My favorite part of summer is the freedom it gives you to control your own schedule. So, it's the perfect time to pick up a new hobby! Summer is super relaxing, but can also seem dull at times. Having too much free time can leave you bored if you don't use it productively.
Although giving yourself time to relax is vital for your wellbeing, trying out a new hobby over the summer could be a great way to have fun and feel fulfilled over the summer. Here are some ideas for hobbies you could learn and work on over the course of the summer.
Knitting or Crochet
Knitting and crochet are calming hobbies that can relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. They're both fun creative outlets as you can quite literally create whatever you want. There are a lot of cute and aesthetic pieces you can make with either of these textile crafts. You can find lots of beginner patterns and tutorials online for all sorts of projects. Some fun things to make this summer are tank tops, shorts, stuffed animals, bags etc.
Reading, in my opinion, is one of the most fulfilling hobbies you can pick up. Not only are books entertaining, but you can learn a lot too. If you already enjoy reading, try joining or even forming a book club. I think that would be a ton of fun!
If you don't enjoy reading, it might be possible you just haven't found the right book yet. There are lots of articles on The Teen Magazine with book recommendations. You could also try asking a friend or your local librarian. If you still find that reading doesn't keep your interest, I recommend trying audiobooks. They allow you to still experience the magic of books while multitasking, so you don't have to be completely focused on reading.
Learn How to Play an Instrument
Learning how to play an instrument can be an awesome hobby to try over the summer. Nowadays, with so many resources online, you can learn how to play an instrument for free! If you don't want to teach yourself, you can find someone nearby who provides lessons, although you will probably have to pay for them. Last summer I took bassoon lessons and this summer I'm planning on teaching myself to play the guitar.
Yoga is stress relieving and can improve your strength and flexibility. It's a wonderful form of exercise that benefits your physical and mental health in countless ways. To learn yoga, look for classes in your area or look up yoga workout videos on Youtube!
Gardening is a really fun pastime. Not only can it be very calming, but having to take care of plants also teaches responsibility. You can plant a flowerbed, a vegetable garden, or an herb garden. If you don't have enough room or time for a garden of your own, look for a nearby community garden. My library has a community herb garden and anybody can come harvest herbs or work in it.
Learn to Code
Coding is another skill that can be very useful when looking for jobs. It can also be a lot of fun to learn. You can learn to create your own websites, games, and apps. I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty cool to me. I would recommend learning with Codecademy, as they have many courses you can take for free.
Journaling is a very fulfilling hobby. Whether you're keeping a diary, trying out stream of consciousness writing, or bullet journaling, it can be very meditative and calming to get your thoughts out on paper and have a private space all to yourself. If your artistic, you could also try art journaling or scrapbooking; that may be more of your thing.
Start a blog, podcast, or Youtube channel
Content creating could be a really fun hobby for you to start up this summer. I run my own blog and it's allowed me to grow more confident and connect with a community of readers. I plan on starting a podcast this summer. All three of these hobbies are great creative outlets and you can start blogging, podcasting, or creating Youtube videos for free.
There are many free resources available for making your own blog or podcast. I recommend Blogger or Wordpress for blogging and Anchor for starting your own podcast. For recording podcast episodes or Youtube videos, all you need to start out is your phone. Although your smartphone isn't as high of quality as professional equipment, it'll work fine if you're just starting out.
A great way to spend your free time is volunteering. If you do some quick research, I'm sure you'll find a variety of ways you could help out in your community. Some ideas are volunteering at your local homeless shelter, library, nursing home, or animal shelter. You could also help coach a youth sports team, fundraise for a cause you're passionate about, or tutor younger students. If your school requires volunteer hours, using your summer is a great way to get them!
Cooking or baking
Cooking is an important life skill to learn and it can be really fun. Cooking and baking can also teach you about other cultures and all that goes into making the food that you eat. Additionally, nothing tastes better than food that's homemade! I bet that whoever you let taste-test your delicious creations will appreciate your new hobby as well.
I hope you have found at least one hobby to pick up this summer. It's the perfect time to try out something new. I hope you can look back on this holiday break after returning to school in the fall with pride for all you learned and accomplished. Let's make the most of this summer!