Adobe Express have found that the most popular hobby or pastime enjoyed by UK adults in a bid to relax and unwind was found to be reading, with more than a third of respondents stating this was their number one choice (35%). This hobby is known for improving critical thinking and creativity skills, as well as enhancing knowledge.
This was closely followed by walking (30%) which is well known for its positive mental and physical health qualities, as well as cooking and baking (29%), which is a creative hobby that stimulates the senses, and boosts self-esteem.
Alongside walking, other outdoor or more active hobbies that proved popular among Brits included playing team sports (18%) and solo sports (25%) such as running.
Other creative hobbies Brits turn to in a bid to chill out, included journaling (22%), writing (20%), and knitting or crocheting (17%).
Journaling has been found to be a healthy way of dealing with stress and challenges, as well as helping with problem solving and personal growth, while writing and knitting are great for cognitive function and easing anxiety.
Just 6% of respondents stated they did not do any hobbies or pastimes as a means of unwinding.
One in six (15%) of Brits are planning to take up a hobby as part of their New Year’s resolution in 2024 according to the findings – this equates to nearly eight million UK adults*.
While nearly a quarter (23%) of UK adults said they have previously taken up a hobby as part of their New Year’s resolution, when quizzed on how quickly they had given up on said hobbies after the excitement of the New Year was over, the most common answer among respondents was within six months (7%).
Additionally, when asked how much money they estimated they had wasted due to abandoning the hobby, the most common answer was up to £50 (7%).
This means, if all eight million Brits who plan to take up a new hobby as part of a New Year’s Resolution spent £50 each on doing so, it would total £400 million.
Kamalyn Kaur, a psychotherapist, explained the mental well-being benefits of pursuing a hobby: “Engaging in activities that YOU enjoy is a great way of escaping the day-to-day routines and responsibilities. This time to switch off can help with lowering stress levels; reduces anxiety; gives you space and time to process; and also promotes mental wellbeing.
“Pursuing your own hobbies is crucial for personal fulfilment by giving you the opportunity to engage in something that you are passionate about or makes you happy.
“Having your own hobbies, away from family, is also a great way of introducing balance into your life as it is dedicated and protected time for you to focus on what you want to do; prioritise yourself; and think about your own emotional needs. In this respect, hobbies can be a great way of introducing self-care and preventing burnout.
“Self-identity is strengthened because hobbies allow you to engage in what you enjoy; what sparks you; and what makes you feel good. This is important especially when so many people feel they have lost themselves and who they are in the hustle and bustle of a family life.”