Hi everyone. I am feeling like I’ve lost any direction after getting laid off earlier this year (was working as an analyst in telecom and very recently landed a much lower position in healthcare data entry due to necessity). I already have several hobbies but I am either burnt out on them or they have lost their luster (similar to how life has lost its luster for me this past 6 months).

I would really love to learn a new skill, preferably using my hands to create something while challenging my brain. I’m willing to take classes, study, practice, and buy some equipment required for the skill.

Please tell me about your skill/hobby that gives you purpose. I’ve kind of exhausted google search which always returns the same 20 or so craft suggestions like “make custom invitations for weddings”, and while that sounds good for someone, it may not be good for me.

Current hobbies: Music composition and gardening,

EDIT: trying to move away from hobbies that involve me sitting in front of a computer. I already do that way too much.

  • Onno (VK6FLAB)
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    296 days ago

    Based on what you wrote, referencing burnout, I suspect that the issue isn’t that you need a hobby, it’s that you need to make time to do nothing at all.

    Go for walks in nature, away from technology, walk alone or with friends, laugh, tell stories, share secrets and dreams.

    The more you do, the more resilience builds up, the better you can cope with stress and work.

    Only then might you find joy in a hobby. For me it was Amateur Radio, but it might be different for you.

    • @Shocker_KhanOP
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      86 days ago

      All good points. I make time with friends when I can, getting laid off from my job really messed me up. I had been there for 11 years a lot of my closer friends are tied to that job and people I worked with. I still go out to lunch or for coffee with them when possible, but I don’t see them every day like I used to. I am going to double my efforts to spend time with them.

    • @[email protected]
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      16 days ago

      i got my amateur radio license (U.S. technician) about a month ago at a big convention. i was thinking of suggesting the hobby to the poster but first read through the comments, to check if it were suggested already. your initial advice is probably better. i’m realizing i overloaded myself and burned out during the time leading up to the test and now i’m not entirely sure why i tried getting the license in the first place. i still don’t even have a radio. I think i wanted to learn more about electronics and one thing led to another. now my mind goes blank when i try to think about what to do. i’m not OP but found it to be good advice, thanks.

      • Onno (VK6FLAB)
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        6 days ago

        Welcome to the community, we’re all still figuring out what to do with it :)

        When you want to reconnect with the hobby, after looking after yourself, look for my callsign, VK6FLAB. I have produced a weekly article about the hobby for the past 13 years and there’s plenty of suggestions for things to do and learn.

  • @voracitude
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    6 days ago

    I really enjoyed learning to homebrew, and my family and friends really enjoyed drinking the mead I’ve made. You can homebrew all sorts of stuff, too - beer and wine of course, but also kombucha and ginger ale (edit: and cider! Thanks /u/cyberpunk007). I’m looking at professional kit for my next batch which is going to be a few hundred dollars at least of steel, but my first fermentation tubs were something like $35.

    My only up-front recommendation would be to get a conical fermenter as it minimises loss when racking/bottling.

    • @cosmicrose
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      96 days ago

      Homebrew is so fun, and I love how you can make it as complex as you want. Like, you can just mix some honey and some water (in the right ratio) and let it sit, and you’ve got mead! Or you can add flavors. Or experiment with yeasts. Or brew beer and experiment with hops and grains. It’s a hobby that really meets you where you want it to.

    • @Shocker_KhanOP
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      56 days ago

      That sounds really cool. I am going to look into this some more.

    • yeehaw
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      46 days ago

      And cider! Holebrewing is a lot of fun, and you can definitely get started on the cheap.

    • @[email protected]
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      26 days ago

      Two rules if you do this OP:

      1. clean everything all the time, this is an unskippable step. You must sanitize everything the beer touches!

      2. RDWHAHB

  • @[email protected]
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    55 days ago

    Skill #1: You’re fine just the way you are. You aren’t lost, you’re still deciding where to go.

    My advice is to take an SDS test (career interest) to get your Holland code and learn about all the jobs that would excite you.

    • @Shocker_KhanOP
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      23 days ago

      Thank you for the kind words. I will look into the SDS test.

      • @[email protected]
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        13 days ago

        Sure thing! I think there’s a fee for the real one but you might find a free version or see if a local community vocational center type thing wouldn’t let you take it for free. If it sets you in the right direction though, it’s worth the cost.

        And just if you could benefit from some proof, people change careers an average of 5-7 times in their lives. If you haven’t decided where to go next, how could you possibly be lost?

        Take care, friend. I promise that you know all the answers to the questions you haven’t asked yourself yet.

