We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do pretty much everything well. We want to simultaneously kill it at the office while still somehow maintaining that ever-so-elusive work-life balance. (Is that even real? Debatable.) We want to master the perfect Champagne cupcake recipe and also live that “everything in moderation” life. We want to get eight hours of sleep while still fitting early-morning workouts into our schedules. It’s a lot to keep track of, and if we’re being real, some of it doesn’t make any sense.

With all the confusing expectations we put on ourselves, it’s nice sometimes to do things just because they’re fun, or because they give us a chance to learn something new in the midst of a routine that often seems… routine. If you’re feeling like this part of your life is lacking, it sounds to us like you need to get yourself a new hobby. We have eight suggestions for you — keep reading for all the details on how to get started!

A woman works on a painting in her home studio

1. Photography: Most of us are pretty comfortable with the kind of photography we can play with from our phones (and have you seen the magic that can happen with portrait mode?), but there’s more to taking photos than your camera app! If you’re interested in taking photography to the next level this year, you’ll need to start with, well, a camera. Leica Q photographer Daniel Kreiger recommends choosing a camera based on the type of photography you want to explore. Compact cameras, he says, might be better if you’re planning to learn to shoot food or portraits, while you’ll probably want to check out other kinds of lenses and camera bodies if you want to shoot sports or larger events. Kreiger also suggests starting with a user-friendly camera that offers both manual and automatic settings. They’ll give you room to grow as you become more and more confident as a photographer.

2. Coffee Brewing: A hot cup of coffee can serve as more than just a vehicle for your morning caffeine fix. If you’re a coffee fanatic, you might consider learning more about brewing in 2018. There are so many unique kinds of coffee you can have delivered right to your home, and so many resources available online to help you figure out how to brew it best. The only downside? Your barista will miss you!

3. Painting: Grab a friend and get your start at a paint and wine night in your area. From there, you can continue to paint exclusively under the influence (no judgment!), or explore your talents elsewhere. Check out online painting courses at Craftsy or Virtual Art Academy. If you want to practice more basic illustration, you can also investigate the classes in the Brit + Co shop.

4. Home Brewing: Can’t get enough craft beer? If you learn to make your own, there will be no such thing as “enough”… and it honestly just sounds like a really cool, interesting pastime. There’s tons of information about how to get started, available online at sites like the American Homebrewers Association, which offers the basics of equipment, ingredients, recipes, and more. A basic beer only requires minimal equipment and ingredients, so why not give it a try? Cheers to new hobbies!

5. Rock Climbing: Conquer that pesky fear of heights this year, and get a great workout while you’re at it. According to Huffington Post, climbing has a wide range of benefits, including increased endurance, a boost in brain function, and reduced stress (sign us up!). Recreational climbing has grown in popularity over the last few years, with the number of climbing gyms increasing steadily. Get a group of pals together to try it out for yourself!

6. Crafting: Our favorite thing about crafting as a hobby? There are endless directions in which you can take it. Check out our online classes that can help you figure out the basics of chalk illustration, calligraphy, and more — and once you’ve mastered the craft, you can even use your newfound skills to bring in some extra dollar dollar bills! Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson — also a judge on the upcoming NBC competition show Making It — encourages all aspiring crafty business owners to focus on the fun. “Find ways to keep your passion alive, celebrate small achievements along the way, and remember to stay creative,” she tells us.

7. Yoga: In addition to being a great workout, yoga offers tons of benefits for your body (think increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, weight loss, cardio health, improved energy, and more, per the American Osteopathic Association). Who says a hobby can’t also be good for you? Check out a local yoga studio or order yourself a mat and start at home. You can stream online classes via bulldog yoga, Gaia, or Do Yoga With Me.

8. Baking: Stop binge-watching The Great British Bake Off and get in the kitchen yourself! With a basic bread recipe, you can give Paul Hollywood and the charming contestants a run for their money on Bread Week — but even perfecting your cupcake game is a good use of your time this year!

Are you trying to pick up a new hobby in 2018? Tweet us @BritandCo!

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(Photo via Getty)