How many times have we resorted to a lazy Netflix evening? Free time is precious, a chance to relax or develop your interests outside of work. So, when you get a moment to yourself, why not try something different or something you've been meaning to do for ages? There are plenty of hobbies waiting to be taken up – and many don't even require leaving the house!
Read on to find out our 14 suggestions for hobbies to take up from the comfort of your very own sofa. Whether you want to learn something new or just zone out after work, we think there's something for everyone.
1. Start a Blog
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What do you want to say? Sport commentary, an online diary, the tried and tested tasting of every tea known to man? Blogs are a great way to give your opinion a voice. Websites like WordPress and Blog.com are free; you can simply choose a theme and get writing.
2. Read That Book
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Escape the world for a while. Pick up that book you couldn't finish before, get a friend to recommend a page turner. Sofas love a lounger; take a book and a beverage and give yourself a time out from reality.
Following literary competitions like the Man Booker Prize are an easy way into getting back to regular reading.
3. A Stitch Down in Time
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Grandma did it before it was cool! We use our heads so much at work, so it can be a great relaxation to use our hands for something practical. Subversive Cross Stitch is a gateway to the great uses you can get out of putting needle to thread. Save money on birthday cards, put the personal touch to your cosmetics bag, or make a pattern of your own. YouTube has hundreds of introductions to knitting and sewing if Grandma’s busy.
4. Become a Movie Buff
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There was a time before Netflix. Take a dive into cinema history and work through the greatest films. Movies work great for a cosy night to yourself, or getting a group of friends together. Make it a club and designate a film for every week. Becoming an expert in a niche genre, and finally understanding all those one liners can make the dullest evening enjoyable.
5. Improve Your Singing
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Whistling while you work is all well and good, but singing regularly has been proven to improve your mood and well-being. Find a moment on your non-judgemental sofa to find a song you love; get to grips with that harmony or concentrate on finding your pitch. Sitting can be even comfier if you have a guitar or acoustic instrument to hand. Whether bass, soprano, or happy yodeller, a song a day helps keep the blues away.
6. Have a Go at Gaming
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Take on the forces of darkness from your sofa - the gaming industry is booming like never before. And there’s guaranteed to be a game for each person’s taste. Movie fans can live the dream of playing as Legolas or Darth Vader, even in Lego form. For the sharp shooters, some of the most popular games include:
Call of Duty
Grand Theft Auto
From your own Cushion Headquarters, there a plenty of blog posts on beginner’s guides and ‘how to’.
7. Practice Meditation
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Sometimes the best hobby is doing nothing. Benefits of meditation can include:
Releasing muscle tension
Lowered blood pressure
Giving yourself a break from time to time can improve your performance when you need to work. Take away distractions like:
Take a few minutes to do nothing, so you can feel better when you do something.
8. Colour It
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Another great way to de-stress is to go to town on a colouring book. Thanks to the recent craze for colouring, it’s now cool for adults to take up the crayon. Most bookshops and stationary outlets will stock a good selection, and websites like Book People are great for prices. Colouring books are perfect for when you don’t want to have to create your own image, and losing yourself in a ready-made pattern can inspire your own creativity.
9. Learn a New Language
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Parlez-vous français? WieistIhr Deutsch? Make your holidays more fun by getting to grips with the local language. Duolingo is the easiest site for beginners; they also have a mobile app, ideal for lessons from your sofa. Order your next croissant with confidence, and make new friends next time you go abroad.
10. Get Back in Touch, By Letter
Handwriting was taught at school but it’s not needed when everyone has a computer right? It may sound medieval, but writing a letter takes time and patience.
Getting in touch with someone is much more personal when you put your own mark on the page - your own handwriting, typos and scribbling out. It also gives you a chance to slow down and really think about what you want to say; you can go back and re-write that thought rather than a hurried ‘forget I said that’ text two seconds later.
11. Figure Out a Puzzle
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Give your brain a challenge and take on a jigsaw puzzle. Puzzles, logic and board games help us develop our problem solving skills, but they can also bring people together for a fun activity. There a loads of games available:
For a starter, try websites like Brain Den for a riddle to solve.
12. Get Scrapbooking
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Now you can finally get round to putting together those photos from a wedding or holiday. Scrap paper from old presents or pieces of clothing make colourful textures and backgrounds. Stationary shops such as Paperchase specialise in arty scrapbooks. Or you can grab a cheap notebook and design the cover. They make great gifts for friends and family, or your own creative diary.
13. Practice Your Photo Editing
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Refresh pictures from a dull day. Photo editing can range from replacing colours to creating gifs. Once you’ve got a new picture, you can send it to your friends, or upload a funny gif to a blog or social media account. Reddit has a page for beginners, and a Photoshop Battle you can take part in.
14. Go Gaga for Radio
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Rather than watch something, listen instead. Tuning into the radio will give your eyes a rest. There’s such a variety of radio stations offering:
Listening to the radio also means you can get on with something else, like researching a topic for work or having a cup of tea. That way you don’t miss out on the evening news without sacrificing your ‘me time’.
Saving ourselves from the everyday routine can be hard, especially if we’re tired from work or worrying about tomorrow. But, taking up a hobby doesn't have to mean trying hard or even leaving the house! Enjoy the time you have, sit down and enjoy what interests you.