  • @[email protected]
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    146 days ago

    It’s really all going to depend on your tastes and lifestyle. Like I could recommend that you get a dog and start learning how to train dogs as a hobby, but that’s just not going to work for everyone. What’s important is that you explore things and maybe even try some hobbies that could potentially improve your well-being. Maybe you live somewhere near a good hiking spot and you could take up hiking to get outdoors and get more exercise. Maybe you could learn how to cook and explore how to make healthy meals that suit you better. Or maybe you just want to create something and you could take up woodworking or make model planes or something. The possibilities are endless, you just need to decide what you’d like to get out of it.

    Personally, I spend most of my time for work indoors on a computer, so most of my hobbies involve using my hands and getting outdoors. I took up a lot of extra hobbies during covid for obvious reasons. So here goes my list of >!hobbies that will maybe give you some ideas:

    • Cooking/baking/bread
    • Candy making
    • Jam making
    • Gardening
    • Canning (goes great with gardening!)
    • Succulents
    • Mixology
    • Dog training
    • Camping/hiking (this one is minimal only because I don’t live somewhere with good hiking spots)
    • Board games, video games, and movies during the winter when I can’t go outside

    Other things I’ve considered taking up but haven’t for various reasons:

    • 3D printing
    • Bonsais
    • Home brewing
    • @Today
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      46 days ago

      What kind of candy do you make? I make cannabis edibles. I’ve done gummies, peanut butter cups, caramels, and hard candies. I tried peppermint melts but they were really terrible!

      • @[email protected]
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        36 days ago

        I mostly make chocolate based candies, but I dabble in other candies from time to time like caramels, candied nuts, candied fruits/ginger/etc. I like to make candies around Christmas time to give to family and friends as they make really nice gifts.

        • @Today
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          16 days ago

          I’ve made ginger hard candles. I want to try candied ginger and I’d really like to figure out a ginger chewy candy.

      • @jaaake
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        26 days ago

        Taking your initial post and this comment into consideration, you may be in a situation I find myself in (or I may be projecting, who knows). I started out with some regular ass depression and threw in what was originally some recreational weed consumption. After a while I found myself as a daily weed smoker. My partner seems to have a much different experience as a daily smoker than I do. For me it manifests itself as you are describing, just a lack of excitement about life. I feel like my weed hangover isn’t like an alcohol one, but rather it saps my motivation to do anything productive that I’m not being held accountable for. If I was also unemployed and unable to find a job, I’m sure it would be worse for me. At the moment, I’ve cut back on my consumption and am making it a point to only partake on weedkends. Pairing that with more exercise has worked well for me in the past, but I find it difficult to get in the exercise habit with that low level of motivated energy. Finding a form of exercise where you don’t notice the work you’re doing is also helpful. I don’t much like basketball, but a friend of mine invited me out to fuck around and shoot hoops with them. Probably the easiest time I had getting in some cardio without realizing it. Nowadays, I’ve got a rowing machine that I use while I watch streaming shows. I usually find my lust for life returning when I’ve put in the maintenance on the machine that is my body. It’s a lot easier to feel alive when you feel alive.

        • @Today
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          16 days ago

          I think you meant to reply to OP. But yeah, it can make it hard to be productive. I mostly use it late in the evening, like a nightcap.

  • @DinosaurSr
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    6 days ago

    Are you looking for a new career as well? Or just a hobby? I sit in front of a computer all day and always thought being an electrician would be kind of neat. Decent money, get to work with your hands, and still some problem solving involved.

    Edit: If you’re looking for more of a hobby, volunteer conservation work may also be something to look into. Something like trail work. I did a few stints in my younger years, and they were transformative experiences for me. The folks who do this type of work are super interesting and passionate in my experience, and it can rub off on you.

    • @Shocker_KhanOP
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      13 days ago

      Both kind of. I mean, that’s the dream right? Finding something you find interesting and gives you purpose and then being able to make a living wage doing it. Its interesting you mentioned being an electrician. I have a tour scheduled next week at a local trade school to explore being an electrician. Do you have any suggestion on questions I should ask during my tour?

    • @[email protected]
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      35 days ago

      I’ll add that learning botany and taxonomy is VERY fun and rewarding. Going out in the field and discovering new plants and wildlife is a great treasure that always gives. It adds so much value to the outdoors

  • @Brkdncr
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    106 days ago

    I’m taking some welding classes later this year. Being able to fix or create things with a welder seems like a useful skill to have.

    I suspect the intro classes are all the same regardless if you take welding into the art direction or the mechanical direction.

    • @Shocker_KhanOP
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      66 days ago

      That’s really cool. I’ve considered welding, seems really neat. Good luck, build something awesome!

    • @Today
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      26 days ago

      Also, you can make really good money welding.

