If you’ve recently made a change to your gambling, you’ve probably found that you suddenly have some free time on your hands. Think of your spare time as a gift: this is an opportunity to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Research shows that people who have hobbies are healthier and happier.
Hobbies don’t just fill your time, they use your time in ways that are productive for your health and wellbeing. They engage the mind, reduce stress and foster social connections.
If you are unsure how to spend your time, here are some ideas. Some of these activities are free, but some require some investment in tools and materials. If you are now finding you have some money in your pocket, consider treating yourself to supplies!
Check out your local library
Libraries aren’t just for books anymore. Many libraries now offer Makerspaces where members can access equipment like 3D printers, sewing machines, art and craft supplies, and materials for basic electronics projects. Libraries also host various local clubs and societies, offer classes, and can assist you in researching local or family history.
Learn to code
Coding is one of the most important skills for the jobs of the future. If you’ve been thinking about a career change or just want to keep your skills up to date, Codecademy offers free coding tutorials that work even for absolute beginners.
There are so many different crafts you can learn, and many of them are a perfect distraction for an evening at home: knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, wood-turning, or pottery all provide ample opportunity for mindfulness.
Take up gardening
Gardening is a great way to get outside in the fresh air and create positive change in your environment. Even if you don’t have access to your own garden, consider volunteering at a local community garden. You’ll meet new people, get some exercise, and contribute to your local community.
Join a MOOC
Ever wished you could learn about something, but didn’t have the time or money? Think about joining a MOOC, a massive open online course. MOOCs are free online courses often developed by prestigious universities. You can study virtually anything: languages, philosophy, supply chain design, writing, biology – the possibilities are endless.
If none of these ideas sound fun to you – just Google! The internet is absolutely full of hobby ideas for all kinds of people, including people who are bad at hobbies. Try something new, and keep trying until you find the hobbies that work for you – then share your ideas for new and interesting hobbies on the forum.
If you’re trying to make a change to your gambling routine, you can talk to people who understand online or call the free Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858. You’ll speak confidentially with a trained counsellor who can share techniques and ideas to help you manage your gambling, quit gambling, or take control of your time.