Exploring Midlife Crisis Hobbies to Rekindle Joy

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Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Erin

Discovering the perfect midlife crisis hobbies for you can be a transformative journey. Explore this guide and find inspiration!

water color painting midlife crisis hobbies
Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

If you’re anything like me, you hit your mid-30s and suddenly found yourself extremely interested in things like bird calls and sewing projects. You may or may not feel a bit self-conscious about it, but I’m here to let you know why these interests and hobbies are so fantastic during your midlife journey!

A midlife crisis can be described as a period of self-reflection that typically occurs in middle adulthood, around the ages of 35-55. We start questioning our goals, values, and overall sense of purpose.

The term “midlife crisis” can sound extremely negative, but you need to know, it can actually be an amazing time of transformation.

Everyone’s journey is going to be different, but what is the same for most of us is the desire for change.

If we cope with those desires in an unhealthy way, the transformation could be negative. But if we learn to embrace the opportunities and enjoy the ride, I believe we are in for a real treat!

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Why Are Midlife Crisis Hobbies Important?

First off, hobbies are a fun way to escape for a little bit from the daily grind. Adulting is hard! And it can become extremely monotonous.

Secondly, hobbies are an amazing way to experience personal growth. They allow you to discover skills and interests you never knew you had.

Third, hobbies help you stay present and mindful in the moment. If you carve out time for you and your interests, it can become a bit of a sanctuary for you.

I used to be embarrassed that I kind of hyper-fixated on different interests every few months or so, and then I concluded that these littles hobbies and interests are what make life exciting! How dull and boring it would be if we stopped getting excited about new things. Yuck. No thanks.

In the last several years, I have tried out several hobbies. Some of them totally failed and some were huge successes. Each time, though, I was learning something different. That mattered to me!

What did I try? Let’s see…cross-stitching, sewing, repurposing old quilts, making jewelry, weightlifting, designing coloring books, journaling, reading challenges, blogging, and on and on and on.

Only a few hobbies stuck, but half the fun was experimenting!

The Significance of Midlife Hobbies

Midlife can be a time of serious reflection and questioning. It could be very easy to spiral if you allow it.

Hobbies inject a much-needed spark into your routine, helping you break free from monotony and negativity. It might sound dramatic, but hobbies could reignite your passion for life.

These activities become your personal escape hatch during your midlife crisis journey.

If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to feel some level of guilt for focusing on your personal wants. It might even feel frivolous. The truth is, the activities you do in your free time are your opportunity for personal growth. What better way to become a better spouse, friend, parent, or employee?

Remember that guitar you bought ages ago and never touched? Well, now’s the time to dust it off and strum away. The process of learning and mastering a hobby brings a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

When you dive into a hobby, you have the potential to open the doors to new communities and like-minded individuals who share your passion. It’s like finding your tribe—a group of people who get you and cheer you on in your newfound pursuit. Whether it’s joining a photography club, attending dance classes, or participating in group hikes, hobbies create a platform for forging meaningful connections. These social connections can make your midlife journey all the more enjoyable.

Midlife Crisis Hobby Ideas

Outdoor Pursuits

There is something so invigorating about being outside in nature. And I think many of us develop a naturally longing for the adventure that the outdoors can provide. Here a few ideas of outdoor hobbies you can try out:

  • cycling
  • hiking trails
  • fishing
  • kayaking
  • rock climbing
  • rock hunting (this is my parents’ midlife hobby and they are absolutely obsessed)
  • gardening
  • birdwatching

Creative Outlets

Perhaps you will find an artistic antidote to your midlife crisis! Getting creative is fun and sometimes messy. It lets you express yourself in new ways. Here are a few creative midlife hobbies to consider:

Physical Activities

Midlife is a crucial time to invest in our mental and physical well-being. If you’re on a quest for the fountain of youth, this might be your best bet! Talk to your doctor and then try out a few of these physical hobbies:

  • swimming
  • yoga
  • recreational sports leagues
  • golf
  • distance running
  • local fitness classes
  • start a walking club

Intellectual Hobbies

As we get older, it’s critical that we keep our minds engaged and learning. We should always stay curious critical thinkers! Give these activities a try as your move through midlife and beyond:

Adventure and Travel Experiences

Part of your midlife crisis might be the extreme feeling of wanderlust. You may be craving new experiences and scenery. And who doesn’t want to chase meaningful experiences and create lasting memories?

You don’t necessarily have to travel the world, because that may not be in your midlife budget. But you can absolutely explore new places in your hometown. Do some research on unique day trips in your area. You might be surprised!

If traveling to far off places is in your financial plan and something you have saved for, go for it! Break free from your comfort zones and explore the unfamiliar.

Discover the world and rediscover yourself.

Finding the Right Midlife Crisis Hobbies

You may be tempted to dive right in and try a little bit of everything. I caution against it because when you don’t invest enough in one thing, you might feel like you are failing at everything. (Or at least that’s how I feel when I bite off more than I can chew).

Here are a few steps to help you discover the perfect hobby for this transformative phase of life:

1. Reflect on your interests.

What do you get excited talking about? Are there certain books or documentaries you are drawn to? Who do you see online that inspires you?

Part of my free midlife career change workbook includes a skills, values, and interests inventory. Even if a career change isn’t something you are interested in, you might still find it worthwhile to evaluate these parts of you. It might give you a little nudge in the right direction.

midlife career change self assessment workbook free download

2. Have an Open Mind

Midlife is the perfect time to try new things. It’s a time of self-discovery and change!

Consider the possibility of a hobby that is outside the expected for you. You can’t learn anything new about yourself if you stick to the same old routines.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Figure out what exactly you are hoping to accomplish from your midlife crisis hobbies. Are you hoping for personal growth? Do you want to be more relaxed and stress-free? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Are you wanting to make new friends?

Make sure you know what you want to achieve and then give yourself grace. Progress over perfection.

4. Start Small

Try a few activities, one at a time, on a trial basis to see which ones resonate with you.

This ensures there is no pressure to find success. Remind yourself this is just an experiment until you find the right things.

5. Consider Practicality

Ugh, I know. This is the bubble burster.

While passion is important, you also have to consider your availability, budget, and physical abilities. You can’t pick up a hobby that takes up all your time when you have several other commitments. Some hobbies can get expensive, so make sure you have the resources. And for the love, don’t start training for a marathon if you’re looking at a knee replacement in the next few years.

6. Trust Your Gut

Ultimately, trust your instincts and follow your heart. Listen to your inner voice and choose a hobby that genuinely resonates with you. Pay attention to the activities that bring you joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. Trusting your instincts will lead you to a hobby that feels right for you.

birdwatching midlife crisis hobbies
Photo by Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash

Final Thoughts on Exploring Midlife Crisis Hobbies

Remember, the journey of finding the right midlife crisis hobbies for you is as important as the destination.

Embrace the process, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the exploration. The key is to find a hobby that brings you joy, ignites your passion, and helps you navigate this transformative phase of life with a renewed sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Let your hobbies become the catalysts for your personal evolution. They have the potential to make your midlife years some of the most exhilarating and fulfilling ones yet.

As for me, I’m going to go sit on my deck and identify all the birds in my backyard, then go for a walk and name all the flowers I see. After that, I might bake a loaf of banana bread and then sit down to cross-stitch while it’s in the oven. After dinner, I’ll plan on working on a jigsaw puzzle with my kids, tuck them into bed, and read another chapter of my new book.

Sounds pretty great, right?

What midlife hobbies do you have or plan on trying out? Let me know in the comments!


exploring midlife crisis hobbies to rekindle joy

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