Among Ronali's niches in freelance writing is Hobbies, specifically cost-effective ones. She has a Career Diploma in Freelance Journalism.
One of the best ways to relax, unwind, and ease boredom is to engage in a hobby or two. Regardless of age, gender, educational background, or socioeconomic status, nearly everyone needs a few hobbies to fill their free time productively.
However, I’m also aware that a good number of hobbies can be costly, while some require more time and effort than normal, that you end up wondering whether the benefits truly outweigh all the trouble.
So I attempted to round up the following low-cost hobbies that require minimal to moderate effort:
You don’t need to spend a lot to sustain a reading habit. Visit your public library and get your own library card. Borrow books and magazines from your family members, friends, and colleagues.
You can also hold swaps to obtain new titles, take advantage of Sales at major bookstores, or buy books from second-hand bookstores.
If you're just starting out, don't invest in a sketchpad and a complete set of drawing pencils and color pencils yet.
Start with a couple of artist-grade pencils, an eraser, and some blank sheets of paper. Practice drawing something simple first, or copy an image from a magazine or online.
Listening to Podcasts
Podcasts have taken the place of talk radio, and for good reason. There are now a wealth of podcasts out there that you can listen for free through an app in your phone.
Take your pick from spoken word poetry podcasts, to interviews with celebrities and well-known figures in business and publishing. Choose career-oriented podcasts if you want to advance in the workplace.
Puzzles can be a lot of fun, and they're a stimulating (not to mention, cheap) way to pass the time.
You can choose from a variety of apps with the kind of puzzles you like and download them in your smartphone.
Also, booklets and even paperback editions filled with crossword and Sudoku puzzles are widely available in major bookstores, second-hand and specialty bookstores.
Needlework, Crochet, or Knitting
Try these age-old hobbies without draining your budget. You can order a complete yet inexpensive needlework or cross stitch kit with basic or simple patterns, aida cloth, needle, and embroidery thread online, or purchase them from an arts and crafts or hobbies store.
With crochet or knitting, look for a video tutorial online before attempting your first project.
Journaling will get your creative juices flowing and can also provide some form of therapy. You can rant or rave as much as you want, jot down bucket lists, or pour out your dreams, aspirations, and goals.
Hold off on the fancy pens and pricey leather-bound journals first. Buy an inexpensive composition notebook or a binder with college-ruled paper, get a ballpoint pen, and scribble away.
Challenge yourself to write an entry 3-4 times a week, or fill an entire page before you go to bed at night. To help prevent writer's block, Google "journal prompts" or "journaling prompts."
If you enjoy creative writing and have accumulated a number of essays and poems, short stories, chapters to a novel, or maybe even song lyrics, why not put up your own blog?
There are several web hosting platforms out there where you can publish your blog for free. You can even promote your written works by providing the links to your social media accounts.
Easing Into an Exercise Routine
We've all been told that exercise, or any form of physical activity, is good for maintaining good health and a sound mind, and, not to mention, warding off weight gain.
If the thought of exercise fills you with dread because of how sweating will make you feel, or maybe you have painful memories of PE classes in school, ponder over the following:
- Any amount of exercise or physical activity is better than none at all. So you can start with just 5-10 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity movements, 3-4 days a week. Gradually increase that to 15-20 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week.
- Get your family involved. Tell your partner/spouse and kids that you'd like to take strolls around the neighborhood with them after dinner a few times a week.
- You can use the buddy system and meet up with a friend or two during weekends to work out along to an exercise video, or go outside to ride your bicycles.
- Incorporate movement into your daily routine. Park your vehicle farther from the supermarket or office building to give you the opportunity to walk. Go up that flight or two of stairs instead of taking the elevator. Dust your furniture at home, sweep and mop your floor.
- Hit two birds with one stone by listening to music or audiobooks while exercising.
Putting Together a Vision Board
A vision board is a mix of words, photos, and inspiring quotes that evoke feelings of positivity. It can motivate a person to take action and work toward achieving his goals.
If you're trying to minimize or cope with stress, you can clip and glue photos onto your vision board that bring you a calming effect, like white, puffy clouds, a waterfall, rainbow, etc.
You may write words in print like "Peace," "Calm," "Soothe," "Relieve," etc. on colored construction paper, cut them into strips, and place them beside these photos.
© 2022 Ronali dela Cruz