Coloured pencils

What’s that saying – New Year, New You? Whilst a complete life overhaul at this stage may not be necessary, you can certainly pick up some new hobbies for the New Year and find activities to make the most out of your free time. This means finally get round to doing those things you’ve always talked about doing and reaching those exciting goals.

When filled with enjoyable hobbies, later life and retirement can be one of the most fulfilling periods of your lives. So it’s time to shake off those worries and dip a toe into the unknown world of 2020. It is a new decade after all.

Volunteer your time to help some furry friends
Giving up your free time to help those less fortunate can be a hugely rewarding experience. And choosing to spend it with those of the furry variety can make it all the more fulfilling.

Depending on whether you’re a cat, dog, rabbit, bird (or just all animals in general) person, there are animal shelters all around with varying roles on offer for those willing to part with their time. What’s more, making friends with your four-legged counterparts can provide a whole wealth of benefits.

To find local animal shelters, start with the UK Pet Directory and see if they are looking for volunteers in your area.

Create something colourful
At first glance, watercolouring may seem a little overwhelming in the hobby ranks but it’s an exciting one to try if you’re hoping to find your artistic flair. Better yet, picking up a brush and learning to watercolour can be a liberating experience because there’s no way to control where your brush is going to go. Giving you the opportunity to create something uniquely yours.

With the digital world seemingly closing in around us, it can be challenging to find a new hobby to try that doesn’t involve logging on and searching the web. This is what makes putting brush to paper that much more rewarding. You can find beginners supplies at any good art supply shop.

Create new friendships at a community group
Later life and retirement can be one of the most enjoyable times in your life but it can also be lonely. That’s where community groups can help. Whatever your interest, there is something for all.

Enjoy the great outdoors? Immerse yourself in walking tours. For something more relaxed, you can make bonds at knitting lunch clubs. You can even jump on board a day trip and meet like-minded people. Bonus? This act of getting out and making those all-important social connections can help you to live longer.

With a focus on meeting new people and socialising, take your pick from local groups and social clubs to dedicated community projects.

Challenge your brain with a puzzle game
Keeping an eye on your physical health is one thing but a great way to ensure your mental health is ticking along nicely is to indulge in a classic game. Whether you’re a maths wizard or an expert within the world of words, there are plenty to choose from, such as:

  • Sudoku
  • Crosswords
  • Solitaire

No matter if you’re looking for something to do on your routine bus journey or trying to find ways to while away the time in your local coffee shop, there’s no shortage of places to find these types of games.

Embrace meditation
Does your idea of a hobby involve taking some time out for yourself? For an activity that encourages you to slow down, meditation could be a perfect fit.

It can be difficult to fully get into to start with. But once you allow yourself the time to let go of busy thoughts and give in to the quiet, you’ll reap the benefits. Try starting your day off with a spot of morning meditation or find a quiet place in the evening to unwind and reflect on your thoughts from the day. Try Headspace.com for beginners’ tips.

There are lots of benefits to trying out a new hobby. From switching off from the world around you to socialising or learning a new skill, there’s no time like the present to get out there, put on your dancing, hiking or meditative shoes and pick up a new hobby for 2020.

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