that are not for profit.

But getting into a new hobby isn’t stress free for everyone, especially since there seems to be an expectation around hobbies being a passion for life. After all, some hobbies require specialised equipment and regular financial outgoings, and not everyone has the mental capacity to deal with that sort of commitment.

So today, we’ve decided to shatter yet another stereotype around doing things for your mind. We’re going to name a few hobbies that will help you live in the moment for a few hours, days, weeks, and months. For more permanent things, pop over to our Minderful site where you'll find a treasure trove of mental fitness advice. 

Hobbies For a Single Afternoon

Minderful_Wave_long_yellow-1

In her brilliant article on how to stop ruminating, Dr. Alice Boyes, author of the Anxiety Toolkit, lists a few brilliant ideas for micro-hobbies that will keep you entertained for a few hours. Once you get a hang of basic principle, new ideas for micro-hobbies might come to you on their own.

Here’s a list to get you started:

    • Follow an origami tutorial on YouTube.

    • Make a model (e.g., little animals) out of clay and bake it.

    • Draw characters out of a children’s picture book e.g., Peppa Pig.

    • Play frisbee.

    • Do a word finder puzzle. (Dollar stores sell books of these.)

    • Do a stretch that’s enough of a challenge you need to concentrate e.g., a yoga squat. Try 3 for a total of 10 minutes.

    • Follow a YouTube tutorial to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube. (Try this idea when you think you need several hours of distraction and absorption!)

    • Put together a Lego.

    • Play 3 rounds of a quick game with another person, like Charades.

    • Follow a recipe you’ve never made before. (It only needs to be complicated enough to require thinking about what you’re doing, whatever your culinary level is. Don’t choose a performative dish like a fancy dessert.)

 

Egg paintingAnd don’t forget unprompted egg painting. (Photo by Roman Odintsov)

Here are a few more that we’ve come across:

Hobbies For a Few Days

Minderful_Wave_long_yellow-1

Gummy bear sortingMass gummy bear sorting didn’t make the cut. (Photo by Tim Samuel)

 

    • Do research on a new tourist destination—from trains to bars, basic phrases to off-the-beaten-path sights

    • Start pickling fruits and veggies for the winter

    • Learn how to become a mindful listener

    • Pick up the bare basics of a martial art

    • Obsess about a topic and learn all there is to know about it

    • Make potpourri (which is one of our favourites and we won’t stop until the whole world is making potpourri)
Venny Newson wrote this brilliant article with lots more to explore, but he also outlines a few great strategies for finding temporary hobbies—like tackling every new hobby in small chunks so that we don’t get overwhelmed.

 

Hobbies for a few weeks

Minderful_Wave_long_yellow-1

In her article on Micro Hobbies, Ariel Blaser writes that hobbies are supposed to be about things we’re not good at, rather than things we excel in. For her, it’s about losing yourself in the undertaking, getting out of your comfort zone, and doing things that we don’t expect to be fun—and letting them surprise us.

 

Her long-term (by long-term we mean a few weeks or months) recommendations list these hobbies:

    • Cookie or Cake decorating

    • §Woodworking

    • Pottery

    • Birdwatching

    • Stargazing

The best thing about all these hobbies is that nothing in stopping you from keeping them beyond their expiry date—it’s the low-pressure atmosphere of mindful activity that we want to preserve without worrying whether there’s space in our lives for a permanent hobby.

 

LumberjackOr combine all the above by going full lumberjack. (Photo by Ron Lach)

 

Now, let’s go out there and find a new micro hobby that will entertain you for as long as you want!

 
Minderful_Wave_long_orange-1

 

The Minderful Voices Podcast

Hop over to our podcast Minderful Voices where you can submit your mental fitness tips? Here’s one from Arianna on trying new things:

 

The Minderful App

In case you didn't know, we've built an app that helps you discover, learn about, and do more activities that make you happier and healthier. Download the app by clicking below.

Get the app

 

Contact us at hello@minderful.com to find out more about how we can support mental wellness in the workplace. 

 

Similar posts

minderful, adjective /maɪnd.er.fəl/ nurturing a state of good mental fitness.

Subscribe to the Minderful blog