  • Badabinski
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    6 days ago

    I have a small machine shop where I make little doodads out of metal. All of my equipment is manual. If I want to cut metal on my lathe or mill, I’m spinning handwheels and engaging power feed levers. I then have to sit there, watch the beautiful blue steel chips fly, listen to the sound of the cut, and wait for the cut to be finished so I can turn off the power feed. Then I turn off the machine, get out my micrometers, carefully measure my cut, and do it again until I’m done. Then, I take the work out of the vise or chuck, grab my file, debur all of the sharp edges (I love the sound of a good file knocking off metal burrs), and get to work on the next part.

    It’s intensely peaceful. Machining tools are relatively quiet and stately (power woodworking tools scream like evil demons). Small hobby tools are slow, so you always have plenty of time to enjoy yourself. It requires a lot of planning and thinking, and it helps you develop a much more attuned mechanical touch. You get to make really cool shit out of the best material (i.e. metal), and it’s a genuinely useful skill. I do software development, and I spend way too much time sitting at my desk. Machining is my escape.

    One downside is that it can be expensive. Good tools cost money and good metal costs money. I’d guess that I have $20K invested in my shop, but I’ve also been doing this for 7 years now. The initial investment isn’t that high. You can save a lot of money by making your own tools, which I didn’t always do. Used tools are also a really great option (except for measuring tools, sometimes you have to buy those new). To get metal for cheaper, go to nearby machine shops and ask nicely if you can buy scraps from their offcut sections. If you tell them that you’re learning machining, they’ll be very likely to oblige!

    The other downside is that it requires you to be careful. Human flesh is soft compared to metal. Machining is only dangerous if you’re incautious, but I feel like it’s important that I bring up safety when I recommend machining as a potential hobby.

    If you’re interested, check out Blondihacks on YouTube. She has some great videos on how to get started with your own hobby machine shop. I also really like Clickspring and This Old Tony. Clickspring has some good project videos on his channel, and TOT is hilarious and educational.

    Here’s the thing I’m most proud of making. I adapted the design of a 3D printed yarn winder to manual machining and built it from scratch. All of the metal parts started out as raw stock (everything is 4340 steel, except for the base plate which is ductile iron). The base is black walnut. The little feet are brass, with sorbothane feet on the bottom. A picture of a very shiny solid steel yarn winder on a wooden surface. A ball of yarn and some vernier calipers are in the foreground.

    • @Shocker_KhanOP
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      76 days ago

      Honestly, that’s really beautiful. I can tell you have a lot of passion for your hobby. I am going to look into this and subscribe to the youtube channels you listed. Thank you!

      • Badabinski
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        36 days ago

        It’s definitely been life-changing for me. I never had the “touch”. When I’d do stuff around the house, I’d put in screws at crazy angles and drill holes in the wrong places on walls. I never felt like I could fix or build anything. Machine tools let you build crazy shit without relying on your visual reasoning or coordination. You want a hole at a spot? Move the handwheels to that spot and you’re there. There’s no fucking around. That built up my confidence, and the stuff that does require spatial reasoning (like using a file to turn a round hole into a square one) happens slowly enough that you can make mistakes and still be okay.

        If you decide to get into it, I’d recommend getting a lathe first. if you can’t afford a mill, a drill press is still very useful. You can do almost anything on a lathe if you try hard enough, and a drill press makes some things a lot easier. Blondihacks will have a lot more to say about it, but I believe that’s her recommendation.

    • @MrsDoyle
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      56 days ago

      Ha ha, read this wonderful piece through thinking, sounds great but what would I ever make? And then omg, yarn winder. I’m a knitter, and my yarn winder is a plastic monstrosity. I mean I’m never going to do it myself, but there definitely is a market for beautifully machined yarn winders.

    • @[email protected]
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      16 days ago

      +1 for the channels you mentioned, plus I find Inheritance Machining is pretty good too. A goodish amount of dry wit (not as much as TOT, but often gets a smirk out of me), and I really appreciate how he incorporates his manual drawing into a lot of his videos, rather than CAD.

      Clickpsring is by far my absolute favourite. I’ve been following him since the very start of the clock build, and loved every second of it. I like his 2nd channel too - Clickspring Clips - for the occasional 2-3min video brief of him making a single part.

  • mub
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    86 days ago

    Gymnastics. Seriously. You don’t need to be all that athletic to do the core basics. You get fitter and have fun just throwing yourself onto big soft mats.

  • TurtleCalledCalmie
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    66 days ago

    Going thru similar shit right now myself I found an anchor in working out. I started from total zero - zero push ups, zero pull ups, zero sqats, zero crunches. I can do most of these now, with pullups to go still. But I also got into better mindset and learning discipline too. Good stuff that I’ve neglected for 20+ years.

  • Maven (famous)
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    76 days ago

    I recently got deep into making paper!

