What Our Old Hobbies Can Teach Us

The pandemic and lockdown taught us many things—the importance of being with people we love, how many cups of Dalgona coffee we can make and consume, and how our old hobbies can make a comeback to bring us some well-deserved joy. Old hobbies were being revisited when we were all in lockdown. It was no surprise as it brings with it a number of benefits.

Rekindling an old hobby–an activity you regularly do for the sheer joy of it–can also teach us a few things and we don’t even have to start from scratch. We also don’t need another lockdown to have an excuse to revisit hobby from the past. Because just like a good friendship, you usually can pick up where you left off. Here are five things you can learn from picking up an old hobby.

1. A little nostalgia can relieve stress.

Research has found that in times of overwhelming stress, there’s a natural instinct to feel nostalgic, because it helps us become accustomed to a new reality that may be jarring or stressful. So it’s no surprise that apart from longing for the good ol’ days when you were a kid whose only goal for the day might have been to catch Kim Possible or Invader Zim after school, a childhood hobby rekindled can also provide some stress-busting potential.  

Did you like to experiment with the bottles of toiletries and scents on your mom’s dresser growing up as soon as she left for work (don’t judge)? Or did you prefer to get your hands all muddied, digging in the garden to plant mango or watermelon seeds? Watch how to make a natural skin balm if you’re still curious about making your own scented concoction or get some plantita inspiration from Maan Agsalud with her indoor garden tour.

2. Old hobbies can boost confidence.

When our parents encouraged us to have hobbies when we were kids, it wasn’t just to get us out of their hair. Hobbies can boost a child’s confidence. And if there was a hobby you got into as a kid or teen, which you abandoned when the adulting became all too real, it won’t hurt to try your hand at it again. 

Revisiting something you were good at can give you a boost in confidence, especially if you’re not in a good place. Were you into photography (get a few tips from our DIY Product Photography tutorial), playing the uke, or impressing everyone with your crocheting projects (here’s how to make your own crochet scrunchies)? Time to schedule some ‘me time’ with your old hobbyist self to remind yourself how awesome you are.

3. Being more patient with yourself.

When we pick up an old hobby, the nostalgia and joy it brings might come naturally, but the other things might take more time. If you were into painting or sketching, for example, and had abandoned it to try something new, getting back into the groove of it and finishing a piece might take more time. It’s okay. Doing something worthwhile often takes time. The great thing about picking up an old hobby this time around is that there are loads of video tutorials on YouTube for you to get some tips.

For painting, you can get watercolor painting tips from Cheryl Owen or a how-to from Marie Lama. If you need tools, you can check this at commonroomph.com. 

4. Finding an alternative career.

When we find ourselves stuck in our current job or wondering what our calling is, turning to our old hobbies can open many possibilities. In a CNBC report, there’s science to back how having a hobby can make for better work performance and overall health. 

There’s also a chance that rekindling an old hobby can open up the possibility of turning it into business. With all those hours spent doing calligraphy or lettering, have you ever considered doing it on the side? From having a game plan to building your online presence, turning an old beloved hobby into a business can be done.

5. Becoming more mindful.

If for nothing else, doing a hobby you’ve always loved allows you to be fully present. Remember losing sense of time and just being completely immersed in something? Practicing mindfulness in everything we do has a positive impact on how we cope with stress and has been found to decrease depressive symptoms.

Whatever your old hobby used to be, from doing embroidery to designing, just because you said goodbye to it before doesn’t mean you can’t welcome it back. It might not yet be done teaching you a few things.


Words by Mabel David-Pilar
Mabel has been a writer and editor for many publications including a teen fashion mag and a book on the most endangered Philippine trees. She spends most of her time writing, illustrating, stalking Common Room’s online shop, and making ferments. Together with her sisters, she co-created startersisters.com to celebrate fermentation and eating more plants.