    It’s relatively simple, relaxing, and has a lot of repetitive tasks that take a while… So it’s been fantastic for reading audiobooks! I also get to recycle old paper and cardboard instead of putting it into a bin and hoping that it’s dealt with.

    Every single piece of equipment can be made by hand for cheap though honestly I highly recommend a blender and a tub. Both of which could be replaced with hand made things but like… Why would you want to spend hours beating recycled paper to a pulp which you could put it into a blender for a little bit while doing something else.

    It’s also great for my debilitating RSD because even though it requires a specific touch to be gained… Every step except for literally the very last one can be repeated at any point with no downside.

    If the pulp isn’t blended right… Blend it more… If the deckle is unevenly covered… Just put it back in the water… Etc etc

    I really think more people should do recycling stuff in general but this has been fantastic.

    • @Shocker_KhanOP
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      36 days ago

      WOW! That’s really neat, I’ve never considered something like that. Sounds really cool.

      • Maven (famous)
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        26 days ago

        Some tutorials on YouTube are a LOT better than others and I’ve found some to just be terrible.

        Different methods for paper making give very different results and despite the good method being easy… It’s not the one that people seem to think of when they first start?

        If any tutorial tells you to put the pulp on the mould and deckle itself… Do not listen… Put it into the vat with the water and let it settle… If you put it on the mould and deckle manually it won’t be level and it’ll be bumpy and way thicker than you want it to be.

        Another fun bit though is that you can experiment with the actual paper itself. Ever wanted paper that glitters? Just throw glitter in with the pulp. Want blue paper? Due the pulp blue. Want paper thats better for certain art vs others? There are loads of organic additives you can put in that change the properties without removing the recycled nature of the project.

        If you have a 3D printer you can even make 3D molds to put excess pulp into and make cups and such.

        I love this so much

  • @[email protected]
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    Woodworking. I love it. Wood is such a warm medium to work with, and it’s a really easy hobby to get into, too. You don’t have to buy expensive power tools, nor do you need to set a target of making fine furniture.

    For me, I started out with scrap wood, trying to make as perfect as dovetail joint as possible, using just hand tools - a cross-cut saw and a good, sharp chisel.

    That took me down a path of trying to learn different joinery techniques, which was a whole lot of fun. I bought a couple of joinery books from the big A and scrounged scraps from my local hardware to practice on. And, I know you said you wanted to get away from the computer, but there’s some incredibly good woodworking channels on YT. I tend to avoid the ones that talk too much about what they’re doing - I prefer to just watch masters at work. I find Japanese woodworking videos incredibly satisfying and enjoyable.

    I don’t get to indulge the hobby as much as I want - family life keeps me pretty busy nowadays - but, when I have the occasional afternoon to myself, I love spending it in my little workshop, mucking around with wood. I always come away from a bout of woodworking feeling relaxed.

    • @[email protected]
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      26 days ago

      Wood working is very fun an obtainable. At the end all your really need is a knife and some wood! Realtically if you want to get into it your gonna need some hand planes, but its a pretty fun and useful past time.

    • @[email protected]
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      26 days ago

      I was about to say something like this, hands on work is really satisfying when you can see the results in front of you, and even show them off as well!

  • fmstrat
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    35 days ago

    Trades are great careers to be in now. Maybe cabinet making and volunteer at habitat for humanity? Learn something new that might help down the line, and do some good at the same time. Wiring, welding, or fixing an old car is another route to learn a useful and potentially employable skill.

  • @[email protected]
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    66 days ago

    Have you deepened into jazz harmony theory? What about permaculture?

    Learning buddhist meditation is also a great asset IMHO

  • @Kyrgizion
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    66 days ago

    A few years ago, mid pandemic, I started collecting ancient coins. I was really passionate about it even thinking about finding ways to make it a small after-hours job or such, but I’ve since run into a few walls and have subsequently lost my drive. For example, I wanted to take very high resolution pictures of the coins and then compose a catalog of sorts, but while I have all the gear that I need (camera with a macro lens) my shots keep coming out wrong and I’ve since kind of given up on the idea altogether.

    My entire life is one long succession of passionately started projects that got abandoned either midway or after heavy setbacks. If I ever find one that brings me lasting happiness, I’ll gladly share it, but for now I’m just as much on the lookout as you are.

    • @Shocker_KhanOP
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      56 days ago

      I know that feeling. You and I are on a mission to find what gives us purpose and happiness. I hope you find it, friend.

      • @[email protected]
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        46 days ago

        It’s cliche but perhaps the journey is the purpose. I also have had a multitude of different hobbies throughout the years, but I enjoy learning new things. The aspect of learning a new hobby is often more fun than the hobby.